First, I cut the book board into appropriately sized pieces. I use a clear grid ruler (this is one that quilters might find familiar) and a utility knife.
I cut two pieces for the front and two pieces for the back, since I want both covers to be roughly the same thickness. Each cover is 1/8 inch wider, and 1/4 inch taller than the book I will be placing between the covers.
The thickness of two front covers is larger than the thickness of the style stone so that the stone will float in the window I create. To create the window, I put the stone on one of the front covers, and used a pencil to trace some lines. The "x" was drawn so I can measure from the center as needed.
Once I had the width established, I drew a line for the top and bottom.
After cutting the window, I used the window in the top cover to trace the window in the bottom cover. By using the top cover as a template, I minimize the amount of measuring I need to do!
I want the bottom cover to have a slightly larger window than the top cover. This will cover up any rough edges, since you won't be able to see them! A grid ruler with 1/8" markings makes this very easy. I like the one Club Scrap sells - it has a centering line, and clear 1/8" markings.
After cutting the windows out of both front covers, I painted the corners of the top cover, and all of the exposed edges of the bottom cover with black acrylic paint. I'm not too fussy about my paint for this kind of project - any black paint you like will work well.
The top front cover needs paper on the top to make it pretty! I like using the bookbinding glue from Club Scrap as my adhesive, and bone folder to burnish the paper onto the cover. It is important to use a glue made for bookbinding here - a PVA glue with a strong bond is a must.
Next, I cut an "X" in the window, and wrapped the paper around to the back to create the window. The X does not need to be perfect since this will be hidden in the final book, so I just free-hand cut this with my craft knife. Notice that just a bit of the raw edge of the bookboard will show - the black paint gives this a finished look.
The bottom cover needs paper on the back of the board to create a finished look. Before doing this, test out which side up will give you the best centering of the window and bookboard - since the window is traced from the top cover, one orientation will generally work a little better.
After glueing this far, I wanted to make sure everything was well adhered for the long term, so I put this in my book press overnight. If you don't have a book press, a few heavy books or weights will also work. Make sure any sides that might "ooze" glue have a piece of wax paper on them. As a funny side note, my husband bought me my book press for Christmas. He was tired of me "borrowing" his chemistry books - especially since he needed them to prepare for class!
A word of caution. The only bookboard I had on hand to make a thick enough cover to act as a sandwich for the style stone was 0.097" thick Davey Binders Board (try Hollander's or Talas to order). This is extremely dense and hard to cut. My hand is still sore about a week later from cutting this by hand! I recommend using the less dense regular bookboard (try Hollander's or Twinrocker to order) and/or using a thinner item to be in the window. I used the less dense board on the back cover, because I didn't mind if the cover weight and thickness varied a bit.
That's it for today - whew! I am loving how this is turning out so far, and hope you like it, too.