Handmade books are a lot easier to create than you might think!

There are literally hundreds of different styles of handmade books out there; from really simplistic to more intermediate for advance paper crafters.

Infact there’s always new exciting handmade book ideas being invented all the time! That’s what I love so much about this art form!

Why go through all the bother of making a book? Well why not! They look nice for starters! Also they are perfect to give as gifts as they are smaller than traditional scrapbooks. This makes them ideal for brag books as you can insert photographs of loved ones and give them out to family members as an extra special personal gift.

Handmade books can be created using any theme at all! Christmas, Valentines, Birthdays, Christenings, Special Occasions of Just Because! Mix and match using different papers, embellishments and stamps to suit all occasions and seasons. There’s no need to go out and buy expensive book making kits as you can make them yourself using basic equipment you will already have in your craft box.

This issue I thought we would concentrate on a basic handmade book based on the Concertina Book format. I designed it with Scrapbookers in mind as is like a mini scrapbook in itself and is perfect for adding your own photographs. It also serves as a perfect introduction to handmade books and be warned once you start you will get hooked! I did!

I am smitten with the Old Fashioned Vintage Victoriana at the moment; which is why I chose it for the theme of my handmade book! I’m not a scrapbooker (just a mad stamperholic) therefore I didn’t have any photographs to use for this project. Instead I used a set of Vintage images I had which I cut from a set of greetings card. You could use photographs from your collection instead of this.

Also I have created all of the backgrounds used in the book using my rubber stamps – If you don’t have any large background stamps you could substitute with vintage scrap book papers instead.

Ok let’s get started!

Supplies Needed:

  • 4 Sheets A5 Card Stock (Colour Of Your Choice – Make sure your paper is Acid Free if You Wish To Use With Photographs)
  • A6 Sheet Card Stock
  • Various Colour Card Stocks For Stamping And Layering– White, Cream, Black, Burgundy, Natural.
  • Paper Trimmer
  • Acid Testing Pen
  • Bone Folding Tool (or a blunt knife edge)
  • Double Sided Tape (use Acid Free if required e.g. Xyron tape)
  • Gold Peel Off Stickers – Circle Letters, Brads, Corners, Eyelets, Borders And Butterflies.
  • Rebecca Sower Fresh Cuts Sheet
  • Scissors
  • Gold Leafing Pen (Krylon)
  • Printed Vintage Images –or- Your could use photographs
  • Watercolour Pencils (Derwent)
  • Water And Paint Brush
  • Pencil
  • Unwanted Cd
  • Scrabble ‘Memories’ Word
  • Victorian Fancy Edge Scissors
  • Beth Coates Collage CD
  • Single Hole Punch
  • Hot Off The Press Vintage Lace Paper

Inkpads Used:

  • Brilliance – Galaxy Gold (Or Similar Archival Quality)
  • Memories – Artprint Brown, Black, Hunter Green, Soft Leaf And Port Red (Or Similar Archival Quality)

Rubber Stamps Used:

  • Tulip – Anna Griffin
  • Italian Script Background – Hero Arts
  • Handwriting Background – Stampa Rosa
  • Leaf Stamp – Penny Black
  • Rose Postcard – Personal Stamp Exchange
  • Hold Onto Your Dreams – Personal Stamp Exchange
  • Word Tags – My Sentiments Exactly
  • Anyone Sees Beauty – Personal Stamp Exchange
  • Border – Cherry Pie Art Stamps

Creating The Concertina Book:

  1. First of all take the 4 A5 sheets of card and fold them all in half to make A6 single fold card blanks. Score along the edges with a bone folder (or blunt knife edge) to get a nice crisp fold.
  1. Put 1 card blank aside for later. Now take the 3 folded card blanks and set them in front of you. Take 1 card blank and apply a strip of double sided tape along the outside edge (the unfolded edge). Take another card blank and affix it exactly over the top of the other: See Figure 1 Diagram.

  1. Repeat this step to affix the 3rd card blank. Your basic concertina book is now assembled and should look like this: See Figure 2 Diagram.

