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.

43 thoughts

  1. Olivia

    2009-07-21 18:08:19 +0800

    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. :)

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  2. Elise Blaha

    2009-07-21 18:09:58 +0800

    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!

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  3. Lisa Russell

    2009-07-21 18:10:05 +0800

    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

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  4. Elise Blaha

    2009-07-21 18:11:13 +0800

    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!

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  5. Elise Blaha

    2009-07-21 18:12:04 +0800

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

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  6. Joscie

    2009-07-21 19:39:33 +0800

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

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  7. Juliana Fullmann

    2009-07-21 20:52:28 +0800

    I love it !
    Thanks !

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  8. Juliana Fullmann

    2009-07-21 20:53:33 +0800

    Thanks Olivia ! This is a great idea !

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  9. Michelle Martinez

    2009-07-21 21:39:25 +0800

    This is an AWESOME tutorial. Thanks so much. I love making little books and I am always looking for new ways to bind them. I love the envelopes.
    Thanks again!

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  10. jmbmommy

    2009-07-21 23:20:35 +0800

    This is one of the coolest things I have seen in an age! I love the use of envelopes...you are a creative GENIUS!! ThankS!

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  11. Tanya Gilmartin

    2009-07-22 02:39:13 +0800

    thanks for this, Ali! i got lost on Elise's blog today- i have added her to my "favorites"

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  12. Elizabeth

    2009-07-22 03:55:56 +0800

    Love it! I just made one in less than 10 minutes. Great idea and tutorial, Elise!

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  13. Jana

    2009-07-22 04:48:35 +0800

    very very cool! I'm so going to make one of these... to add to my ever growing collection of sketch books, journals, etc.! Thanks Elise & Ali!

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  14. Theresa

    2009-07-22 06:35:17 +0800

    Ali you have done it again! Your Tuesday Tutorials get me through the day!! I have loved Elise's work for a while and am so happy to learn more of her mini book making tips!

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  15. Ambyr Amoureuse

    2009-07-22 08:09:19 +0800

    wow I love your job Elise:) you have a talent for this I respect people like you, who feel something inside and they try to create and show it to other people :)

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  16. Bluebelle

    2009-07-22 13:31:39 +0800

    Ali - thank you for sharing this! I found you through Elise but I'm definitely coming back. I even made my own mini book after seeing this - I just posted about it here - http://leavesinthespring.blogspot.com/2009/07/little-book.html

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  17. Rachel

    2009-07-22 17:23:21 +0800

    This is darling! I'll be linking to this.

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  18. Brianna

    2009-07-22 18:49:46 +0800

    I never thought to use Big Huge Labs to make pictures a smaller size. That's brilliant!

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  19. christen

    2009-07-23 14:16:48 +0800

    i love this! thanks for sharing it.

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  20. Diana

    2009-07-23 20:59:59 +0800

    I also made my own mini-book after seeing this tutorial linked through Elise's site. So much fun to make...I am already completely addicted and thinking about what my next mini-book will be about. Crafty girls rock!
    http://dianamoffo.blogspot.com/2009/07/okay-ill-admit-it.html

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  21. maridette cachola

    2009-07-23 23:56:39 +0800

    having trouble uploading pix on big huge labs. Not sure if I'm doing it right. First you choose the layout then I wanted to upload pix from my computer. I would pick them individually which only allows you one at a time. But I don't know what happened only one pix showed up. what am I doing wrong?

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  22. Jana D

    2009-07-26 05:38:39 +0800

    Elise is a very talented young artist. I took her June class and loved it. She is fresh and great.

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  23. Hagit

    2009-07-30 11:57:22 +0800

    Thanks, Elise! I made one too! Had to come back and show off ;-) Here it is:
    http://hagit.typepad.com/blog/2009/07/the-proposal-mini.html

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  24. anat s

    2009-08-01 13:22:53 +0800

    thanks for great tutorial

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
  25. small envelopes

    2010-05-17 07:47:55 +0800

    This was an excellent tutorial!
    Thanks for sharing!

    * edited 08/11/14 08:36PM
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