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Topic: Envelope Book (with tutorial)  (Read 5818 times)
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« on: April 11, 2011 06:22:28 PM »

I made this envelope book to hold cash for various budget categories in my wallet.  (It's not my original idea.  I first saw it here and here.)

If you're familiar with bookbinding techniques, what I did will be pretty familiar.  I used the envelope template found here.

Heres how I did it.:

First, use the template from the link above, or another template you have available, to cut out and fold as many envelopes as you want in your book. (I found that I could trace the template horizontally on a 1212″ piece of scrapbook paper, and it fit.  The side tabs hung over the sides just a tad, but there was enough tab for the envelope construction to work.)  Dont glue them yet!

(Here Ive pulled an envelope out of the stack and unfolded it so you can see its been cut out and folded, but thats it:)

When your envelopes are all cut out and folded, open them back up.  Then, in the crease that will be the bottom of the envelope, punch eight holes.  (I used a large, open paper clip.)  There should be eight holes one about half an inch from each end, and two that will fit on either side of each of three pieces of ribbon. Unfortunately, the holes are bit difficult to see in this photo.

Here Ive laid my pieces of ribbon across so you can see where the holes will be.  (The ribbons will not be on the inside of the envelope; Im just showing where the holes should be punched.)  Be sure to punch all of your envelopes, and be sure your holes match from envelope to envelope. (I punched the template, then used it as, well, a template, to punch the real envelopes.)

This next part is a little tricky to describe.  You will need another piece of paper for each end of the book, because you dont want to glue your envelopes to the end pieces.  So you need a piece of paper the height and width of the envelopes, but it needs a little tab at the bottom so theres a crease in which to stitch it. If your paper is only printed on one side, you will need to cut it extra-wide, and fold it so that it looks (when viewed from the end) like the picture below.  This serves to keep the blank side to the inside and give you a printed side on both sides of the resulting page. (It doesnt really matter how wide the tabs are; you just need to have some tab so you can sew it.)  If your paper is the same on both sides, you dont need to do all this folding.  Just cut a piece that is the same height as your book and a bit wider, then fold that excess over to make the tab.

Now you will sew the book together.  Stack everything together the way it will look when its finished, so you know what order the pages go in.  The ribbons will go on the outside of the whole thing.  Thread a large needle with a very  long length of dental floss or embroidery floss, but dont knot the end.  Go in through the hole at one end, then out the next hole.  When you go in the next hole, you should sandwich the first ribbon against the book with your stitch.  Continue down the spine in this manner.

When you get to the other end, add the next page (your first envelope) and stitch along it in the same manner but the opposite direction.  Be sure to sandwich the ribbon. Be sure your envelope is facing the right direction!  I checked mine at the beginning and end of each one, just to be sure, because its really easy to get them turned around. At the end of the first envelope, tie the floss youre working with to the original end.  Add the next envelope and stitch along it in the same direction as the first (non-envelope) page.  At the end of it (and the end of each page after this), take a kettle stitch, (Click here for a picture.) then go on to stitching the next envelope. (A kettle stitch is much simpler than most diagrams make it look.  To make one, take your needle under the stitch that goes between the previous page and the one before it and then bring it through the loop created by the length of thread before you pull it taut.)  This all sounds complicated because it isnt easy to explain, but its actually very quick and pretty simple.  When youre done, it should look like this:

For added strength, you can use a paintbrush to tap glue onto the spine all the way down.

And here you can see how the envelopes are still open.  Now its safe to glue the envelopes into their finished state. Just be careful not to glue them shut.

Cut two endpapers.  When folded in half, they should be exactly the height and width of the envelopes.  Fold them in half. (I used cardstock for these, and for the end pages I bound in, which gave some structure.  These endpapers, at least, should probably be cardstock.)  Glue them to the ends of the book, as shown: (The ribbons should still be on the outside, and the inside halves should be glued to the end pages that you sewed in, enclosing the little tab section.)

**This is the point at which we diverge from standard bookbinding.  You could continue with regular bookbinding methods if you prefer, but I found that it added unnecessary and undesirable bulk for a booklet I wanted to slip into my wallet.  (I had actually cut and assembled a "real" cover.)**

Now cut a cover. I used cardstock for this, too, but you could use a decorative paper if your end papers and such are sturdy enough.  When wrapped around the book, it should be about an inch or so larger at each edge.  Glue the book into it, enclosing the ribbons. (The ribbons should be glued to the end papers, then that whole thing ribbons and end papers should be glued to the cover.)  This picture shows it with one side glued in, but you will, of course, glue both sides.

It will look something like this:

Notch out the corners of the covers, wrap them around the endpapers, and glue them down, like this:

Finally, trim off the pieces you see sticking off the ends in the above picture, and then glue the halves of each end paper together, enclosing/covering up the folded over pieces of the cover paper.  Put waxed paper between this and the first envelope at each end (so you wont glue them together by mistake) and place under a stack of books to dry overnight.

When youre done, you should have a nice, neat little book of envelopes. Smiley

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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011 07:09:56 PM »

this is such a cool idea.  and i live the black and white.

and i am pinning it to my swap wishlist cause i have read the instructions 5 times and it still looks like ancient greek to me.  Smiley   maybe someday i will be partnered with a paper crafty book binder.  Cheesy

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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2011 06:57:38 AM »

Really pretty Cheesy

« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2011 06:57:13 PM »

 Smiley This is really neat.  I didn't make a book out of the envelopes, but I found a small six-hole notebook and punched the envelopes and they fit perfectly. Thanks to you and Kelleigh (the blogger who uses them for her Dave Ramsey budget system) for the idea.  Love your pretty paper.  I used plain colored papers and some novelty printed pages.  Now I need to decide how to use my pretty envelope book.
Good tutorial.  Thanks!
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2011 07:08:08 PM »

Smiley This is really neat.  I didn't make a book out of the envelopes, but I found a small six-hole notebook and punched the envelopes and they fit perfectly.

That would definitely be a more time-efficient way to do it!  I needed mine to fit into an existing wallet so, unfortunately, I couldn't use something as wide as rings for mine, but I'm glad yours worked out! Cheesy

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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2011 10:43:07 AM »

I love this! I follow Dave Ramsey's program, and I'm thinking you must too Smiley

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