Monday, 2 January 2017

Mamhead Album Completed

I pulled out all the stops yesterday and today, and got the mini-album about our walk in the woods completed at last.

I am grateful to Zsuzsa of Inky Dinky Doodle blog for sharing the instructions for binding books using the hidden hinge method.

While binding the book, I made a mistake – see below – if you are intending to follow this post of mine as a tutorial for binding your own book, please read it through before you start, or you’ll end up getting in the same pickle I found myself in!!

01 Front Cover

Yesterday I made the hidden hinges to bind the pages together, from the inked scrap card Id made up previously. I scored each one individually, either with two score lines running parallel the length of the hinge, or a single score line, depending on how thick the embellishments were on each page.

146 Making the Hidden Hinges

Adding the glue to the hinge. In this picture, the left-hand page of the pair has already been attached to the hinge.

147 Appling the Glue to the Hidden Hinge

The completed double page spread with its hidden hinge.

148 Strong Tower Pages with Hidden Hinge

Here are all the pages with their hinges complete, and ready to be assembled into the two albums.

149 All the Page Pairs with Hidden Hinges Fitted

This was done by glueing each page pair back to back with the next one in sequence in the book.

I strengthened the spine of each one by glueing on some roofing felt (a bit like fabric Tyvek).

150 Applying Roofing Felt to the Spine

The two albums with the roofing felt glued on their spines and trimmed.

151 Roofing Felt on Spines Trimmed













THIS IS WHERE I DISCOVERED MY MISTAKE! I hadn’t fully understood the instructions, and attached the first and last pages fully, which meant there was no gap at the spine end for an extra flap to be added, which would be attached to the inside of the front and back covers.

I had to try and remedy this mistake, and spent a long time, carefully separating the spine end of the front and back pages, using a sharp knife. The Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive is very strong! – which is why I used it in the first place… I had to be very careful not to damage the hinge or it would show inside the book. It was very, very difficult, but eventually I succeeded, but the spine edge of the first and last pages was a bit roughed up. I managed to sort this out with a bit of judicious painting with some acrylic paints, at a later stage, and now, you wouldn’t really know I’d originally done it wrong. This is the first time I’ve made a book like this, and it’s a bit of a learning curve, but I think I’ve learnt my lesson!

After I’d sorted out that problem, it was time to move on and create the cover itself. I found a nice sheet of fairly substantial chipboard and cut the front and back covers and the piece for the spine, according to the measurements of the book.

151 The Cover Chipboard Pieces Cut

I was originally going to cover this book with paper, but didn’t have anything large enough unless I was going to do it in sections, covering the front and back pieces individually, and then covering the spine with a half-binding, which I didn’t want to do on this album. I thought about it for a while and then decided to use fabric, if I had anything suitable. I found a piece of Laura Ashley cotton fabric with tiny leaves printed on it, in a nice rich rusty brown colour, which I thought would be ideal. This has been in my stash for many years.

In the next photo you can see the fabric laid out, with the chipboard pieces in place. They were attached onto the fabric with double-sided tape, and the gaps between the front and back pieces and the spine were measured by inserting two thicknesses of the chipboard offcuts – without this gap, the book will not close.

The fabric was trimmed and the corners cut diagonally, leaving a small amount so that the corners of the chipboard would not be exposed. I added more double-sided tape around the edges and folded the fabric around, keeping it nice and taut as I worked.

152 Assembling the Fabric Cover

I cut some small pieces of Tyvek (I use Tyvek envelopes that I bought on Ebay – much cheaper than buying sheets of Tyvek from an art supplier) and glued them into the openings I’d created in the first and last pages of the alum, and trimmed the sides diagonally so that they wouldn’t show once I’d covered the inside of the album cover.

152 Tyvek Flaps Added to Spine

Holding the book upright so that the spine rested in place on the spine section of the cover, I glued the Tyvek firmly to the cover pieces, front and back, using Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive, and closed the covers around the book and pressed everything firmly together. I forgot to take a photo of this stage.

The final step was to glue down the remaining pieces of paper to cover the insides of the cover and the Tyvek. I cut the paper slightly smaller than the size of the cover so that the fabric would show by about 1/8 inch. This meant that the Tyvek by the spine would also show a bit, so I got my acrylic paints out and stippled on some colour to match the end papers, and at the same time, painted over the roughened edges where I’d had to open them up to insert the Tyvek. Once this was done, it all looked nice and neat and tidy and you couldn’t really tell that I’d made that mistake! Phew. What a relief. And there was me, thinking I’d ruined both copies of the album that I’ve been working on for months!

You can see that I have used the 12 x 12 piece of card that I did my “mask and spray” technique, using my Infusions when I first got them. You can read about that project here.

154 Front Endpapers

I used the green piece with the leaves for the endpapers at the back of the book, because, making two copies of the book, I wouldn’t have had enough of the floral piece to use for front and back of both books.

155 Back Endpapers

Now it was time to embellish the cover. I decided to use the offcuts from the floral Infusions sheet, and attached these using soft acrylic gel medium. I had saved the narrow strips I’d cut off when making the leaf endpapers for the back of the books, and attached two of these to make a partial frame. I’d kept back the two little “logs” that I’d made from round teabag stains, and I attached these at the top left hand corner of the books.

153 Embellishing the Covers

I did a mock-up with the embossed leaves I’d selected for the covers, so that I would know where to place the text, and how much room I had to play with, and then I wrote the titles on the books, using my white Uniball marker pen.

01 Front Cover

I sprayed the whole of the front cover with fixative because in my experience, that white marker pen isn’t that permanent and can get rubbed off. I hope this will protect it a bit and make it a bit more durable. Once this was done, I attached the leaves using Pinflair gel glue and left the books to dry overnight – Pinflair glue is brilliant for this sort of thing, because it’s very dimensional and thick, and prevents 3-D embellishments from becoming flattened, but as a result, it does take a long time to dry.

Another thing that I think I will do better on my next attempt at making a book, is to cut the chipboard for the covers fractionally longer than the length of the pages. On these two books, the pages project beyond the cover by a fraction of an inch. It’s not too noticeable unless you are looking for it, but I think this could be improved upon next time.

Over the coming days I am hoping to make a video slideshow of the making of these albums, and also one of a flip-through of the finished book.

We are going out again tomorrow with our friends, and I am intending to give them their copy of the album over lunch. I hope they will enjoy it.


  1. You did a superb job with this Shoshi! Yes, I almost missed out the front and back bit as well. I had to read the instructions several times to understand the concept - I thought it was just me being thick! Once you understand how it works though - it really makes sense! It's so hard to give clear instructions in a written format, even with photos. Perhaps someone will once make a clear video tutorial of this method. I couldn't find any on YT. Your book looks professionally bound! Thanks for the mention. I'll put here the link to the original tutorial in case someone needs it. They wouldn't find it on my blog as I only linked to it myself:

  2. This turned out SO beautiful! It's a fantastic album. I love the hidden hinge system. I watched a video on Youtube about it - can't remember which one. Congrats on getting it finished!


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