When Cupcakes Bind Books


I cooked up another batch of papers on Tuesday.

I recorded the results in my dye book and as I wrote the number of the batch on the page, it hit me pretty hard that I have a problem.

Dye Lot # 29.

Since just about a year ago, that’s how many batches I have made.

And when you consider that each batch contains at least 30 sheets of paper…. well, ….. do the math.

Now to be fair, half of those sheets or more are computer paper. Only a fraction of the batch are printed on presentation paper and turn out to be things worthy of framing.

I have used several papers over the last year to make various things. Inserts for my traveler’s notebooks mostly and the odd experiment like this…


I have always been fascinated by bookmaking, in its simplest forms and in the more complex classic art of bookbinding.

I had a certain need for a special journal to record summations of ideas I was learning in lectures. So I decided this was a good time to get some milage out of my art papers, AND my desire to tackle a higher level of bookmaking.

Lucky for us, we have a wonderful second hand store here in town. I go in there at least once a week. I went down and looked through the used book section and found just what I needed. I brought it home and dismantled it.


To assuage my guilt feelings, I also threw in a couple of pages into the dye bundle… I was blown away at the results:


This of course opens up a can of worms for the future….

Anyway, I scavenged paper from another blank journal that I didn’t really like because it wouldn’t stay flat and added an assortment of my dyed papers to hold the signatures together. A signature is a small bundle of folded papers that make a book WORK. You can’t put too many pages together and fold them and have things turn out right.

I made seven signatures and sewed them to make a booklet:


Then I glued it into the binding of the dismantled book.

It was very tricky and I made mistakes. But it is functional.



And for a special touch, I put as the centerfold of the book a piece of Tomoe River paper that I dyed in my latest batch. Those who know, will know about the wonders of that paper….


This my friends, takes my breath away.

Before I attempt another bookmaking project, I am going to have to put in my hours watching tutorials on the inter webs. I’ll just tell you that it takes the patience of Job, and nerves of steel to make a PROPER book.

But don’t despair, a girl with a paper cutter, some glue and a thread and needle can make a functional one.

Today I am declaring that having stunning papers to put into my book, sort of makes up for my lack of knowledge and finesse.

(Go ahead if it makes you feel better. Self delusion however is a slippery slope. Beware.)

I’ll keep my eyes open.








  1. Cheryl Taylor says:

    Wow! I never would have thought of using pages from a book. That really turned out cool.
    Maybe a book of quotes?

  2. Takes away my breath as well!!!!

  3. cheryl j f says:

    Wow – what an awesome idea. I think the book looks amazing!

  4. Mamallama says:

    Using the pages from a book is brilliant!!

  5. Teresa Auldridge says:


Speak Your Mind