A group of ladies from my church learned how to make mini-books last week. Since our time was limited, I printed monoprints ahead of time from my homemade gelatin plate onto card stock to use for the covers of the books.
For the inside pages of the book, they could choose from three different sheets of paper with verses printed or plain paper to write their own sentiments. (See below for paper folding instructions.) Several ladies discovered a new fun crafting tool called washi tape, which they used to seal and decorate the edges of the paper pages.
For the next step, a coordinating piece of colored paper “binding” was chosen and stitched to the mini-book cover, with the center row of stitching attaching the pages to the cover. (Covers could be stitched by hand as well.)
Each was encouraged to make more than one mini-book so they could have one for themselves if desired and some to give away. If you are looking for a craft project to do with a small group, I encourage you to give mini-book making a try. Everyone had a great time and some are asking to do a gelatin plate printing workshop soon!
Are you ready to try making a mini-book? For the covers, you can use a heavier weight preprinted scrapbooking paper, or draw/paint your own designs on card stock, or try gelatin plate prints on card stock. Whatever you use, cut the paper to measure 6″ wide by 4 1/2″ high. Fold the paper in half to make a 3″ wide cover. If desired the corners of the mini-book can be rounded with scissors or a corner rounder punch.
To make the inside pages:
- Start with an 8 1/2″ by 11″ piece of paper. If you preprint your paper with verses or quotes on the computer, be sure to put the verses right side up on the left side of the page and upside down on the right side of the page. See photo #1 below. When folded correctly all the print will be right side up! (At the end of this post you can print out the pdf pages we put into our mini-books, if you’d like.)
- Fold the paper in half with the unprinted sides touching and the print side facing out.
- Open the paper print side up and fold each edge to the middle fold line.
- You should end up with 4 folds in your paper like an accordion pleat.
- Now fold the paper in half the long way with the print facing out.
- Refold the paper in half as in step #2 and cut along the center fold line through both layers of paper just to the next fold line (not all the way across the paper!)
- If you stand the paper up like a tent, it should look like photo #7.
- Pinch the paper together in the middle and you will have 4 sections with 8 printed sides. When you stitch the papers to the cover, you will stitch down the middle fold with 2 sections on each side of the stitch line.
To help keep the pages together, as well as make them decorative, place strips of washi tape down one side of each section and fold over to the other side.
Cut a 4 1/2″ by 1 3/4″ piece of paper (use card stock weight) and fold down the center lengthwise. With a sewing machine, or by hand, stitch the outer edges of the binding, matching fold lines, to the outside of the cover.
Then position the folded pages of your book to the inside of the center line (with two folded sections on each side) and stitch down the center line of the cover/binding.
And there you have a finished mini-book!
Here are the pdf files for you to print to make your own books: