In addition to the bradel binding featured in my last entry, I created a few other books for my recent wedding. (Not to mention all of those paper hearts!) Now that M and I have returned and recovered from our trip to Scotland, I thought I’d take a look at a few of the details from our lovely, stormy day—including, yes, the hand-made books that were present.
I had originally planned to make a separate vow book for each of us, but at some point over the summer I had the brilliant idea to make a single dos-á-dos. In a way, I think that this sort of thing is exactly what this structure was meant for, even if that’s not historically accurate. With this structure, any level of not-square-ness (the technical term) easily becomes magnified, but overall my first attempt at this structure didn’t provide any serious challenges. For added visual appeal and to make it obvious during the ceremony which way was up, I added ribbon bookmarks for each half.
This was my first accordion book, as well, but it’s an extremely simple structure. The biggest challenge was that I was working with materials that could not easily be replaced—I created the text by hand ahead of time, and then had to put the book together. Any serious mistake would have meant that I’d have to start over again from scratch, which I really didn’t have time to do.
For the writing, I ended up printing out the text on regular printer paper, and then traced over it with gel pens for the actual book. I then cut each line of text out into a separate strip, and, after a test run with some blank paper, glued the two strips together with PVA. I allowed it to try flat overnight, trimmed the edges, folded it up, and then made and attached the covers, including ribbon ties, in the usual accordion style. Because of the two layers of paper, it’s quite sturdy, and it worked wonderfully as a seat-marker for us.
Herringbone Coptic binding
Ah, the guestbook. As with the accordion book, I drew the art for the title page here—only I did this one first, and I wasn’t tracing an existing printout. In retrospect, I wish I had thought of that technique sooner, but I’m still fine with how it came out. I made several different Coptic bindings before embarking upon this one, including one herringbone. I used the same decorative paper as for the other two books, and I used blue and green thread for the stitching. The thread was, unfortunately, thicker than it ideally should have been. It was troublesome to thread the needles, and if I could do it all over again (which I suppose I could—Coptic bindings are relatively easy to disbind), I’d search far and wide for something thinner in the correct colors. Still, the swell resulting from this, coupled with the many blank pages, means that this book would take well to inserts. Perhaps M and I will make use of this characteristic over the years.
You may have noticed some distinct orange watermarks in some of the photos in this post; thanks so much to Li Ward of Fat Orange Cat Studio for capturing many wonderful images from one of the best days of my life.