This past week I had the opportunity to hang out with some of my favorite ladies and try our luck at a bookbinding class at Urban Craft Center. If you live in Los Angeles and are a grandma at heart like myself, a closet crafter, or SO inspired by what we write here then you should definitely check this place out! If you’re ever interested in taking one of their classes then it probably won’t take too much persuasion to get me there with you.
When I was planning this event I definitely did not realize how uncoordinated I might be with a needle. One band-aid, a couple of beers and two hours later I had a delightfully cute notebook to write all of my deep worldly thoughts in. I am, however, having trouble finding any of my life’s ponderings/grocery lists/doodles worthy enough for this notebook.
We sat down with Angharad, owner of Urban Craft Center, to learn my new favorite skill set. Luckily for us, she precut and prepared all of the things we needed to craft our project. My pages would probably be about 10 different sizes if it wasn’t for her! Since I was having fun with my craft and not dutifully taking notes I will try my best to sum up the process of binding a book. Hopefully one day I’ll give it another go and have better details but for now this is what you get…
What you’ll need:
- Front and back cover
- Paper lined fabric to wrap your covers
- Boning tool (yes many inappropriate jokes were had)
- A cool template to poke holes in your sheets (how’s that for detail?)
- Waxed string
- Paper to cover up the ends of the fabric inside
First we glued our fabric onto our covers. Piece of cake…we’re off to a pretty good start! Next we folded our pages and learned the “correct” way to do this so I’ll let you in on the secret, always fold from the corners! Don’t say I didn’t teach you something in this post. Next we used our templates to poke holes in our pages using our awls. Starting to get trickier, but so far I’m feeling pretty confident.
This is where things take a turn and the rest of the project becomes a blur. We threaded our needles with our waxed string, tied a knot and began to bind. The following is pretty much what I remember. “Okay ladies, now take your string and go through hole 2, then back through hole 1, then take it to hole 3 and 4, then back to 1 and around 4, in 2, out 3 back in 2…” I think you get the picture.
All of those were the words Angharad was instructing us with. These were the sounds we were returning “Ouch, sh*t, heavy sigh, aww crap, oh no, Ouch!, other choice expletives, not again!”
These words all slowly trailed off and after a final bit of gluing the only word we had to say was “Awesome!”
I relate my bookbinding experience to when I was 6 years old and performing in a dance recital. I may have looked like I knew what was going on, but I was staring at what other people were doing and trying to remember the steps. This is definitely a project you’ll need some guidance on your first time around and I’m super thankful I have Urban Craft Center just down the road to learn from! I’d love to give you more step by step instructions, but I guess you’ll just have to take a class of your own for now.
(almost) Professional Bookbinder out. Katie