Handi-hour Crafting — Miniature Books

  • DC’s original crafting happy hour returns with tiny inspiration. Create your own miniature world—with or without the Nutshell Studies-inspired theme of mystery and murder. Enjoy craft brews from Right Proper Brewing and live music from Laissez Foure while you work.

    GLORIA KENYON: Hi, I’m Gloria Kenyon, Public Programs Coordinator for the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery. Today we will be making miniature books for our upcoming Handi-hour. The theme is miniatures in honor of our “Nutshells” exhibition.

    I have some pre-cut paper here. It’s just computer paper, actually. It’s cut into 1-inch squares, and these are the end papers that we’re going to use when we glue it to our cover. I'm going to set that aside. You want to try and get your ends as close together so when you glue them that they adhere. We’re just going to use some tacky glue. I would recommend any kind of strong glue that you can find. I’m just going to take a sponge brush. You can use any kind of brush you have. We’re actually going to apply a couple of layers. The more glue layer you apply, the better it’s going to stick. We’re going to take this one sheet of paper that we pulled out, and we’re going use that to make our spine. We’re just going to apply this over and adhere that. We’re going to take this binder clip and hold it together like that.

    While that dries, we’re going to work on our cover. You’re going to take your inside pages, and I have some other ones here to show you. You lay them down and trace right around them to create your covers. This is just chipboard, and it’s a little bit thicker board that you’re going to use. I’ve traced out for our cover, here, you can see, just around. It’s a little bit bigger than 1-inch square. Then you’re also going to want to trace out a space, or a piece for your spine. You want a hard spine, and two hard covers. You could use something a little bit thicker. You could use a cardstock if you wanted, but I find this chipboard to be the perfect thickness and the perfect strength for our tiny books.

    These are fabric covers. You could do a hard paper if you wanted, a soft paper if you had a decorative paper. I just have these scraps of fabric. Lay these down on here, and you want to give yourself a little bit of extra space around your cover in your spine. Now we’re going to glue our cover and paper onto our fabric. You just want a nice light layer of glue. I’m actually going to put it on the board rather than the fabric. You want to leave just the tiniest little gap between the spine board and the cover boards so when you fold them up to make the spine it folds more easily. We’re going to actually want to cut some notches here at the corners to fold those down so you and don't end up with a big bulky corner. You want a nice clean corner.

    Once you’ve got your corners cut, I’m going to do a thin line of glue all the way around. I’m going to fold the corners up first and then the sides. Fold our corners up, and then let’s fold up our sides. Now we’re going to take our pages that we glued together earlier and adhere them. This is where we want those end papers that I talked about at the beginning. These are just 2 inch by 1 inch pieces that I cut when I cut my original pages. This is so you can more easily glue your inner pages to your cover. I’m going to actually glue my end papers in first. End paper number one is in, and we’ll do end paper number two. If you want to do any writing on your cover or on the inside of your end paper, now is the time to do that.

    We’ve glued our second end paper in, and now we’re going to add some glue to our spine and the other side of our end papers. We’ll take our pages that we glued together earlier, adhere them to the spine, pull up our end papers and glue them. Hold that in place. Now you have your cover and your pages attached. If you want to make sure everything stays together well you can bind or clip it together. Let that hold while everything dries. Let your glue set, and in the end you have a book.
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