Flip Book

Flip-Book, Take #2

Waxed Thread of Sewing Books
Waxed Thread for Sewing Books

Am still trying to hone in on a way of making flip-books. This means creating templates in my graphics program as well as figuring out how I want to bind the books. There were too many things that weren’t right about the Japanese stab-sewn binding that I’ve already written about, so I thought I would take a look through the internet to see how other people bound their flip books. I found some slam-dunk awesome flip books, but not much inspiration for the treatment of the spine.

Some solutions for Flip-Book Bindings that I found on the Internet
Some solutions for Flip-Book Bindings that I found on the Internet

One site recommended putting a tight rubber band around the pages. I actually love this solution, as it’s so cheap and easy, but it wasn’t the way I wanted to go for the set of books that I’m planning. Another site suggested using a pad of Post-It notes, which actually seems like sort of an expensive way to go, and doesn’t leave much room for error. Also, the use of Post-its invites the distinct possibility that someone will re-appropriate your animation for use as (gasp) Post-it notes.

I tried out using a lighter weight paper, too, which my daughter immediately nixed. She said that the pages moved too fast, and that the book didn’t have the satisfying clicking sound that she likes. Someone on the internet suggested using filing cards for the pages, which I think would work well.  I think I saw at least one flip-book that was bound with those heavy-duty paper clips, which I just discovered are (appropriately) called binder’s clips. I think these would work well, though that re-appropriation problem would again apply. It looked to me like some people used pre-bound books or pads, and some people just held the pages together with one hand while they flipped with the other. Oh,  and a truly heavy-duty staple gun can do the trick too.  All good solutions, but none that enthralled me.

Gathering materials for bookbinding
Gathering materials for bookbinding

I decided to sew again, but to sew a simple 3-hole pamphlet stitch on to a flap. I made the flap out of book cloth. It’s hard to explain the flap in words, but I think the pictures show it well enough.

The flap  and the drilling
The book cloth has one accordion fold in it, and the rest wraps around the spine.
Book Sewn to Spine Piece
Book Sewn to Spine Piece

There, that was simple enough. I’ve actually done something like this with first grade students, but instead of sewing and using cloth, the spine that these first graders used was made of paper,to which we applied a two-hole punch, and used paper fasteners to attach everything together.

Big Bad Dragon storybook
Big Bad Dragon storybook

Here it is!


That was such a great project. But I digress..


Here’s the finished version of my little book. I’m mostly happy with it. I really like the look of the spine. The book works well, makes a good sound, and feels good in my hands. The last page has some writing, explaining what CMYK is. The text reads as follows  (please feel free to suggest edits to this text if I have made any errors, as I still consider this a work in progress. Thank you):

CMYK is like a secret code that printers use to define and mix color.

C: Cyan, bluish values
M: Magenta, reddish values
Y: Yellow, values of yellow
K: Key, values of Black

The range of numbers that follows each letter defines the concentration of CMYK pigment that the printer uses: 100 is fully concentrated brightness, zero indicates the complete subtraction of color.

This flip-book shows 48 of the possible 104,050,401 permutations of CMYK values 0 through 100.

In my last post I included an unlabeled and incomplete animated of a version of the contents of my book. If you’ve seen that post already and still have an itch to see a flip-book in action, take a look at this thoroughly gratifying brilliant creation of Matthew Shilian:

If you are in need of instructions for how to do the pamphlet stitch that I referred to, take a look at http://www.booklyn.org/education/ispamphlet.pdf

More flip books to come…

2 thoughts on “Flip-Book, Take #2

  1. The books you linked to show what is likely the finest binding I’ve seen on a flip book. I had thought about using Chicago Screws but hadn’t come up with using it them with book cloth and board. I think my next flip book will be influenced by these books of Levergneux’s….I’ll likely stick with the sewing, but am going to think about using board with the cover. Thank you!!


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