Tiny little pamphlet books made just for fun

Blue Dot Handmade Books by Ruth Bleakley

Today I’m showing off these cute little blue pamphlet stitch and perfect bound (glued spine) books I made – I printed out sheets of patterned paper myself – I have a fairly fancy Canon printer because I have a stationery business, and I have LOTS of black ink, so I experimented with printing my own patterns on card stock, with great success.

Over the past few days I’ve been challenging myself to:

A) work on bookbinding projects “just for fun” and

B) Start and finish a project in one sitting – or at least clean up after myself after each project!

For those of you who are reading and going “what do you mean, just for fun? it looks like you’re always having fun!” Well, yes I am, I love bookbinding – in fact, I sometimes jokingly refer to it as more of a “compulsion” than a hobby. HOWEVER, I start to get into a mode where I think “if I make this, will it sell?”

I do rely on sales from my etsy shop and local craft fairs to help keep me from being buried in a pile of handmade books, as well as fund new paper purchases and all that fun stuff. But then I end up making mostly things I know will sell, and rarely experimenting or just doing whatever I want (fellow crafters, does this happen to you?).

So I’m changing that!

And now, less talk, more pictures:

blue and black patterned paper

Gluing a tiny perfect bound book by Ruth Bleakley

tiny blue and black handmade book by Ruth Bleakley(and then ‘viola!’ your tiny book magically grows larger after you cut it…just kidding! I forgot to take a picture of the smaller book with trimmed edges, so this will have to do!)

I can’t find my trusty very favorite bookbinding awl (so sad! it’s in here somewhere…) so after getting fed up with piercing holes for pamphlet stitch with a needle, I thought “hmm, is it possible to just do a glue binding with PVA?” and then in the spirit of “doing whatever I want for fun” I tried it, and it came out great.

And in case you were wondering, yes I did manage to also come through on challenge B, cleaning up after myself – here’s the proof! Maybe one day if I’m feeling more self-revelatory I’ll post what it looked like BEFORE I took it upon myself to keep it clean…
Ruth Bleakley's Tidy bookbinding studio

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3 comments to Tiny little pamphlet books made just for fun

  • doing a test comment – leave a comment if you can! I think something is wonky on this post’s comments link

  • Lucy Schmidt

    Yay–looks like it’s fixed, although this is my 2nd attempt at commenting. My first “submit comment” went nowhere, so am trying again.

    As I said in my email to you about the possible broken link: The books are great and I like the idea of using up the ink you have to make your own designer paper. I don’t have the problem of having too much printer ink, but it’s a great idea. I laughed at the comment about the book magically growing after trimming it. Very nice work. I just wish you’d post more often. You do such quality work and I always learn something.

    Hopefully, I’ll find the time to get back to making a book now and then, rudimentary as my attempts are. In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy looking at yours.

  • I’ve just come across your work and it’s truly incredible! As someone who works at a traditional Bookbinding shop in London (http://bookbindersoflondon.com) it’s great to see such creativity and skill. Would love to have a bit more of that here. Especially with your journals http://www.ruthbleakley.com/blog/2013/03/blue-bathymetric-journal/ Thank you! Signed up!

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