Sewn books

Playing with my Paper

Some of my papers, some vintage papers designed by Axel Salto
Some of my papers, some vintage papers designed by Axel Salto

I tend to accumulate beautiful papers. Some of the papers I have hanging around are papers I’ve bought, but, increasingly, I am designing papers of my own. Coming up with these designs are a direct result of how I’ve been processing math ideas. Lots of times it’s a journey to get things right: some designs aren’t what I’m after, but they’re still lovely.

My Papers
My Papers

May of these papers are too beautiful for me to want to get rid of. These papers have been piling up.

Since it’s Labor Day weekend, I decided to put everything else aside for a couple of days and do something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, which is to make some books using these papers with my designs on them.

After all, I love making books, and I love these papers, so it seemed like the right thing to do.

I made six books, three different styles of binding.

I used some vintage papers in my collection for the books’ covers.

I started with making just one four-signature exposed-spine notebook. It’s nearly 100 pages (that’s 24 pieces of folded paper).  I like this style of sewing where I get to use one needle per sewing station.

Pamphlet bound, Asahi bookcloth, Axel Salto papers
Pamphlet bound, Asahi bookcloth, Axel Salto papers


Then I made three nifty single-signature pamphlet bound books. 32 pages each. They look the same on the outside, but each one has its own set of unique papers.

I had a particularly good time choosing the endpapers  for these, as I couldn’t use papers in my stash, as they were the wrong weight for endpapers. Instead, I searched out some old files and printed up some papers that I’ve actually never printed out for myself.

Bimply bound books
Books bound in Wallpaper with Beads

Next were these simple little beauties. No glue, simple sewing, elegant folding. These are made from wallpaper samples, a paper that I’ve worked with many times, like here  (If you’re not convinced look here too: What I like about using wallpaper samples is that the books can take quite a bit of abuse and still look good. There’s a sturdiness about wallpaper books.

Since these books are so slender I added beads to the sewing, as this makes it easy to find them on the bookshelf.

The insides of the wallpaper-covered books have a pockets in the front and back covers. I have a few of these that I use all the time. The pockets are really handy. Also, I slip a piece of stiff paper in the pockets so that the covers feel more solid.


Every spread in every book looks different.

Some pages have less color than others. This was one of my favorite spreads.

Here are the three styles hanging out together. They are all just a bit bigger than 4.25″ x 5.5″.

Here they are willy-nilly, looking for a good way to be photographed.

Don’t really know what I will do with these. My bookshelf is already filled with handmade books. I’ve put them on etsy, but am also thinking that they would make good Christmas presents for my sisters’ families. We’ll see.

But am happy to have finally used these papers. Now I feel freer to make more.

Felt good to be messing around with papers.


2 thoughts on “Playing with my Paper

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