Spring has sprung! And with it weddings, babies, and all things “new beginnings.” In celebration of this season of rebirth, for our 3rd project Angela and I chose to resurrect one of her old talents: bookmaking. (In fact it was the pursuit of elegant bindings for her books that led Angela to begin importing Italian ribbons in the first place!)
Though Angela, who studied and taught at Minnesota Center for Book Arts, is a pro, this keepsake book is easy enough for anyone to tackle. Success is in the supplies. Made with beautiful Rifle Paper Co. Gift Wrap and Studio Carta Cotton Ribbon, our keepsake book is perfect for storing momentos from spring’s (or any season’s) most treasured events.
* When considering the entire line of Rifle Paper Gift Wrap and Studio Carta Ribbon, the possibilities are endless. Just let the occasion be your guide. For example, if you’re making a book for the parents of a baby boy, perhaps you could use Rifle Paper Co.’s Blue Toile Gift Wrap with Studio Carta Tight Weave Ribbon in Chartreuse. Or for a wedding Rifle’s Spearmint Blossoms Gift Wrap would look smashing with a bit of Studio Carta Metallic Tight Weave in Natural with Gold Stripe. (See even more colorful combinations on Rifle Paper Co.’s site.)
For our book, Angela and I selected spring-time pairing of Rifle Paper Co.’s romantic wildflower gift wrap with Studio Carta Tight Weave Cotton Ribbon in Peach.
Step 1: If you have not already done so, cut your archival cardboard to the desired size. We chose 8×10. To create your outside cover, lay the cardboard onto your paper and, using this as a template, measure and mark your paper so that it is a couple centimeters, or about 1/2 inch, larger all around. Cut out your paper. Repeat for the other cover.
Step 2: Working quickly brush the glue onto the back of your paper. Then transfer your cardboard to the center and press down, working out any air bubbles with your hands or bone folder.
Step 3: Cut the corners of your paper, leaving about a millimeter between the edge and the cardboard.
Step 4: Fold the first side over. Then using your bone folder, press the corner paper in towards the next fold so it lays against the cardboard edge. Then fold the second side down. Repeat as you go around.
Step 5: When you are done, gently work out any air bubbles with your bone folder. Then lightly tap down on all your corners, so that your cover doesn’t have any sharp edges. Repeat this whole process with the next piece of cardboard.
Step 6: Once you have the outsides of each piece of cardboard covered, it’s time to cover the inside. First measure and cut two pieces of paper so that each is slightly smaller than the cardboard. Again, working quickly, glue the smaller paper so that it covers the inside of each piece of cardboard.
Step 7: On each cover, create 4 slits for your ribbons. First measure the width of your ribbon. Then starting about 1 1/2 inches or 4 centimeters from the top (short side), and about 1 inch or 2.5 centimeters from the edge (long side), make a mark, length-wise, that measures the width of your ribbon. Repeat at all four corners of each cover.
Step 8: Using a small chisel or utility knife, hammer or cut the four slits you just measured. Repeat on the other piece of cardboard.
Step 9: Lay the cardboard covers side by side leaving about 1/4 inch or one centimeter gap in between. Using these as a template, cut two long pieces of ribbon that measure 10 or so inches (25 centimeters) longer, on each side, than your opened book. Then, starting in the middle, thread each end of the ribbon from the outside, across the inside, and back out to the outside. Repeat on the bottom.
That’s it. Though there are many steps, Angela was able to make this book in about 20 minutes!
Angela uses her keepsake books to house treasured correspondence from loved ones.