Making book blocks

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Part two of the making of the practical magic style spellbook. Creating book blocks.

Some tools you will need.

Awl

I am not going to walk you through step-by-step how to make your book blocks for your books because there is a great video on YouTube by sea lemon that walks you through that step by step.

Kettle stitching

Book Binding

I will tell you this; she puts several sheets in each signature but once you tea stain all your pages I have found it works best at three sheets per signature.

The big book block for main section of the Practical Magic style spellbook

Making book blocks may look a little difficult even with Sea Lemons easy-to-follow tutorial but trust me once you get going and get that technique down it will be so easy, the sewing will go so fast you’ll be amazed. My first book block I did curse a bit, especially when the needle stabbed a finger badly. Yes I am blaming the poor defenseless needle and not my hand sewing skills.

Sea lemon also has a video on how to make a book press.

Book Press

She makes a small press and you will be amazed at how simple it is to make. My husband and I went to Home Depot, I found the piece of wood I liked and they actually cut it in half at the store for me. We came home, drilled holes, and put in the screws. That was it. The trip to Home Depot, getting the wood cut, me drilling the holes all took less than thirty minutes total.

I did make a much bigger size press than Sea Lemon because some of the spell books I am making are going to be huge. 18×24 is the finished size of the press.

My book press. Not pretty but functional.

Once the book blocks are complete the next step is to make the cover and spine for the book. I will post that in a few days.

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Hidden Compartment Book

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I have been on a book making kick here recently, I guess you could say not only making books but taking old books and giving them a new life. One of the books I’ve recently finished is a hidden compartment book. I got this book when I was a preteen and lost it several years later. When my dad passed away last year I found it in one of his many boxes of books, it just seemed like the perfect book to convert to a hidden compartment book.

So about 20 pages into the book I decided that’s where I’m going to start cutting the book for the hidden compartment. The hole size was determined by my deck of Tarot cards.

I drew the size out on the page where the hole would begin. Using a exacto knife with a fresh blade cut as deep as the blade will allowed. Cut out that section, then another section and so on. This is a slow process but keep cutting out pages till you get to the depth you want.

I put a piece of chipboard on first whole page underneath the hole. Glued it down to the whole page then glued the last cut page to the top part of chipboard.

Hold the section that has the cut out, with glue and a paintbrush apply glue to the edges as you hold all the holed pages together.


Apply the glue to all three edges. Let it dry. Now all that’s left to do is hide your treasure in the book.

I did do some designs on the book cover but that is optional.