Friday, 26 September 2014

Tag Book Tutorial

Hi Everyone,

Recently I've been working on reducing my Massive Piles (!) ... of tags. I love creating these tiny pieces of "art", because they're a great way to experiment with different techniques on a small scale, but I had accumulated quite a few over the last couple of years and I just didn't know what to do with them all.

I wanted to find a way to store them and record the details of how they were made, so that instead of languishing in a drawer they would become a useful resource which I can flick though whenever I need inspiration. This is what I came up with ...


Over the last few weeks I've made several of these little books. I can stick the tags safely inside and make a note of who/what inspired them, how they were made, what products I used and so on. They're basically just cardstock pages joined together with cardstock hinges and I managed to use up lots of my patterned paper scraps in decorating them - bonus!!

There are lots of videos on YouTube about making these kinds of books (here's just one of them), but as a few people have asked, I thought I would show you how I make mine - WARNING! - this is going to be a really long post so I won't be offended if you stop reading now, but if you would like to have a go at one of these yourself, please read on ...
First, you need some A4 cardstock - preferably a fairly sturdy kind like this which I got at a very reasonable price from Every Crafts A Pound ...


This happens to be white one side and a sort of tortoiseshell effect on the other, but that isn't important, use whatever you have. How many sheets you need depends on how many pages you want in your book. I used 3 sheets to make six pages plus an extra sheet for hinges.

You need to cut each sheet in half, so I trimmed the long edges to 11½" first, to make the maths easier!


Then cut again at 5¾" so that you now have two identical pieces of cardstock ...


Obviously you can vary the size to suit your purpose. Repeat until you have the required number of pages - I made six. You will also need to cut strips for the hinges - one for each page plus two extra for either end, so I cut eight altogether ...


As this book was going to be portrait orientation, I cut my strips from the long edge of the card, but if you wanted your book to be landscape orientation (like the one in the first photo) you would need to cut your strips from the short edge of the card.

Next, the strips need to be scored so that they will fold to create hinges. The easiest way to do this is with some kind of score board, or the scoring tool on a paper trimmer, but if you don't have one of those, you could do the same thing with a ruler and embossing tool or bone folder. However you do it, you need to score down the length of each strip ¼" from each of the long edges like this ...


If you want more space between your pages to accommodate bulkier tags, just make the strips wider.

The next job is to fold along all the scored lines to form the hinges, using a bone folder to make sure the creases are nice and sharp. I like to fold them back and forth in both directions to make the pages more flexible later when you open the book ...


Now it's time to start assembling the book. Apply ¼" DST to the long edges of each strip like this ...


Peel the backing off one edge and adhere your first page, lining it up carefully against the fold line ...


That doesn't look very clear, but hopefully it will make sense as you read on! Now peel off the second piece of backing and line the second page against the fold line like this ...


From this side you can see only the centre of the folded hinge with the two pages on either side of it. If I turn my piece over it looks like this, with the hinge on the inside ...


Now take another hinge and attach it to the second page, again lining up carefully with the fold ...


... and using your bone folder on the inside to make sure it's adhered really well. Now you can attach your third page to this hinge ...


It should look something like this ...


Continue in this way until all your pages are attached - here's one I prepared earlier in the landscape format ...


Then measure your spine and cut a piece of fabric to fit it - mine worked out about 2" x 5¾" ...


Use PVA glue to adhere it to the spine as reinforcement and allow it to dry thoroughly ...


Now for the covers - I used mountboard offcuts for this, but you could used chipboard, or double-thickness cereal box card instead.


Cut two pieces slightly bigger than your pages for the front and back covers - I made mine ½" longer on the short edge and ¼" longer on the long edge.

You also need a piece for your spine - exact measurements will depend on how deep your stack of pages is. The length will be the same as the height of your covers and the width needs to accomodate your hinged pages - I cut mine at 2" x 6¼" but it should have been a tad wider as you will see later ...

Next, choose some patterned papers to cover your book - I used up lots of papers I've had for YEARS, in fact, since I first started scrapping back in 2007 ...


You'll two pieces about ½" larger all around to cover the outsides ...


Two pieces about ¼" smaller all around, for the insides ...


Two pieces for the spine - one ½" bigger all around which will end up inside and the other the same length and wide enough to wrap around and overlap the front and back covers by 1½" or so either side, so mine is about 7¼ x 5" ...


