Friday, November 5, 2010

Handmade Books

It's interesting, how I came to learn how to make books. I was taking an oil painting class for fun when I found out I was pregnant with my first babe. I withdrew from the class, in a effort to not cause birth defects to the baby-to-be, but the school, not thrilled about giving me a refund for the class, suggested I pick a different class instead. I chose bookmaking because it was the only one that worked with my schedule. To my surprise, I loved every minute of it.

Over the years, my bookmaking phases have come and gone, but whenever I do get up the gumption to make a few, they are always for giving. They make such great gifts because they are easily customized to the age/gender/preferences of the recipient. This year, I am making a bunch of small sketch books for the kids on my holiday list (like the green and brown book). There may be a few for the grownups, too, because I love that floral paper and have the urge to use it. It makes me think of Florence, though I have never been there.

Last year, I made a few as gifts (pictured below). One was bound full of musical notation paper for "A," the other is a very precious portfolio of artwork worth sharing in its own post (coming soon)

I had originally planned on doing a handmade book tutorial, but after remembering just how many steps are involved, I decided otherwise. Here are a few links for you instead:
Make your own Moleskine-like book
Make your own journal
Bind with a Japanese binding (which is pictured in the books I made)
How to make a sketch book
A great list of resources (books and online) here 


  1. The books you have created are absolutely gorgeous! I have always been interested in making books but never did take a class, thank you for sharing these links and inspiration!
    (Can I just mention again the stone you made for the swap is I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E.) : )

  2. Superawesome! I love it. You are so talented. I love the materials you chose. Thanks so much for the links! xo Angela

  3. Wow Amy you are spectacular!
    So many talents up your sleeve, literally ;)
    Big Hugs!

  4. I love this post Amy and I can't wait to sit down with a cup of tea and check out those links. I took a bookmaking class in grad school and was surprised at how much I liked it.
    I can't wait to see more of that book full of artwork. I love how books have to be held to be experienced, often 'functional' work is still displayed on the wall, ah but a book must be opened and paged through, and begs for a cup of tea and some time.
    Beautiful post!

  5. What a great post, your books are beautiful.
    I always wanted to make a book, thank you for the great links.

  6. What a great technique to have on tap whenever you need a gift - and it would be a gift any recipient would love to get! Thanks for the list of links, I am going to have fun looking through all those - take care and have a fun weekend Em x

  7. I love your books Amy. They are so beautiful. I love the one you made for "A" with music paper. It's fantastic. Thanks for all of the links. I look forward to going through them and learning how to do this myself. Very lovely.

  8. Those are gorgeous! I'm a paper lover and your work is beautiful. I never formally learned how to bookbind but have tried a few techniques here and there. Thanks for the links, will check them out!

  9. So beautiful, the "Japanese binding" is gorgeous! I can't wait to learn how to make books properly, thank you for the links!

  10. Oh I love these. I have wanted to try my hand at book making for a while so thank you for posting the links.

    That paper really is very reminiscent of Florence.

  11. wow, i'd say you've perfected the craft! they look amazing!i learned a few weeks ago how to do the coptic stitch binding and it is not easy!

  12. How fun and practical too! It's funny how some skills tend to only be used for gifts.

  13. I adore handmade books although i have yet to try to make one. :) Yours are gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing wonderful list of resources with us!! Have a lovely merry happy week and love to you!

  14. Amy, those books are so gorgeous. Truly, your work is so incredible, and this post has inspired me to gather some materials and make some books for the boy and friends for the holidays.

  15. Oh, Amy! These are beautiful. I love the floral one for the exact same Italian! You should/could sell these. Thank you for the links...I was just thinking I should make a special music book for Lala, who sits in the afternoons many days and writes music.