Book Craft – Folded Note Book

Hello Fellow Crafters!

Today we’re going to make our own book! Awesome-sauce! Now, don’t get too excited – it’s not the kind of book you’d submit to the Library of Congress or assign an ISBN number to but it is super-practical, super-easy and super-fun! (OK, enough with the super and the exclamation points.!)

Have you ever seen an interesting title at the bookstore, or heard an author interviewed on NPR or gotten a recommendation from a friend and think “I’ll remember that” but when you need the information, it’s long gone or completely muddled? (Or is that just me?!) The Folded Note Book can help you with that! It’s a nice trim size that will easily slip into your purse or pocket. You can use it to make quick notes or reminders on-the-go. Shelley from Customer Service pointed out that it would make a great bookmark, handy if you want to note down a great quote from the book you’re reading or list the author’s next book.

They’re also great for adapting to whatever you’d like – make it into a tiny art journal or doodle sketchbook, write inspiring quotes and positive reminders, or, you know, your grocery list! It’s up to you. Here are a couple of examples.

The Folded Note Book is very simple to make and requires very few materials – you probably have everything you need at your desk. You’ll need some paper (duh). I’m using 8 1/2 x 11 in these examples, but you can experiment with different sizes. Plain old photocopy paper works just fine, but again, you can experiment with different types of paper depending on what you have on hand and what you want to do with the note book. Make sure the paper isn’t too heavy or stiff – you need something that will fold crisply without tearing or breaking.

(NOTE: A bouquet of daffodils sitting nearby is not required, but aren’t they pretty? Daffodils make everything better – it’s one of my Life Mantras!)

You’ll also need a pair of scissors. A bone folder is super handy, but completely optional. That’s it! That’s all you need! If you want to decorate the note book you can go crazy – stickers, markers, colored pencils, washi tape – but that’s entirely up to you.

Step One: With one of the long sides of the paper closest to you, fold the paper in half horizontal. If you have a bone folder, use it to create a crisp, even fold otherwise use the side of your thumb.

Step Two: Without unfolding your paper, now fold it in half vertically from right to left.

Step Three: Repeat Step Two.

You now have a piece of paper folded to the final size of the Note Book.

Step Four: Unfold the paper and observe the folds. You’ll have eight “sections” created by the fold lines. At this point I like to refold the fold lines in the opposite direction so that they will fold easily in either way during a later step, but this is optional.

Step Five: Fold the paper in half along the short center fold. You will have four “sections” on either side of the fold (ok, I guess that is obvious!) Take your scissors that have been waiting patiently and make one CUT in the center of the paper (follow the fold line) from the fold across ONE section. Try to be as neat and accurate as possible.

Step Six: Open up your now cut paper. The cut should be right smack dab in the middle of the paper along the long fold.

Step Seven: Here’s the “tricky” part. Pick up each side of the paper on the short ends and PINCH it together (this is why I like to refold every fold – it helps with this part) while folding the paper in half lengthwise. As you gently push the two ends together, an alarming hole should appear. Continue to push the ends toward each other and the folds should collapse together (sometimes the folds need a little encouragement)

Step Eight: Almost done! Wrap the outer sections around the two inner sections and voila! you have a little Note Book! Yay you!

There are lots of variations of the folded Note Book and how to create it. Our Note Books has eight pages (counting front and back) but I’ve seen where people cut the folds attaching the pages so that they have 16 pages (don’t cut the spine though!) And Christie from Customer Service pointed out that it can be folded as an accordion book (we’re going to do a “real” accordion book in Book Crafts later in the year), no cutting required. Experiment! Try different papers and styles. They take less than 5 minutes to make – a fun and relaxing way to push your creativity.

Here’s an example of a Tiny Art Journal (I use the term “art” lightly here!) that I made out of the kraft paper Note Book. It’s basically me cutting and pasting various bits of pretty paper and then doodling, but it’s tons of fun and very low pressure – so what if not every spread is a masterpiece? The idea is to make something and these little Note Books are the perfect (and safe) place for your crafting.

