This is not about bondage so just cool your jets. I compiled a book of poetry for my mother for Christmas. It was a labor of love. Now to be fair I had started a different compilation in 2019. It was part of my goals for last year but it was destroyed in the great flash drive crash of 2020. The rebuilding of the poetry compilation commenced but with a different focus. I was winnowing through decades of poetry and in a flash (not unlike that of a stun grenade aka flashbang) hit upon the title for my book.
Because my mother is 88 and her eyesight is not what it was, I had it printed in a very large font. That resulted in the number of poems per page to drop to one. In turn that made the number of pages increase to 58. The limit for free printing through the library is 25 pages of paper. I probably could have printed it in 2 sessions but I decided that I wanted it done as double sided copies. Because I have an inside source, I was able to get all 29 pages printed at one go.
After watching about 6 hours of DIY tutorials on book binding, I decided to give it a try. I rigged up a book press using 2 wooden boards and 4 giant C-clamps that Sparky had laying around in the garage. A trip to the craft store netted some special glue. With all the confidence of a DIY newbie, I lined up, clipped together and then pressed the pages between the boards. I applied the clamps. Then I applied 3 layers of glue waiting 8 hours between glue applications. I was getting impatient (not like me but I was anxious to get it done and in the mail so that it would arrive by Christmas). While the glue dried, I began making the cover. Let me just say that none of our legal pads currently have cardboard backs. It took multiple tries to achieve success. I had attempted to use a beautiful floral fabric for the cover. It was a disaster. The fabric was too thin and the glue seeped all the way through and stuck it to my craft table. Which wouldn’t have happened except I needed to weigh the cover down so that it would dry flat (all that glue was making the cardboard warp). Anyway after additional failures, I was down to the last 2 pieces of cardboard. I made it work!
There were a few issues that were nearly the end of the project but I rescued the last cover. I had always planned to have a fabric cover that didn’t need any additional embellishment so I was not prepared for the final step. You see I had to use a plain tan fabric and it had a few spots from the binding/gluing process that were marring the front and back. I decided that my best bet would be to cover the imperfections with a little art. I was smart enough to try out my ideas on the little extra fabric that remained. First water color was NOT going to work. Second, acrylics were also a no go. The fabric paint was likewise nixed. I resorted to Sharpie® markers. Their invention is without a doubt one of the finest examples of human brilliance.
The back cover (with an acorn covering a nasty spot) and the front cover (can you guess where the big boo-boo is located?) showing the gnarly old tree.
Any additional book binding attempts will more than likely be much easier since I am “in the know” for all the pitfalls – having fallen into all those pits!