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Topic: Piano hinge book Tutorial  (Read 10701 times)
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« on: June 20, 2012 06:49:28 PM »

Someone on pintrest has been posting instructions on bookbinding which are really well done. But stupidly I didn't pin them. In any case I felt like making a book today. Bookbinding is one of the artforms that get great pleasure doing. To do traditional bookbinding takes many stages and days to do. Today I wanted to play not make a more traditional book. So I went into the office and found some Astrobright paper, I have a lot stashed because it is over 100 miles to a paperstore. I had just gotten a copy of Cover to Cover by Shereen LaPlantz, which is a fantastic book on bookbinding, So I got the instructions to make a piano hinge book from it. The book suggests 50 piece of paper folded in half. So I chose 10 pieces of five colors, yellow, pink, red, orange and green.

Astrobright paper

Next I put them together in sets of 5 pieces of folded paper, the sets are known as signatures. The way that a piano hinge binding works is to weave the signatures together with a strong material like wood or metal. Chopsticks or corndog sticks can make really nice books. I had some 1/8 inch dowels which is easier to use because they are flexible. So to keep with the brightness of the paper, I painted the dowels bright purple!

Painted dowels drying.

Next I created a template for cutting slits in the signatures on the fold. I roughly marked the template in about 1 inch increments. Then cut wedges on two signatures (using the template) and tried to weave them together using a dowel.

Notches cut into signatures.

Signatures being woven together with a purple dowel.

Signature open to the middle page so it is easier to weave the dowel.

The first try I had the notches to shallow. So I decided to cut deeper triangles and it was still hard to weave but I was able to do it. That is important to this kind of binding, it has to be tight to hold together, but not so tight that the dowel breaks or the paper rips. So every time you change materials you have to make a new template. When making your own books I suggest opening the signature to the middle page while weaving it makes it easier fit the dowel in the triangle while weaving. Also the notches don't have to be exact but they do need to be consistant from signature to signature. If you decided to use round dowels, turning them while pushing the dowel helps to slide them though the signatures easier. Also be aware that it is easy to damage the corners of the pages while weaving. Piano hinge books are work but they look great and are fun. After weaving the first two signatures together you then weave the third signature on top of them pulling up the triangles that were not used on signature number 2. You continue adding signatures so that the whole book holds together.

You can see how the purple dowels show up woven though the signatures.

The covers were made using scrapbooking cardstock cut to 9 inches by 11 inches, then folded to 5,5 inches by 9 inches.  Next I used the template to cut the notches into the folded end of the covers.  Using wooden dowels I wove the covers ( front and back) onto the book.

Then I had some fun with Jim Holtz die cut of a dress makers dummy and is alterations embossing set.  The covers I used were turquoise so I made the embellishments red and pink.with a few buttons added on.  I had left my covers open because I thought I might want to hand sew though the cardstock.  I suggest gluing them together when done decorating.

Front cover of book.

Back cover of book.

Now is the time to decide how the book will work.  You can set the dowels into a circle and then put them in a tall bottle cover.  Or a more traditional flat book.  For a flat book align the spine so that the pages and dowels are lined up.  Once you have it aligned use some fiber like twine or thread or even yarn to weave the dowels at the top together.  A simple weave of over under will be fine.  This needs to be tight. 

Weaving the dowels with fiber.

Cut ends of bottom of book.

Next do the same thing to the bottom dowels.  If you are going to cut the dowels even with the bottom of the book, place glue on the dowels to secure the last two or three rows of weaving.  I did this for my book but left the top dowels long as a decorative element.  Also I left the two top ends of weaving long to use as bookmarks.  Don't forget to touch up the cut dowels with paint.  It's done!  The book should be able to place in a bookshelf and be able to lay flat when open.

Finished spine of book.

Enjoy crafting today!

Lois the raving crafter

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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2012 07:13:50 PM »

Great tutorial and your pictures are so helpful.  Thank you!  You've been Pinned!

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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2012 07:42:29 PM »

Ouch!  Pinning hurts  :)  Thanks I just woke up one morning wanting to make a piano hinge book and took pictures.  I hope you enjoy making one.


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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2012 08:42:50 PM »

Thanks for sharing pics as well as the text, makes it a whole lot easier for me to understand  Smiley

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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2012 09:40:01 PM »

Thanks I appreciate the compliment!

Enjoy crafting today!

Lois the raving crafter

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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2012 10:08:54 AM »

That's a great book! And awesome tutorial! Thanks loads, I love all the vivid colours involved! ^_^

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« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2012 11:01:09 AM »

Thank you I appreciate your comments.  I hope you will try making the book.


Enjoy crafting today!

Lois the raving crafter

Stop by my blog and say hi!
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2012 02:48:50 PM »

Thanks - this is really cool! I like book binding, but I'd never heard of this method. I will try it ASAP.
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« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2013 10:43:40 AM »

What an AWESOME-looking book! The fact that it lays flat while open is really making me want to try this.

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