Today my niece and I had the best time attending a bookbinding class at Bari Zaki Studio in Chicago. Some months ago I blogged about a bookbinding notebook someone had given to Bari as a gift. She posted this notebook on Instagram and I immediately recognized it as my late father’s! Bari gave the book to me and I gave it to my niece since she’s an artist. So I thought it would be fun for my niece and me to take a bookbinding class at Bari’s studio.
We started by choosing a cover for our books. The Japanese paper was all so beautiful.
I chose this purple sakura pattern.
We adhered the paper onto a backing.
Then we made the signatures, which are the pages inside the book. We started with a large piece of paper that we folded and cut a few times until they were sized to fit into the cover we would make in a bit.
We cut and scored the cover so the signatures could fit in properly.
Making the window was key for the stitching that would soon follow.
Then we had to line up the signatures.
Time to start sewing! The thread was thick and covered in wax, so we didn’t have to knot the thread before we started sewing.
We stitched one side first.
And then the other side.
After we finished sewing, we placed thick boards under the cover, where we made a pocket from the Japanese paper.
This is my niece’s finished book! Her paper choice is really elegant and I love the orange thread she chose.
The whole project took about 3.5 hours and included some time for fixing a few sewing mistakes. The class included the tools we used, so now my little kids want to learn how to do buttonhole bookbinding, too.
Our new books can be used for sketching, journaling, or both. I think I’m going to use it as a photo album for my upcoming travel photos, maybe with photo corners. It was such a fun and relaxing afternoon. My dad would have been proud.