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BONUS! If you’d like a Note Book illustrated with green stripes like the one shown in the first picture, we’ve got a free download for you! Just click below and print it off. It’s sized to regular letter-sized paper so you don’t need to make any special adjustments. When you fold it, be sure to lay the printed side FACE DOWN with the “Notes” section closest to you.

Click HERE for the illustrated version of the Folded Note Book.

We would love to see what you come up with the Folded Note Book! Snap picture and post it to our Instagram account @davpublib with the hashtag #davenportlibrarybookcrafts. Enjoy!

Book Crafts – Book Folding

Hi! Welcome to Book Crafts where we explore book-related crafts. Sometimes we’ll use an old book (NOT a library book!) and sometimes we’ll try our hand at making our own tiny books and journals.

(If you’re uncomfortable with reworking an old book into something new, you might want to skip this series! I prefer to think of it as extending the life of the book and giving it a new purpose while still celebrating the written word. And, it’s fun.)

Today we’re going to try Book Folding. This is where you take an old book, fold some of the pages in a prescribed pattern to create an image or word with the pages. OK, that sounds kind of convoluted. Here’s a picture of our finished craft:

This heart is a very simple pattern (and quick to complete). If you do a Google or Pinterest search you will find oodles of these designs, many of them extremely intricate and complicated, but we’re going to go with beginner level. Here are the materials you’ll need:

A book (duh), a ruler with centimeter markings and a pencil (you don’t need to use a fancy pencil like this, but isn’t it pretty?). A bone folder (a piece of hard plastic with a smooth edge used in bookbinding and other crafts) comes in handy but isn’t required.

Be choosy when picking a book. It needs to be sturdy enough to stand on it’s own and slim enough to make the folded section stand out. Take a look at the three books in the picture. The red one is very pretty with a lovely, speckled design on the page edges, but it’s a little heavy and lists to one side. The blue one would have worked well, but I decided to use the lavender one because of the color of the page edges. Hint: I found all three of these books at the Friends bookstore!

Now that you have your materials, it’s time for some math. Only a little math, I promise!

The heart uses 40 pages. To find the page to start on, divide the number of pages in the book by 2, then subtract by 20. This will put the center of the heart at the center of the book. Example: for a 300 page book, divide by 2 which equals 150. Subtract 20 which equals 130, thus start folding on page 130. My book is 268 pages; divided by 2 equals 144, minus 20 equals 124. Easy!

Open your book to the page number that you’ve just calculated. Lay the book down vertically with the page numbers on your right and the first part of the book closest to you. Confession here: I actually started folding my pages on page 125 because page 124 fell on the lower of the two pages. You will be folding the pages that are on the top part of your book layout.

Now take your ruler and lay it along the edge of the top page with the start of the ruler on the left. Use your pencil to mark the two values for Page 1 on the list (the list is at the end of this post) in centimeters. You can see the two tiny pencil marks I made here.

Fold the sides of the page along the lines you’ve marked. Keep the folds as close to 90 degrees as possible. This is where a bone folder comes in handy to make a smooth, even fold, but you can also use the side of your thumb.

Turn to the next page and continue folding each of the 40 pages as indicated on the list. Each page will have marks in different places which creates the design. Here I’ve folded the first four pages of the pattern. Try to be as accurate as possible with your marks as this will make the design clearer. I also found it helpful to print off the list and mark off each page as I completed them – it’s easy to lose your place if you don’t!

This is a fun, relaxing craft (really, it is!), a great project while watching tv or listening to an audio book. I would love to hear if anyone tried this craft and how it turned out! Send us a photo on Instagram to @davpublib and use the hashtag #davenportlibrarybookcrafts.

