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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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43 thoughts

  1. the craftivist says…
    07/21/2009

    yay! i love elise's mini books, and this tutorial is the perfect thing to help me get some mini albums out of my head and completed!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Joey says…
    07/21/2009

    Love this!!! Definitely on my things to do list for today!

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Kayla says…
    07/21/2009

    I adore her blog!! Thanks so much for this tutorial!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Christina says…
    07/21/2009

    love this project. Am I getting this right. You can get "big lab mosaic maker" to get a jpeg 6x4 that I can print at home. I had a quick go but .... no luck. Will try again.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. stephanie says…
    07/21/2009

    I love this! How easy and simple. :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Allison L. says…
    07/21/2009

    I'm totally making some of these with my kids today! Thank you for the inspiration! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Melissa Mann says…
    07/21/2009

    THanks for the tutorial!! Elise's mini's are the best!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. france wisniewski says…
    07/21/2009

    very cute. I love her stuff!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. rebekah says…
    07/21/2009

    I love Elise.
    Question, the mosaic maker crop your photos, or scale them down?

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Susan says…
    07/21/2009

    Love this! Ali, thanks again for the amazing creative inspiration, not only from you, but from so many other talented artists as well!
    Elise, *love* this! The children and I will have a blast with this one!
    Thank you, thank you!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Tina says…
    07/21/2009

    What an amazing artist! Thanks to this tutorial, I now have her blog on my fav's, learned something new and have some new inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Sarah Martina says…
    07/21/2009

    LOVING that you shared this with us! Going to "Big Labs" now! Just what I needed!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Denise Laborde says…
    07/21/2009

    Love the BigLabs mosaic idea. *mental note*

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Juju says…
    07/21/2009

    Wow! I've made a few books of my own, but there are some fun new things going on here: using envelopes as a cover; the Mosaic Maker--thanks SO much for sharing that! Now gotta get my chores done so I can play.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Tori says…
    07/21/2009

    This is ahh- mazing. I've actually used the mosiac maaker before for a mini book. I never cut them out though, love that idea.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Kathy says…
    07/21/2009

    Loving these Tuesday Tutorials! :) This is so easy and fun for anyone thank you I may get some memories scrapped this week!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Amy Tangerine says…
    07/21/2009

    LOVE elise, thanks for sharing this awesome technique!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Linda says…
    07/21/2009

    Love this idea--need a journal to keep all the notes from my daughters upcoming wedding--this will be perfect!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Olivia says…
    07/21/2009

    Thanks Elise! Can't wait to try this! Just one question, can we please have this in a PDF so I can save it to my computer for in the future? That'd be awesome. :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Elise Blaha says…
    07/21/2009

    Hi Christina,
    Big labs will make mosaics in a variety of sizes. It just depends on the number of square photos and how large you set it to print. For this project, I formatted mosaics to print on 8.5x11 paper. I would try doing a mosaic of 2 columns and 3 rows if you want to print 4x6.
    Hope that helps!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Lisa Russell says…
    07/21/2009

    I love all of Elise's designs! Just got a couple of her journals in the mail this past week, and am thrilled to fill it up. I really enjoyed this tutorial and Jamaica's tutorial. Thanks so much Ali! These are all so fun!
    Lisa

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Elise Blaha says…
    07/21/2009

    Hi Rebekah,
    The mosaic maker crops your photos into a square. It will go right for the middle. If you want your photos to be cropped a certain way, simply upload already cropped squares to flickr and use the mosaic maker on them.
    Hope that helps!

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Elise Blaha says…
    07/21/2009

    Good question. I will work on getting a PDF together :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Joscie says…
    07/21/2009

    I love these Tuesday Tutorials! I also love Elise's style and her minis! YAY!

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Juliana Fullmann says…
    07/21/2009

    I love it !
    Thanks !

    Reply 0 Replies

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