Art can be intimidating for those of us without access to studios or even art supplies. For example, I recently visited the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, the largest center dedicated to bookbinding and related crafts. MCBA’s gallery showcases the intricate, beautiful work of local artists.
I have always wanted to try making a book, but I have never taken any of MCBA’s bookbinding or papermaking classes. I don’t own any of the binding thread sold in their shop. It’s easy for me to look at the tiny, hand-cut pages spiraling out to form landscapes of European cities (complete with accurate depth perception) and give up.
But this time, I reminded myself that everyone starts small. I found a mini paper notebook tutorial by Paperwoman and used materials that I already had in my dorm. Instead of an awl, I used pushpins to punch the holes for binding. I used regular sewing thread and a darning needle to stitch the pages together.
My book doesn’t come in a hand-carved wooden box, but I’m proud of how it turned out. It helped me realize that creating art doesn’t necessarily require lots of supplies—sometimes it just takes a little improvising.
Want to learn more about making books?
- How to Make a Chapbook by Stacie Naczelnik
- DIY: How to Make a Saddle-Stitch Chapbook by Poets & Writers
- Sew a Stylish Matchbook-Style Notepad by Erica Craft