Hen-Do Memory Book | Coptic Binding

I made this particular volume some years back for a friend’s hen-do. It is a fantastic little binding, designed to be a keepsake of memories from friends, and would make the prize gift of any hen party. The best part of this book is the contents – lovingly and individually made by the girls together, so the hen will always have a cherished book to remind them of the night and all their closest friends.

ORDER YOUR OWN HEN-DO MEMORY BOOK

  • I will send you sheets of paper for the girls to write/draw/collage on in what ever form they like.
  • I will include some simple printed instructions, including what direction the writing should be in so that the contents are consistent.
  • You give a sheet or more to each of your girls for them to personalise.
  • You send the completed pages back to me a minimum of two weeks before your hen-do for me to create the book.

SUGGESTIONS OF CONTENT

  • Photographs of you together
  • Past memories of school, college and work days
  • Drawings and collage cuttings of things to make her laugh.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Coptic binding, fully bound in coloured paper, with additional crushed decorative paper on the cover and ribbon.
  • Guards for each folio are in the same paper as the cover.
  • Single folios with guards created each signature, the paper stock was thick to provide bulk and hold photographs.
  • Each individual is given a landscape folded folio to be written/drawn/collaged on as they choose. It should be noted that each folio will have guards wrapped at the spine.

For other examples of bespoke bindings, have a look at the bookbinding page of this website.


This particular book was made for my oldest and best friend, who go married some years ago. Well the weekend was her hen-do – a raucous event of karaoke and champagne amongst other things! And, as many hen-do’s do – this one required a hen-do memory book! This duty obviously came my way and I endeavoured to make it well and appealing. The best part of this book was that all the chicks (is that the term??) had a huge input into it, each making their own pages for the book, as apposed to giving me their pictures and notes and me putting it all together. It worked really well as each page had real individuality of that person, and the bride was amazed and thrilled by everyone’s effort.

A book for my sister

You may recall from my last post that I have been making a book for my lovely sister, this has become as much a practice of the craft for me as it has been making a book for her.

It had some unfortunate slip-ups along the way. All starting well with pairing the corners, which are tricky, considering their size. Maybe I got over enthusiastic or it was late in the day, but the corners were swiftly followed by me ripping the leather spine in half. Not to be dismayed by my lack of skill nor the fact I had no more green, I stuck it back together with selotape and continued to pair. Unfortunately the spine was to see yet more trauma when I tried out my very first blind tooling, and spelt the blasted word wrong – TWICE. It’s a stupidly long complicated word anyway.

So despite its obvious pitfall, I plodded on, and now have some pictures of covering the boards and the completed thing. Phew!!

Acknowledgements Boards
Lining the boards

Acknowledgements Cover
Adding the cover paper

First came lining the boards on the cover to bring them up to the same level as the boards plus the leather. Then I covered them using a very nice map wrapping paper from Stanfords.

Acknowledgements Inside boards
The inside before trimming

Acknowledgements Turn Ins
After trimming the excess insides

Next came neatning up the insides of the book, which you can see above. Any excess leather and paper would look messy under the endpaper. Following this step I did line the boards as I did on the cover, but forgot to photograph that bit… And the final thing:

Hope she likes it! (better pictures will be added to the gallery this week!!)

The Reverend Samuel Parr L.L.D – Project

The Reverence Samuel Parr L.L.D
c. 1811
Machine printed on wove handmade paper
343x504x53 (WHD)

CONDITION

This dashing man was the Rev. Samuel Parr, and is dated 1811. The media is machine printed, so not at risk from washing. The paper is a very nice wove handmade paper – at the time of the print, paper making machines were in use, but were still not making the majority of paper, this was still handmade. You can see from both sides that it is quite discolored and has a lot of reddish spots, known as foxing (this is believed to be iron content within the paper that rusts and bleeds out to the surface).

TREATMENT

  • Surface cleaning using a chemical sponge.
  • Humidification using a water spray as photographed
  • Washed in a bath of tap water for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Left to dry somewhat on a drying rack.
  • Pressed recto up on a blotter under a weight, allowing any excess dirt to be drawn out through the verso onto the blotter – very clever!