And here’s your chart:

 

 

 

A Year Between Friends by Maria Vettese and Stephanie Barnes

yearbetweenfriendsMaria and Stephanie both live in Portland, but are 3191 miles apart. That’s because Maria lives in Portland, Maine and Stephanie lives in Portland, Oregon. Over the years these friends have shared their lives with each other through letters and photographs. They have managed to forge and maintain a deep bond across the distance, exchanging recipes and practical life tips and sharing the ups and downs of life. They are small town neighbors in the new world of technology.

Collaborating since 2007, Maria and Stephanie continue to document their lives in their blog, 3191. Twice a week they post a diptych, a picture from of them showing what’s going on in their separate lives right now. The focus is on the small and ordinary – flowers, children at play, bounty from the garden, the outdoors and sleeping cats. Recipes and crafts are shared and advice requested and given. A Year Between Friends follows the same format, beginning in January and running through December, with an emphasis on the small pleasures of a life well lived. There are big events too – Maria loses her Mother unexpectedly early in the year, and gives birth to a baby girl in late July. And they aren’t always apart – Stephanie makes the trip cross country after the birth of baby Luna to spend time with Maria and her family.

The photography is exquisite –  you can learn a lot about perspective, cropping and lighting by studying these pictures. The real value, of course, is the stories they tell, of how different and yet how similar these lives are, their mutual appreciation of the beauty around them and the love and support they bring to each other.

Besides the photos and letters, A Year Between Friends includes several crafts, most of which are lovely and practical and simple to make (although I’m not sure about the pinecone ornament – no mater how charming, that’s a lot of sewing!) There are also recipes; I’m not a cook, but I’d be happy to eat just about anything shown here!

This is a lovely, quiet book, an excellent choice to end or begin the year (or anytime really), inviting you to step back and take a look at your life and what is really important. What is it you want to remember when you look back? A child’s smile? A walk through a summer-green forest? Cookies fresh from the oven? A friend’s laughter? A Year Between Friends shows just how special the ordinary can be.

 

DIY Artisanal Soaps by Alicia Grosso

diy artisanal soapsMaking your own luxurious and lovely soaps is easier than you think. With DIY Artisanal Soaps, you’ll find everything you need to make all-natural, custom-designed soaps using locally sourced ingredients and beautifully scented essential oils.

Featuring easy-to-follow instructions and tips for personalizing your designs, this book guides you through every step of soapmaking, allowing you to create unique bath and home products every time. Learn how to turn your garden or farmers’ market finds into beautiful, handcrafted soaps, with invigorating scents like peppermint and rosemary or the summer-inspired pairings of ginger and papaya. You can even customize the fragrances and textures in the recipes to create the perfect product for your skincare needs.

Complete with stunning photographs and unique ideas for gifting, packaging, and selling your creations, DIY Artisanal Soaps helps you bring the vibrant colors and scents of nature into your home. (description from publisher)

The Spoonflower Handbook by Stephen Fraser

spoonflowerDesigning fabric, wallpaper, and gift wrap used to be the stuff of dreams. Only a few select creatives got to do it, and it required formal training and significant financial investment. But times have changed, and today anyone with a computer, Internet connection, and idea can upload a file and order their own fabric or paper, printed affordably one yard or more at a time.

At the forefront of this revolutionary DIY movement is Spoonflower, a North Carolina startup that produces designs for hundreds of thousands of users worldwide–24 hours a day/seven days a week to keep up with demand. With step-by-step tutorials and projects that span a wide spectrum of skills, The Spoonflower Handbook  by Stephen Fraser is written for both new and experienced users of this print-on-demand technology. Covering everything from equipment to software to working with photos, scans, repeats, vector files, and more, it is an essential guide to a booming new creative outlet. (description from publisher)

Homemakers by Brit Morin

homemakersThe rules of homemaking have radically changed. Today’s generation is digitally connected 24/7 and often more focused on climbing the career ladder at the office than the stepladder at home. But the home “maker” evolution has just begun.

