Home > Recycled, Shellie Lewis' Art, Video > Recycled Book Art: How to make volumes for free or cheap

Recycled Book Art: How to make volumes for free or cheap

This less than 2 minute video shows two ways that I used to make hand bound art books using recycled materials for free or cheap.

I made paper for the first art book by pulping the interior pages in a blender, adding some white PVA glue and blue acrylic paint with a dash of glitter. I did not have a proper paper mold screen and used the back of a silkscreen, which made very thick, lumpy paper that took a very long time to dry. If I make paper again, I am going to use a better paper mold that lets more water flow through the mesh.

I skipped making paper for the second book and used acrylics paints and ink with a brayer to change the existing pages. Rolling  colors and monoprinting using a glass plate, gelatin or Gelli plate method worked well. I got a nice, thin and fairly even coat of paint on the book pages.

The supplies to get started with book binding are very simple:

  • Heavy thread like carpet thread or button thread. Embroidery floss and thin ribbon are also fairly strong and come in many nice shades,
  • A large needle to make stitches. I like a heavy needle like a large embroidery type.
  • A basic paper awl. If your materials are thin enough, push pins or dressmaker t-pins work.
  • Having a bone folder helps to make nice folded edges.
  • A block of beeswax is nice; it coats the thread and makes it easier to pull, less likely to fray.
  • A jar of YES! Paste Stickflat Glue lasts a long time. It thins with water and works well for all sorts of paper crafting.
  • Two marble or granite floor tiles and waxed paper to press things to dry. I bought two 12 inch polished granite floor tiles from a home outlet store for $4 each. If you put some weight on top, it makes a cheap book press.

You could skip inks and acrylic paints and use materials as you find them to make totally recycled / zero cost books. If you are piercing slimmer materials, a cork board push pin works well to make holes. An awl or needle tool works better if you need to make holes in anything more than 1/8 inch thick. I had some wrinkled pages from the paints and adhesive I used, he nice thing about book binding is that you can get starting making things for under $ 10 – although under $20 gives you a better suite of tools.

Also, check out this great bookbinding channel: Sea Lemon. The tutorial videos are great and the creator has a pattern to make a book press using two wooden cutting boards. Jennifer at Sea Lemon has very clear instructions and the videos are great.

 

 

 

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