Fabric Bound

Hello, All! Today, I am in a crafty sharing mood. Last night when I was reading an old book of mine, I finally had it. This poor thing has to be 15+ years old in my possession. I do not know how old it actually is. It is a hard back book in dire need of trash or repair. As I began to collect my things for repair, my husband looked on in bewilderment, wondering aloud why I didn’t just buy a new one. This little project wound up being very therapeutic. The end result is not perfect, but it is cute and functional, and working on this book made me feel better.

Anyway, I can only find this book, it’s a combined trilogy, as well as the individual books that make it up, in digital form on Amazon. If you’re interested, the book is called The Roads of Heaven and it is a science fiction work. Not super thrilling, I just enjoy it.

So, I do not have any pre work pictures. This poor book though, the spine was gone. Only a few thin scrips of paper remained that I had tried once to tape the pages to and where the tape had lost its stickiness. Two separate places within the book had been taped to hold sections together. A whole section had separated and never been taped back in. I was constantly worried that I would lose part of the book. It was quite literally falling apart as I tried to read it.

In a fit state of sudden craftiness, I remembered that I bought Mod Podge that was never used. Brand new, and I’ve had it for months. Oh, and I had fabric lying around that has never been used. A couple of days ago, I began looking into book binding materials. I was tempted but resisted thinking at the time that I would re-tape it. So, in my fit of craftiness, I took an old pillowcase that I had set aside for crafting and the Mod Podge and some scissors and went to town. Oh, and do not follow my example, and did not measure anything, but did it all by eye balling what I needed.

Craft Time

Deconstruction and Reassemble

I began by slicing the front and back covers away from the book pages. Then had to peel tape off of the spine. Each taped section was cut apart. All of the sections were carefully lined up so the pages could be coated with Mod Podge at the joining seams. I wish I had had a paper cutter to trim down the pages fractionally and make them neat and square. Unfortunately, this was not something in my repertoire, so I did without.

Pages realigned and seams coated with Mod Podge. Covers seen off to the side.
Pages realigned and seams coated with Mod Podge. Covers seen off to the side.

Spine Binding

My next step consisted of thoroughly binding the spine of the book together with fabric. I actually found the book to be rather cute with just the spine covered. The pattern on the fabric just gave me a wonderful outline to follow.

Spine firmly fused with the fabric and Mod Podge.
Spine firmly fused with the fabric and Mod Podge.
Book 2
Edges on top and bottom of book were a little rough. Happens with no measurements.

Honestly, after this step, I could have left well enough alone and called it a paperback. I just couldn’t leave well enough alone after sinking my claws into this project. Plus, I couldn’t sleep, so what better way to pass the time!

Cover Set Up

While I gave the page seams and binding time to dry, I moved onto the covers. The first step here was to trim off the scraggly bits that were hanging around from the initial dissection of covers from pages. Once they were neatly cropped, I cut out a strip of fabric long enough to wrap completely around the book. Starting with the back cover, I coated it with the Mod Podge and affixed it to the cloth. From there, I set the bound edge of the pages next to it, right up on it, to figure out where the edge of the front cover needed to be. Once I had that position noted, I followed suite with the front cover to have both side cloth bound.

Book 4  Book 5 Book 6

Book 7

Cover Attachment

Once everything was mostly dry, I assembled cover to the pages. Copious amounts of Mod Podge between the center of the covers and the fabric of the page binding. I also applied the Mod Podge to the outside of the fabric binding so it would adhere through and through. To ensure that the cover would not idly detach from the center, I adhered pieces of fabric from the inside of the covers across the page immediately adjacent. Plenty of Mod Podge was used to make sure the binding between fabric, paper, and cardboard was sufficient.

Book 9

Book 10 Book 11

As everything was drying, I used some birch sticks I bought from Sally’s Beauty Supply (for nails) to keep the glued items from adhering to each other. That was fun getting those in the proper positions!

Book 12

All Dry!

I checked on my finished book this morning after letting it dry overnight. I have to say I am pleased even as I grumble to myself that I should have done it when I wasn’t trying to get myself tired enough to sleep. Some of the fabric is a little bit stiff. I expected that, using so much Mod Podge. I can also tell that I was getting a little but tired by the end of my project, because of the wrinkles on the inside, and there was definitely no measuring going on here. A little too much Mod Podge on the back inner fabric. Even with the birch sticks I had a bit of paper sticking and tearing. Luckily, it was that last page that is always blank. Now, I have a concept for this, at least, in case I decide to do it again.

Book 16 Book 13 Book 15 Book 14

Inner Front
Inner Front
Inner Back
Inner Back

 

Completed Fabric Binding

Overall, I am ecstatic. I got to try a new project. It did not turn out horrid. And! I got to have a book that I enjoy reading. Hope this fix will last me for years to come.

The spine works well!
The spine works well!
All in all, a fine looking book to make people comment!
All in all, a fine looking book to make people comment!

 

As much as I have enjoyed this little project, I hope that it can be an inspiration to others. You do not have to make your work perfect. Enjoy yourself in the moment. Wing it. Be creative. Have fun. The end result may not be 100 % ideal, but it will be something that you did with your mind, your own hands, and your ingenuity. If it is something you highly enjoyed, you may do it again and again until the results are perfect to you. This fabric book binding is definitely a project I would pursue again!

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