Soren's ABC Book is Finished!

About a year ago, at my sister-in-law’s baby shower, I presented the idea of making an alphabet book for the new baby. I asked all of our friends and family to contribute;  they each chose letters from the alphabet and came up with little sayings to go along with each letter. I drew pictures for each letter, and then…….realized I had no idea how in the heck to get the pages into actual book form. Have you ever made a book? Like, a physical hard cover book? I had not. I was a bit in over my head.

I looked into having a local bindery do it for me (would have cost at least $150 because I had decided to use thick paper for the pages…great…), I tried to find a photo album or good-looking three-ring binder to put it into (couldn’t find anything the right size/orientation), and I finally ran into a friend of a friend who has made books. So I bugged her ceaselessly to help me, and she graciously relented, and we bound it ourselves at a local book arts center.

ABC Book Making 1
We had made accordion folds (I royally screwed up mine, oops!) into the binding paper, and I glued each page to one side of each fold. Then we put really heavy brick-things on top to smoosh it all together.
ABC Book making 2
She has measured and cut the boards for the front and back covers and the spine, and is now applying the cover fabric to them.
ABC Book making 3
She then glued one piece of binding paper to the spine of our accordion-folded pages, and she’s now applying glue to the end papers (which will then be glued directly to the cover boards).
ABC Book Cover
Here is the cover. I just glued my page to the front cover, and then bordered it with washi tape.
ABC Book Notes
The beautiful end paper. It’s a soft Japanese paper with a lovely, rich red scalloped pattern. The note is a thanks to the contributors of the book and a dedication to Soren’s late grandmother.
ABC Book Washi Tape
An example of what the bound pages look like. I lined the folds with washi tape to clean up some glue vestiges and some imperfect page positioning.

Some examples of pages:

ABC EABC OABC UABC Y

Final Thoughts!

1. If I do this again, I’ll decide on the method of binding prior to beginning. It would be much easier to just use regular paper (I basically used cardstock) because then binderies could do it for me for a somewhat reasonable price. Or I could use some sort of technological assistance (there are websites for making books).

2. Colored pencil doesn’t show up well on brown paper. I like the look of colored paper (white just seems too stark to me), but it was really difficult to get vibrant colors (or even visible colors).

3. It was really fun to learn how a book is made!

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