Archives for category: Bookbinding

Alright folks, school is back in session! I am so excited for this new year!

As per usual once the school year has started, I have already gotten behind on the blog. But I am going to try really hard this year not let too much time go by in between posts! The good news is that I will be blogging weekly over at school on the Graduate Ambassador blog. This means that once a week I’ll be posting about the goings on of the Book and Paper Arts department. As soon as I have the official web address for that I’ll let y’all know!

I always love the beginning of a school year and I had this realization yesterday that it was my second to last first day of school ever. How strange time is!

Happy fall everyone! I hope you’ve had a great week so far!

P.S. This image is from Shorpy. It’s Chicago’s Lincoln Park circa 1900.


I know it’s hard to believe but YES I have added more things to our Etsy shop! Two days in a row! Check it out here!

P.S. New stuff includes cool things like lined journals and address books! Isn’t it exciting!?

Hello on this lovely Monday morning!

The Made by Good Etsy shop has new stuff in it – finally! Check it out and tell your friends to check it out too!

Also, I’ll be adding a lot of new stuff over the course of this week so be watching!

Hope everyone has a super day!

Last year we moved to Chicago, literally, the DAY AFTER Printers’ Ball. So, I was mildly disappointed we had missed it BUT it meant that I had a whole year to get pumped for the next one. All of that anticipation was worth it.

So, what exactly is Printers’ Ball???

“The Printers’ Ball is an annual celebration of print culture, featuring thousands of magazines, books, and broadsides free of charge; letterpress, offset, and papermaking demonstrations; live music and dancing; and much more (quoted from the Printers’ Ball Facebook page).” It’s marvelous. I volunteered along with a group of my fellow graduate students to do demonstrations in our three studios, book/paper/print. This meant that I spent the majority of the evening up to my elbows in pulp as groups came in and out of the room. Over 3,000 people attended and over 2,000 visited the Center for Book and Paper’s floor. I answered a lot of questions and made A LOT of paper.

Before the night started though, all of us volunteers had a chance to check out all of the free books, zines, magazines, postcards, and chapbooks that were out on display. Needless to say, I stocked up! I grabbed a couple things from Ugly Duckling Press, a few awesome design magazines, some old issues of The Journal of Artists Books, and some random things that just seemed interesting. It was great and I’ll have reading materials from now until October!

On my break I also got a chance to walk around. It was so fun to watch everyone talking and hanging around with their awesome Printers’ Ball totes full of free literature and people walking by with their faces painted like zombies (oh yeah – the theme this year was IT’S ALIVE all creepy and Halloweeny in July). It was a great atmosphere of friendly conversations and sincere interest. There was also live music on the ground floor and endless events happening all night. I loved it.

However, next year I think I’ll be enjoying it from the ‘just a visitor’ side instead of the ‘crazy busy demonstrator’ side.

So, I gathered most of the images above from random places across the internet – obviously, I didn’t have a lot of time to walk around and take photos. I hope you enjoy them. Should you find yourself in Chicago next fall Printers’ Ball is a MUST.

Bon weekend you guys! Check back on Monday for more catch up blog posts!

P.S. I didn’t even tell you about Printers’ Ball Eve – a private (ooh-la-la) event hosted by The Poetry Foundation the night before the shindig proper. Drew and I went, again along with some of my fellow grad students + their significant others, to the new super swanky Poetry Foundation building. We ate food, drank beer, mingled, and watched a very lovely shadow puppet show of Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky.” Twas very fun indeed!

Photo credits: the two photos of the crowds are from One Book One Chicago’s Flickr page. The image of the wood type is from bluebike on Flickr. The image of the PB sign is from gozamos on Flickr. And yeah the other two are mine.

Do you ever find something that is so super you just can’t quit looking at it!? That’s how I feel about the work being produced by Marianne Dages of Huldra Press. Her books are so lovely! Each one is unique and contains found imagery both on the cover and as pages inside. What a cool way to put together a book!

You can check out her website here and her blog here.

We have an Etsy store now!  It’s so exciting!  Check out a selection of handmade books and letterpress stationery. There will be more stuff in there super soon.  Also, don’t forget to tell your friends!

You can visit our store here.

