Tuesday Tutorials : Elise Blaha : Small Blank Books

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This week Tuesday Tutorials welcomes Elise Blaha.

One of the things I admire about Elise is that she does a fantastic job bringing a bunch of random elements together and making them work in wonderful compact packages. She has a super inspiring list of all the ones she has created here. Also check out these posts: GOventure : pocket, Letterpress Printing, and Daily Card (seeing them all together in an album is so cool).

Here's Elise:

My favorite thing to make are little books. I make them for anything - days, weeks, special occasions, seasons, vacations, colors, favorite objects. I have been known to plan things just so I can make a book about it. I experiment will all sorts of ways to get pages together in book form. The type of binding shown below is one of my favorites.

Download a PDF of Elise's project here.

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Step 1 :
Gather supplies. You will want two envelopes of the same size (mine are size A2 and semi transparent), approximately 6 sheets of different paper (sized 5.5x8.5 inches), ribbon or string, adhesive, a hole punch.

Step 2 :
Slide a piece of paper into one of the envelopes. It should fit snugly and stick out as shown.

Step 3 :
Stick the flap of the second envelope behind the paper already inside the first envelope.

Step 4 :
Your cover should look like the image shown with the patterned paper tucked into each envelope.

Step 5 :
Fold your cover in half. The flap that is not tucked into an envelope should stick out.

Step 6 :
Add adhesive to the envelope flap and "seal" it to the back of the other envelope. You should now have a book cover!

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Next, you can add pages to your book.

Step 7 :
Gather various papers and cut down to 1/4 inch smaller than your envelope width. If you are using A2 envelopes, this would be 5.5x8.5 inches or half of an 8.5x11 piece of paper.

Step 8 :
Fold your papers in half the short way.

Step 9 :
Open up your folded papers and layer them within each other and within the envelope book cover.

Step 10 :
Flatten your book out.

Step 11 :
line up your pages and using a hold punch, punch through the book pages on the folded crease. I used a Crop-A-Dile which was strong enough to go through all the papers at once. You can also punch through each page separately and line them up so the holes are in the same place of each paper.

Step 12 :
String a piece of ribbon or string through the holes. Tie in a bow on the outside of the book.

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At this point you have a unique blank book that could be used for pretty much everything - the easiest would be a journal to carry with you. I decided to use mine as a home for the many photos I took during a busy Memorial Day weekend. I had over 150 photos from the weekend and decided the best way to share a bunch would be to make them all the same size.

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Step 13 :
I uploaded the photos I wanted to include to flickr.com and used Big Labs mosaic maker to create 4x6 grids out of the photos. This accomplished two things at once: it cropped them into squares and got them all in one place so I could easily print at home on to photo paper.

Step 14 :
Print the photos.

Step 15 :
Crop your photos. I used a paper cutter to get straight lines.

Step 16 :
Gather simple supplies to complete the book. I used a date stamp, adhesive, blue bordered labels, scalloped scissors, my cropped photos and a black American Crafts slickwriter.

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In the end, I have a small book that captures a variety of our weekend in photos and words.

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Elisephoto Elise Blaha currently lives in Maryland with her fiancé, Paul. She would happily organize her paper collection and make stuff all day long, but she has to carve out time to plan her wedding & watch crazy reality television. Elise teaches online workshops, makes custom journals and has an etsy shop where she sells handmade paper books and letterpress prints. You can see more of her projects on her blog: eliseblaha.typepad.com.

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