Thanks to advances in technology, tomorrow’s men and women will find themselves using new gadgets and apps to cook, clean, decorate, and even manufacture everything from decor to clothing, from right inside their homes. In Homemakers, Brit Morin, founder of the wildly popular lifestyle brand, app, and website Brit + Co, reimagines homemaking for the twenty-first century, making it as simple as possible to go from amateur to pro with easy charts, tips, recipes, DIY projects, and tech shortcuts.

Simple, beautiful, and stylish, Homemakers offers the digital generation a wealth of innovative ideas and how-tos for a more creative life. (description from publisher)

Materially Crafted by Victoria Hudgins

materially craftedDesign enthusiasts are bombarded with beautiful inspiration at every turn, but many lack the foundation necessary to re-create their dream projects. Materially Crafted is a must-have guide for design mavens seeking to develop their DIY chops, even if they’re embracing their crafty side for the first time.

Victoria Hudgins, creator of the popular design blog A Subtle Revelry , uncovers the best and least intimidating ways to work with the most popular crafting materials–from spray paint and concrete to thread, wax, and paper–and presents more than 30 easy projects to get everyone started. Peppered with Hudgins’s tips for “merrymaking the everyday” (using simple DIY ideas to live life more joyfully) plus inspirational photos of projects created by other prominent bloggers, Materially Crafted is an indispensable guide for a new generation of design enthusiasts looking to DIY their own distinctive style. (description from publisher)

Guerilla Furniture Design by Will Holman

guerilla furniture designGuerilla Furniture Design is an innovative collection that features 35 simple, inexpensive projects that you can make from salvaged and upcycled materials — cardboard, metal, plastic, and wood.

The projects include tables, shelving units, chairs, lamps, and more, in a variety of styles. Many are stackable and easily portable, most can be made in a weekend, and all include instructions for disassembly and disposal when you’re ready to repurpose the materials.

If you’d rather make than buy, these low-budget, high-style designs are just what you’re looking for. (description from publisher)

Novel Living by Lisa Occhipinti

novel livingIn this digital age, the fate of physical books remains in question. Even the concept of curling up with a good book conjures new images. But there remains a sensory thrill to physical books–to seeing and feeling them, to turning their pages – that makes many of us value them even more as digital reading grows in popularity.

In Novel Living, artist Lisa Occhipinti celebrates her love for physical books by presenting us with her unique ideas for collecting and displaying them, for conserving and preserving them, and for crafting with them. Guided by Occhipinti’s artful eye, you’ll be inspired to build and display collections based on your personal passions and to use books for crafting, either by deconstructing or by copying favorite elements. Amazingly, most of the projects – ranging from easy shelving to a headboard constructed of book spines to napkins composed of scans of favorite text passages from books–require no special skills or supplies. (description from publisher)

Let’s Sew Together by Rubyellen Bratcher

lets sew togetherDon’t just sew for your kids. Sew with them!

Simple sewing techniques make craft time fun for kids and grown-ups alike in Let’s Sew Teogether, with ideas for vintage-inspired clothes, accessories, quirky home decor, cute toys, and sweet gifts designed by the mum behind the popular parenting and craft blog Cakies.

Rubyellen Bratcher has invented 30 simple projects that encourage families to spend more time together through DIY activities. This mum of four learned how to sew at her local fabric shop, but soon found that her daughters were her greatest source of inspiration. Documenting her family’s daily life and DIY adventures online, Rubyellen’s blog, Cakies, has steadily grown into a destination for parents and crafters of all ages. In her first book, she offers 30 projects for kids and grown-ups to make together, including a handpainted skirt, scribbled placemats, a robot friend, easy felt party garlands, overstuffed dollhouse pillows, a gorgeous world-map quilt, and much more. Each chapter also includes no-sew projects, educational activities, play ideas, and reading suggestions to encourage imagination and learning. (description from publisher)