Let me preface this post by saying that I made and took these pictures back in March of this year but realized I never posted them! Old camera…photos not the best, and looking at the books now, I think the books need ‘a little more of something’ so I’m calling these works in progress because I will be adding to them very soon. I recently picked up a bunch of composition books at a clearance back to school sale, so I am in the mode to work on more!
I was excited to share a technique that I’m surprised to not have seen anywhere. People always say about how a paper binding on these books start to crack after heavy use. Before I knew that fact, my first thought was to always use duct tape for the binding. They sell such great designs and colors now, that I picked up a bunch at a recent sale specifically for this purpose.
Above, you can see I used the duct tape two ways. For the binding and for an embellishment on the front.
I first covered a piece of white chipboard, making sure to match the damask design at the seams, so that it was wide enough to fit this Spellbinders Labels One Die.
In my Cuttlebug, I ran an A Plate, a B Plate, and I think just a paper shim on the top through to cut the shape.
I then cut white chipboard using a slightly smaller die and embossed it for the center. You can see a hint of it in the photo but I also finish off the edges on both sides of the duct tape with a satin ribbon. This gives it a much more finished look. The ribbon wraps to the inside. Then on the inside I cover with paper which I’ll show in a later photo. I use the very thin double sided sticky tape to turn my 1/4 inch ribbon into a sticker. I will be sure to show this in a later post.
Here are 3 of the books that I made. I want to add to them now that I’m looking at them 7 months later with fresh eyes.
I LOVE built in bookmarks in journals, so I figured out a way to do the same for my composition books.
Altered Composition Book – Bookmarks
Roll out a length of duct tape UPSIDE DOWN, to a little longer than the length of the book. You can use the book as a guide like I did here.
You can also measure and cut your ribbon the same way. You’ll want at least 6 inches longer than you need for the bookmark.
Place at least 4 inches of ribbon onto the middle of the tape as close as you can. The extra length ensures that it won’t slip out easily and will be secure with constant tugging. To even be more secure you can also put the ribbon the entire length of the spine, but I find that 4 or 5 inches is plenty.
Then, you start by lining up the top of the books spine, with the TOP of the duct tape where the ribbon is sticking out.
As you can see, it’s lined up right to the top and is a nice edge as long as you have sharp scissors or an xacto knife when you cut your length of tape in the previous step.
Then, as tight as you can, just pull the tape around to the other side and smooth it out as much as you can. The texture of the duct tape is very forgiving when it comes to minor crinkles should you not get the tape smoothly wrapped around the spine so don’t worry.
This will put the ribbon directly in the middle of the spine for a nice built in bookmark.
Once wrapped, you can either cut off the access tape with scissors, or I like to use an xacto knife.
For this one, instead of ribbon, I finished the edge of the tape with a strip of glossy yellow paper to bring out the hint of yellow in the tie dye duct tape. Now I just need to figure out what design I’m going to do for the front of this. Too plain.
On the insides, I just cover with either a printed or a solid piece of card stock. I use ATG tape, and cut with an xacto knife to fit. Then if there are rough edges, I use my sanding block to sand down the edges a bit.
As with this one, I’ve embellished the front with some die cut kraft paper and black paper, and stamped with white stazon ink two different sentiments I had together.
I love making these and they are so quick. I hope to make a ton of them to make available in either my etsy store, or my intotheether.net online store here on my site.
Let me know your thoughts!