Friday, 6 February 2015

Hand-Made Books

Hello! I thought I'd share with you some little books which I've made. I first learnt to make them a few years ago at a craft workshop on Japanese book binding, which is a very simple way to make a book from paper, card and thread or ribbon. If you'd like to have a go, there are some excellent tutorials on how to do this on You Tube, and next time I make one I shall take photographs and show you how I do it.

I've made a good few, and like to cover them in hand-made paper, especially the kind which has pressed petals and leaves in it.

 To start with I filled them with random collections of things which caught my fancy: pictures, scraps of fabric, pieces of text. I used them to record and collect pictures and things which I find inspiring, a mix of scrapbook and mood-board. However, I wanted to organise them better, so I decided to make a year book with several pages for each month of the year. Here it is.

These are the January pages. I included sequins, yarn, sparkly thread, bits of Christmas cards and buttons.

I also stuck in poems, skeleton leaves, bits of calendars, ribbon, and the stickers from scented candles.

I quickly filled up my year book - I was going to need more pages! So I made four more books, one for each season. Here's my winter one, covered in embroidered paper. I added some sequins to give it some wintry sparkle.

Let's take a look inside. This is my New Year and January page, which includes a poem, cuttings from magazines and old calendars, a bookmark, bits of Christmas cards and tags, and a couple of stickers from candles.

There's lots of white and silver sparkle and pictures of snow contrasting with those of cosy blankets, hot water bottles and candles.

I cut up greetings cards and wrapping paper, as well as packaging such as perfume boxes, wine and jam labels, packets of tea ...anything which appeals to me. These pages show lots of ice and frost, and winter flowers.

Here are frosty gardens and textiles in shades of pale blue, grey and green. These are cuttings from old calendars and catalogues.

Sometimes there's no rhyme or reason to why I put things where I do - they just seem to fit, and it's a very personal collection. On this page I've stuck in some fabric and lace.

I find collecting and curating items for these books very relaxing and therapeutic and it's ongoing, so I only do it once in a while when I've got a little stock pile. Sticking in and arranging can be absorbing too, and when I've finished, I can peruse my books and use them as a source of inspiration and ideas for other projects. I'll show you some more of my pages as the months go by.

Have a lovely weekend x


  1. What a lovely keepsake. Beautiful!

  2. That's a really lovely idea. I'm fascinated to know how you bind the books; I look forward to that tutorial. I couldn't work out if that is a blanket or printed quilt cover in the background - either way, it's rather gorgeous! Have a wonderful weekend. x

  3. What a great idea and love the handmade books with the gorgeous covers. x

  4. Hello Cathy,

    On my word your little handmade books are beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing your little treasures with us.
    I look forward to your tutorial.


  5. What a lovely lovely way to keep memories alive!
    I've made a few little notebooks that I use for day-to-day lists, but never a big one like this.

  6. IT's like old school Pinterest! I used to love doing this so much. Then I got into photo scrapbooking and now have the guilt about not having all my memories creatively laid out in beautifully decorated albums. I decided this year that I am going to go back to my original way, which is so much more therapeutic and lovely. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Hi Jenn, it's good to meet you! Yes, I agree it's real-life Pinteresting, and quite addictive!
      Cathy x

  7. Beautiful books! I wish I had your patience to make something this wonderful and full of memories!

    Take care
    Anne (Crochet Between Worlds)

  8. What a lovely idea! Not only the crafting of the book but the pleasure of filling them with inspiration :)

  9. What a lovely way to capture the passing seasons.

  10. I really do like these books and can't wait to see your future photos, it's a great idea and it's tempting me!! Suzy x

  11. I love the idea of scrap books, you've made me want to make one now. lol

    1. Thank you for visiting, Briony - it's lovely to meet you!
      Cathy x

  12. These books are amazing! You obviously had a wonderful time making them.


Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I don't always get time to reply, but I look forward to and love to read your comments - they really do make my day x