Next job is to cover the front and back covers with the patterned papers - I prefer to use PVA glue for this, but use your favourite adhesive ...


Burnish well with a bone folder to ensure good adhesion, then mitre the corners like this ...


Wrap them around to the other side, then if you like you can sand the edges and use Distress Ink to give them an aged look ...


This is how my front cover looked - I am going to apply some Inka Gold as well, to add a touch of lustre to the cover ...


Cover the back and spine in the same way, then line them up and use tape to join them together, leaving a small gap in between to allow the book to close. I've used this fabric dressing tape, which you can get really cheaply in a chemist. I like it because it's really strong and flexible, but I'm sure you could use other kinds of tape as well ...


Use a bone folder to burnish the tape and run it along the join to create a sort of channel. Turn it over so the front is facing you and apply tape to the joins in the same way, again running the tip of your bone folder firmly along the join line to form that "channel" or crease line ...


Now it's time to add cover the outside of the spine, sanding and inking the edges of the patterned paper to match the covers before you adhere it ...


Apply glue, leaving ½" flaps at either end and attach it to the front, then turn the whole thing over and bring the flaps over to the inside ...


Use your bone folder again to coax the paper into that "channel" at the join lines ...


Your cover is finished now, it should look something like this ...


... and you're ready to add your pages - first the left hand side, using DST along the free edge of the hinge and lining up the fold with the edge of the cover ...


I added more of the dressing tape as well to reinforce the join. Then flip it over and do the right hand side in the same way ...


You should now have something a bit like this but not quite ...


... because at this point I realised that I hadn't cut the spine part of the cover wide enough, so that when my book is closed it does this ...


... which is a bit annoying, but not enough to make me take it apart and start again at this stage - just something to bear in mind for next time.

All that remains is to cover the inside front and back covers with your patterned paper ...


... and your book is ready to go! Embellish as you like, fill it will anything that takes your fancy.

My Cunning Plan is to stick my tags to the RH pages and cover the LH pages with coordinating patterned paper, leaving a space to record details about the tags ...


I'm not going to cover all the LH pages now, as I will want to choose papers to match the tags as I make them. However, I did cut myself a stack of patterned papers to fit the pages, as well as some smaller pieces of plain paper to write on, so they'll be ready to use - another great way of using up and enjoying some of my stash of patterned paper offcuts!

Well, that was one HUMDINGER of a post - if you're still with me, WELL DONE!!! I hope you found it useful - as I said at the beginning, it's not a new idea, just my take on it, but please ask if you have any questions, I'll be happy to help if I can :o)

Thanks for visiting my blog today, see you again soon

Annie xxx


7 comments:

Lizzy Hill said...

Loved it! Great explanation & the photos really helped...& that book looks fabulous:):):) I enjoyed the long post. But then, I may be slightly odd!!!!

Val Thorpe said...

Oh what a great video. I love this idea. Can't wait to see your post on it.

Shoshi said...

Thank you so much for doing this wonderful blog post, Annie - I really hoped you'd give us a tutorial on how you made your tag books. The result is awesome! What a great way to use old patterned papers, too. I like the idea of the dressing tape - this sort of thinking outside the box and sourcing non-paper-crafting supplies is right up my street. I have been thinking of using duct tape for this sort of thing but your idea is less bulky. I think that if I do this, I will make pockets to slot the tags into, so that they can be removed and handled, which is also nice if you've got stuff on the backs of the tags, rather than sticking them in.

You could adapt this idea for books to store ATCs, too, or greetings cards you've received and want to keep. The possibilities are endless! Thanks for the great, great inspiration and the very-well explained process from start to finish.

Shoshi

Louise said...

oooh this is lovely Annie and a great place to keep all those tags together.

Helen Wallace said...

You are such a clever and creative chickie. I love this idea and the details of how you achieved the books. Thanks for the inspiration :D

Val Thorpe said...

I love how this booklet is made and in the video tut you posted in your last post it didn't really show how to finish it off. I love how you have done that. I think I may give one of these a go and I think it is a wonderful way to store all of your tags... would be great if you were just doing your own technique tags too... Love this Annie. You are a clever chick.

Zsuzsa Karoly-Smith said...

Very useful tutorial Annie! I'll bookmark it and come back later to read it in greater detail! I like this binding method a lot! I'm developing a bit of an obsession with making books!