  1. Take the fourth card blank and trim it approximately just over half the size in length. Note: You do not want to cut along the fold yet.
  1. Take the Cd; place it on the card stock you have just trimmed, place it against the folded edge and let it go off the side of the card stock. Using a pencil draw around the circle to make a rounded shape. Cut along this line with scissors. See: Pocket Figure1 Diagram.

  1. Now trim along the fold of the card blank to separate and create 2 sheets of card.
  1. Turn one sheet of card over so the curved edge is facing outwards towards the left, and the other sheet facing the right. See: Pocket Figure 2 Diagram.

On the sheet with the curve on the left: score and fold 1 cm on the right and bottom of the card and fold inwards.

On the sheet with the curve on the right: score and fold 1cm on the left and bottom of the card and fold inwards.

These are going to be your 2 pockets for your handmade book.

8.  Trim the corners off the pocket flaps ready for assembling on your book.

9.  Affix Hot Off The Press Vintage Lace Scrapbook paper over the top of both pockets and trim off excess.

  1. Affix scrapbook or stamped papers to the inside covers of the book using tape.
  1. Place double sided tape on the reverse of the 2 flaps on both pockets and position them to the inside you’re your book cover over the top of the paper you have just layered.
  1. Take 2 strips of card stock in a contrasting colour approx 4 cms wide – you want them to be the same length as your handmade book.
  1. Fold and score both strips in half vertically.
  1. Use double sided tape and affix them over the top of the edges of the book to seal and secure the edges where you stuck the Concertina pages together. These acts as book binding which makes your book more secure. : See Figure 3 Diagram.

  1. Apply Gold Krylon Leafing pen to the edges of the card strips to embellish the book binds.

Now To Decorate Your Pages and assemble your images, papers, photos and artwork! Here how I did mine:

Front Cover Directions: (front cover shown above) Stamp Tulip With Memories Inkpad on Cream. Apply colour using watercolour pencils and paint brush. Tear round image. Apply gold leafing to edge of the image to highlight it. Stamp word background onto natural paper using Memories Hunter Green Inkpad. Tear round paper and stick onto the front of the book cover. Position the tulip over the top. Add embellishments using peel off stickers: brads and borders and scrabble letters.

Page One Directions: Stamp Postcard stamp with black inkpad on white card, colour with watercolour pencils, trim. Print out vintage images on computer from Collage Cd and apply light colour with Tan watercolour pencil to age them. Tuck all inserts inside the pocket on your book. Affix butterfly peel off sticker to the pocket.

Page Two Directions: Stamp word background onto white card using black inkpad. Sponge colour using household sponges and rainbow dye inkpad. Trim and affix to page 2 of the booklet. Trim vintage image and layer onto background over a strip of black card. Stamp Hold On Your Dreams with Port Red inkpad, cut with fancy scissors, edge with gold pen and affix to the lover half of the book page. Apply peel off stickers to spell out the word Beauty and add embellishments to finish.

Page Three Directions: Stamp tag image onto cream card using Artprint Brown inkpad. Cut out the hope, trust, faith and love tags. Punch holes in top. Apply eyelet stickers to the holes. Position the tags onto the page. Add peel off embellishments as shown.

Page Four Directions: Stamp leaf stamp repeatedly onto cream card using Soft Leaf inkpad to create a background. Trim and affix to the page. Trim out Vintage couple image and layer onto black cardstock. Affix to the page over the top of the background. Use peel off stickers to spell out the word LOVE and add embellishments to the page.

Page Five Directions: Stamp border stamp repeatedly onto black and burgundy paper using gold inkpad. Position then both onto the page. Cut out Vintage lady and affix to the page over the background. Stamp Anyone Who Sees Beauty stamp onto white card using Port Red inkpad. Trim with fancy edge scissors, edge with gold and affix to the page. Cut out Fresh Cuts image and position to page. Use peel off stickers to spell out the word HOPE and add further embellishments.

Page Six Directions: Print out various postcards images and apply colour using watercolour images. Slip inside pocket. Affix butterfly peel off sticker to embellish to finish.

Your Book Is Complete!

I hope you have as much fun creating your book as I did!

More Samples Of Brag Book:

Left Hand Pocket With Inserts Removed:

Right Hand Pocket With Inserts Removed:

Printed Vintage Inserts I put inside the pockets: