Sunday, March 28, 2010

Finishing the book covers

After I left everything dry overnight, I'm ready to finish assembling the covers.  I want the style stone to float in the window, but not fly out of the window, so I need sturdy wire (I used 20 gauge), four beads, two bone folders, and a strong (but flexible) glue (E600 was my choice).

First, I flattened the wire by rolling it between a piece of mat board and my cutting mat.  Tricia Morris demonstrates this technique in the wired book project (right about minute 6:30).  The straight wire is threaded into the style stone, and beads are placed on all four ends.  This makes the stone stay in place better too.

Next, I put a pretty big dollop of glue on each wire end.  I used the two bone folders to hold the wires in place for a few minutes while the glue cured a bit.

Now I get out the bottom front cover, my bookbinding glue, and a foam brush.

Apply glue to the bottom piece of bookboard, and then spread it around.  You don't need a lot.

Set the bottom front cover on the top of the front cover. Because there are wires in between, this is where you need a book press, or some heavy weights to set on your cover.  I put this in my book press, and let it dry for a few hours.

After the covers had dried, it was time to finish wrapping the front cover.  First, the corners of the paper need to be cut off.  If you cut too close to the book board, you'll see some of the book board.  If you cut too far, you'll have a huge lump of cardstock at each corner.  To get it just right, I use two pieces of scrap book board that are the same thickness as my cover to draw a cut line.

Cut the corners with a scissors.  Nobody will see them, so the cuts don't need to be perfectly straight.

Score along each edge of the board, and wrap the sides around the board before applying glue.  This will make the covering process easier and neater.

Apply glue and spread glue along a flap.

After two flaps are folded over, tuck the edge in a bit using a bone folder. This will create a super-neat corner that looks so nice when it's done.

Repeat with the other two sides until the cover is neatly wrapped.  I burnish all edges with a bone folder to make this super neat and crisp.

The process was similar for the back cover, except that this one didn't have a window.  To complete the back cover:

  • Glue the two pieces of book board together.
  • Glue the cardstock to the flat side of the book board.
  • Trim the corners of the cardstock.
  • Score along the edges of the book board, and pre-wrap all four flaps around the cover.
  • Glue two flaps to the cover.
  • Tuck the corners in using the bone folder.
  • Wrap the remaining two flaps.
After the back and front cover were wrapped, I pressed these in my book press overnight to make sure they were cured well.  Come back tomorrow to see how I assemble the book!  If you'd like to see a video on the technique of wrapping the book covers, check out my Getting Started page for some basic tutorials on book binding, and where I get my supplies.

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