How to Make a Decorative Book
Making a book is easy and fun with the Shizen Design Bookmaking Kit. It contains cover boards and interior pages—you’ll need to round up a few basic tools and pick a decorative paper from our extensive selection to use for the cover of the book.
To assemble the book, just follow the simple instructions in the kit. Yasutomo Nori Rice Paste is a great adhesive to use as it doesn’t wrinkle or curl. Weight the finished book down keeping it flat to dry.
Give the book empty as an impressive sketchbook or journal, or fill it with favorite photographs for an elegant scrapbook.
Tips for making your personalized Shizen Book from the Shizen Bookmaking Kit
- Measure the front & back cardboard covers to get accurate measurements as the sizes do vary. Ex: 6” x 9” may actually be 6.5” x 10”.
- Measure out your decorative paper to have a 1 inch border on all 4 sides PLUS another 1 inch in the width for the cardboard spine and space for the book to close. EX: 6” x 9” dimensions would then be 15” x 11”, or for second example the 6.5” x 10” your decorative paper dimensions would be 16” x 12”.
- Mark your 1 inch border with pencil line.
- Check your measurements by laying out your cardboard front & back covers and spine. The spine area is 1/2 inch for cardboard spine plus a 1/4 inch of space on either side for a total of 1 inch..
- Cut your paper to necessary size.
- Layout your cardboard front & back covers and spine on your now cut-to-size decorative paper, with marked lines to show the 1 inch border on all four sides.
- Fold the 4 corners inwards following the diagram in the instructions (included with the kits) crease the folded corners with a bone folder, remove the cardboard covers and spine, then cut off the corners.
- Fold in the 1 inch border on all 4 sides as diagrammed in the instructions, and crease with bone folder.
- Thinly apply your paste (needs to be a re-positional paste like “Nori” or “Yes” paste so that you can make adjustments) to the surface of the cardboard front & back covers and spine, and lay them paste side down onto the non-decorative side of your paper according to the diagram in the instructions.
- Thinly apply paste to the 1 inch border on all 4 sides and turn the borders in onto the cardboard front & back covers and spine, now you have the book cover done.
- Dry fit the deckle page insert into the completed book cover to see how it all fits together.
- Thinly apply your paste to the outside of the non-deckle edged first page, except for the 1/2 inch closest to the insert spine. Use a sheet of paper to between the non-deckled first page and the first deckled page to prevent paste getting on the books’ pages. Repeat for the back, non-deckled last page of the deckled page insert.
- Do NOT apply paste to the spine part of the deckle page insert, the cardboard spine or within a 1/2 inch of the spine.
- Carefully insert the deckle page insert in between the closed book covers, then slightly press the pasted pages to the cardboard covers.
- Immediately open the book onto your work surface and adjust the non-deckled front and back pages so that they are smoothly pasted to the front and back covers, and test that you can open and shut your book. You may have to re-position the insert a bit until you can open and close the book easily.
- Allow paste to dry by placing your newly completed Shizen Book under a heavy book. Make sure none of the paste oozes out and pastes something shut.
Download Complete Project