Cookbook in Colour – Project

We have all been asked to bring in dilapidated books, preferably ones that require re-sewing. Togther we’ve brought in a range of interesting books, mine is actually something I had on my bookshelf at home already. It is a cloth case bound book that belonged to my grandfather – a very colourful cookery book from the 60’s/70’s, which I rescued from a clear out some years back with the thought of conserving it, so am quite chuffed I’m actually getting round to doing it! Some pictures below show the book as it looks like in its current state, it also has a lot of little inserts in it with my grandparent’s and mother’s writing, which is quite entertaining!

Apparently the tape is going to be tough to get off (thanks Grandma!!). The endpapers are an integral part of the book, and can’t be discarded or replaced, so I will have to try and get them off…! Our tutor will be coming round to each of us and explaining how we must go about conserving our books, which will take time. So in the meantime, we have started three flat back books, to practice our binding techniques. Here are mine so far:

As you can see I have been practicing using the sewing frame, which I’m starting to love a little bit – I’m not quite used to sitting sideways as they did in days past, as I can’t get my arm round the frame properly, however I’ve seen an etching of women sewing with their arms through the frame, which seems a lot more logical – so I might try that next! One of my classmates, Salvador, also told me that book sections were sewn in large batches on long stretches of tape, and then split up after sewing into separate books – so that’s some thing else to try!  

I’ve also been practicing my marbling (again!!!), with a little more success this time – thanks to another classmate, Naomi, who has given me some Carragean moss for the ink to sit on, and some good instructions (previous attempts were so shameful, there were demoted to making cards!). So I am going to try and cover these books with my new papers – watch this space to see what they’re like – exciting!!!

Wedding Memory Book | Case Binding

This beautiful handmade album is designed to be a Wedding Memory Book of your big day. It is a landscape cased binding, with guards throughout. The guards will allow you to insert photographs, printed memorabilia and ephemera, as well as high quality paper for guests to write their well-wishes.

ORDER YOUR BESPOKE WEDDING MEMORY BOOK

This particular volume has been bound in handmade book cloth from blue silk, with an additional diamante decoration on the cover. This design was complimentary of the bride’s wedding dress. If you would like to order a bespoke Wedding Memory Book, you can have an alternative cover design should you wish. We will need a minimum of one month advance notice to make the book for you.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Case binding, fully bound in blue silk, with lace decoration and silver tooling.
  • Handmade book cloth from blue silk, backed with Japanese tissue.
  • Textblock to include guards to allow compensation for photographs.
  • Textblock to be sewn onto four tapes.
  • Made endpapers.
  • Endbands to be made from additional blue silk.

For other examples of bespoke bindings, have a look at the bookbinding page of this website.

I made this book for one of my oldest and best friends got married – which was wonderful, especially as I was a bridesmaid! I was asked to create a wedding memory book for the big day, that was be something for everyone to leave messages and well-wishes in.

I knew that part of the wedding dress was to be made with blue silk and diamante lace decorations. So with a bit of help from the John Lewis haberdashery department, I was able to create a complimentary binding, that would keep all the memories safe for the future.

Collection of Pamphlets | Flatback Binding with Slipcase

This little book uses sections from a collection of Poetry booklets that came free with a newspaper. This is something the broadsheets often do over the Christmas period and are a great thing to collect if you spot them early enough.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Hand sewn sections onto tape and linen thread.
  • Complimentary coloured endpapers adhered as a single folio to front and back.
  • Spine lined with mull and kraft paper.
  • Boards and spine covered buckram book cloth and hand decorated papers.
  • Cased in as a quarter bound flat back book.
  • Complimentary slipcase was made in the same buckram book cloth, and a sympathetic coloured ribbon.

ORDER YOUR BESPOKE FLATBACK BINDING WITH SLIPCASE

If you have a collection of pamphlets that you would like bound in a similar manor with a slipcase, please do get in touch. Prices start from £200.00 and will vary depending on any additional requirements you have, such as labels and cover tooling.

For other examples of bespoke bindings, have a look at the bookbinding page of this website.


This particular book was for my mother, who was extremely pleased with it, but is still a bit scared to sit down and read it! The paper was paper we had made together one afternoon, so all very appropriate.