Hi everybody!  I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in a bit but, don’t worry, it doesn’t mean I haven’t been super busy making stuff and finding out about all sorts of great to post about super soon.

Today I wanted to show this image of a book I made recently for my friend Anna for another friend Vanessa’s pre-baby gathering. Anna wanted something that folks could write sweet messages in to the soon to be mama of a baby boy. So, I had so much fun!  I decided to go with rich primary colors instead of a baby blue and love the playful feel it gave the book. And isn’t that navy blue paper with all the little bitty dots just darling!? I’m a little bit obsessed.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the picture!  Be watching for a final Karen and Zack wedding post, a super exciting Etsy post (maybe even later today), and other goodies that are on their way! Happy Tuesday!

Hello all and happy Monday! For a Monday treat I thought I would post these images of a new book of poetry, “Feelings Using Wolves” by Emily Kendal Frey and Zachary Schomburg, that was just recently completed by Friedrich Kerksieck of Small Fires Press. I’ve mentioned Friedrich several times on here due to his stellar generosity in letting me use his studio and am so excited to be posting some of his new work. I’m glad to be showing not only images from the finished product but also some from the printing process. So, I hope you enjoy them. If you totally love it you can buy a copy of the book and look at Friedrich’s other work here.

I’m so excited! This weekend is the Renegade Craft Fair! Renegade Craft Fair is a huge craft event that started in Chicago and now happens in five cities (Austin, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, and Chicago).  It will be two days of delightful browsing of handmade goods by over 300 craftspeople from all over.  I drool over the merchandise at Renegade Handmade, the permanent store location that is open year round, and have been waiting for this weekend since we moved here! Check out the Renegade Handmade store here and Renegade Craft Fair here.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Hello Wednesday evening! Today, I’m starting another new part of my blog. I thought that every now and then it would be fun to post an easy project. So, I thought I would show you how to make a simple single signature three hole pamphlet bound book. I’m going to lay out specific measurements just to make the instructions easier but once you know how to do this you can make your book any size you want!

You will need:

-1 sheet of decorative paper – 10” x 6 3/4” – (looking for great paper? Check out: Hollander’s and Paper Source)

-4-6 sheets – 10” x 6 3/4” – of paper for the interior (you can use any paper you would like from normal copier paper to something like Somerset Book)

-binder’s thread (or any stronger thread) about three times the height of your book

-binder’s needle (or an upholstery needle)

-bone folder



-straight edge (for tearing or cutting your paper down)


Step 1:

Stack up all your interior paper with your decorative paper on the outside (1).  Fold stack in half – try to make the edges as even as possible (2).  Use your bone folder to flatten the folded edge as much as possible (3).

Step 2:

Now it’s time to punch holes for sewing.  The best way to do this is to make a jig (4).  If you’re only making one book with one signature it’s probably unnecessary but it’s a good habit to start for when you’re dealing with multiple signatures.

The jig should be the same height as your book about two inches wide and folded in half.  Note the top of your jig with an arrow. Using your awl punch one hole in the exact center of your jig.  Then punch a hole at each end about a 3/8 of an inch from the top and bottom.

Insert your jig into the center of your book.

Step 3:

Using your awl again, poke holes according to the jig.  Make sure that you are holding your paper tightly during this process so that everything stays lined up.  I find that starting in the middle then moving to the ends works best (5).

Step 4:

Now it’s time to sew. Start at the interior center hole (6).  Pull your thread through until one inch is left on the inside. Hold this one inch with your thumb (7). Next go to the top hole sewing from the outside back to the inside (8).  Pull your thread taut, still holding the end of the thread with your thumb (9).

Bring your needle all the way down to the bottom hole on the inside, passing by the center hole.  Pass your needle and thread through to the outside (10). Pull your thread taut continuing to hold with your thumb (11).  Now, come back through the center hole from outside to inside (12, 13).  Be sure not to pierce the thread already in that hole.

Once both ends of your thread are back in the inside of your book, place them so that there is one end on either side of that long section of thread running down the middle of the book.  Tie a knot securing that middle stretch of thread (14). Trim your thread (15).

Et voila!  Your own pamphlet book.  These can be used as journals or sketchbooks.  I like them because they’re so slim you can just pop one in your back pocket and keep it with you all the time!