Hand-bound books and much more . . .

I found this today while researching ‘but and ben’ croft architecture. (don’t ask)


Her posts are very interesting and her work is lovely. I’ve long had an interest in hand-made books and have some ideas for making a couple for myself. Felicity surpasses all I have dreamed of.

Hope you all enjoy this one.  ~ Linne


23 thoughts on “Hand-bound books and much more . . .

  1. That’s amazing. I need to find someone to rebound our family Bible. It has been in the family for generations and is in dire need of repair. ❤

    • You can likely find a hand bindery somewhere near you, Stacy. You might try searching online. One thing, photograph it and make sure you get a signed receipt for it before you hand it over. We lost some artwork due to my overly trusting nature when I was younger. (I’m still pretty trusting, but a bit more careful now). I also lost a collection of several early cameras, including one that used a silver emulsion covererd plate. I loaned it to a guy to use in a window display and of course he disappeared and I never saw him again. My younger son is a photographer and I so wish I still had them to give him)

      • Oh no – I wish you hadn’t lost that camera, Linne. But thank you for the advice – I will certainly heed your words when I get the binding repaired. ❤

      • Unfortunately, it was several old cameras, Stacy. And I wish I hadn’t lost them, too. I like to be trusting, but have learned to be careful, too. You may want to see if you can get a recommendation for a bindery, too.

    • Recycled paper is very easy to make. Rip paper into smallish pieces (don’t cut, rip); about the size of a postage stamp is good. This is the most time-consuming part of the project. It looks better if you keep different colours separate or you get greyish paper. Soak overnight or longer, then whiz in a blender with a fair bit of water. Pour into a shallow plastic tub bigger than your mould. If you use a strainer, you can re-use some of the water and just dump the fibres into the tub.

      You can use an old picture frame or one of the inexpensive wooden frames used to stretch canvas for painting on. Or a set of embroidery hoops. Stretch plastic bug netting across the bottom and fold up the outside; staple it on the sides. Holding the mould with the screening up (you don’t want to catch the fibres inside the frame, but on top of the ‘bottom’), dip it gently into the water containing the slurry, swirling a bit to spread the fibres out evenly. Let it drain for a moment or two, then carefully turn it over onto a few pieces of plain newsprint and leave to dry. If you want it very smooth (say to write on), put a few more pieces on top, then add a board bigger than your paper and a weight on top of that.

      Once the paper is mostly dry, peel it carefully off the newsprint, turn over and let it finish drying.

      It’s fun to colour the paper by adding dye to the slurry (or just use coloured paper to begin with). Adding small dried leaves, petals, bits of moss, etc. make the paper prettier and more interesting.

      If you really like paper-making, there are lots of ways to make a better quality and I know there are plenty of books and online information on that. This is just for fun and to see if it interests you enough to pursue more seriously. It’s also a great thing to do with kids, who can then make their own notepaper or greeting cards or maybe even their first wee book . . .

      • It sounds fun! I will give it a go, have copied this onto my computer. I would love to make some with petals, leaves, moss just sounds wonderful…will be a lovely activity to do with my granddaughter, along with flower petal ink.
        Thanks for that 🙂

      • I’m glad you reposted the flower petal ink post (I did, too!). I have some watercolour paper here somewhere and would love to try it. Something an art teacher taught me years ago, in case you feel intimidated by doing the painting:

        Go outside and find a few twigs of different diameters. Break them off about six to ten inches long. Then break them in the middle. Try it with different trees or bushes, too. Willow and apple work well. Use these for your ‘brushes’. You have no pre-conceived image of a painting done this way, so whatever you do will be ‘right’. He had our class do this with India Ink on watercolour paper and in our sketchbooks. I still have some of my sketches; they turned out more interesting than I would ever have predicted. And it got me past being intimidated by the professional work I’d seen done in brush and ink. On looking at the delicate colours of these inks, I was thinking I’d like to try making branch shapes with a twig and India Ink, then adding flowers here and there. In my mind, it seems it would give a very Japanese look, especially if the blossoms were simple, like plum blossoms. Thanks again, Wendy. I’m now following Rock Farmer . . . ~ Linne

      • Rock Farmer does some amazing things, she is very inspiring. Cooks the most delicious food however I’m not sure what alot of the ingredients are.

        The twigs sound another good idea Linne, having no preconceived ideas of how something should look would suit me very well lol. I love the thought of doing all these things from that which is found in the garden. Beautiful. Thanks for all the good advice! Wendy

      • I have been looking at some of her food posts. Let me know if there’s an ingredient you aren’t familiar with; I may know (or not lol) And you’re welcome!
        Coming up with ideas is one of my favourite things to do and it’s always nice when I can share them. ~ Linne

      • If you like making the paper and painting on it with the inks, you may want to bind some of the work into a small booklet, too . . . there are easy ways to do that as well. ~ Linne

      • I think you may want to make one with her work and one with yours (or else combine them!). You are right; a very special thing for her to have later. Nothing like lovely memories . . .

    • I had a friend in Victoria (BC) who took a course in hand bindery and it was so fascinating. I wish there were time to pursue all the interesting crafts out there . . .

    • I love hand-made books and just had to share. I don’t browse around much anymore, but occasionally look up things; in this case, looking up ‘but and ben cottage’ led me to her work.

      • My son commissioned an artist who made handmade books to make him a special journal. It was lovely and he got exactly what he wanted :).

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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