I Don’t Believe It

Remember how my two attempts at book-binding so far were about 95% successful? I had glued in the pages, and a few pages fell out, and I cut the spine slightly on the second book, but otherwise it worked alright. Well, yesterday I finally got to try my hand at the hidden spine method from this video using my three travel journals and the Tasha Alexander book from the last post. Here’s how it went.

Starting Out


Removing the Pages

Because I accidentally cut some of the spine the last time I tried to remove pages from a book, I was nervous about this attempt. I had to use an unsharpened pencil to help me pull the pages free of the spine now and then. Luckily, cutting the pages was a little easier this time. However, I didn’t dare risk cutting the spine again by laying the book flat to cut the second side, so I stood it on its end. I also used large binder clips to hold the book cover and pages in place as I cut. Finally, I trimmed the edges with scissors and, voila! I had a clean and intact book cover.


Covering the Inside

The inside of the cover was white, so I decided to cover it with patterned paper. I had my journals already in order, and I had used the same patterned papers to create tabs in them. Why not match the paper on the front cover with the tabs from the first journal and the paper on the back cover with the tabs from the third journal?

It took me two cutting attempts as my measurements were off somehow the first time. My slight corrects the second time seemed to result in far too big a piece of paper, though, so I’m not sure what happened there. I had to trim them a lot more.

Because I didn’t have the same sizes of double-sided tape as in the video (I remembered incorrectly and bought 1/4″ instead of 3/4″) and because my pages were taller than the ones she used in the tutorial, I did 1/2″ double-sided tape around all the edges, then I added another strip to the side that would end up closest to the spine.


Crafting the Hidden Spine

I cut my Kraft-tex paper about 9.5″ long and 4″ wide, and I creased it so it would sit nicely in the book spine, which was about 1″ wide. Then I measured out the three sets of holes I needed for stitching, and I pierced them with an awl. I did the same for my journals, then I stitched them in.


I wanted the tails of the strings to sit on the inside so I could add tags.


Attaching the Hidden Spine

Because the flaps of my hidden spine were longer than the ones in the tutorial, I added two strips of 1/2″ tape instead of one, then I glued the spine in with tacky glue and made sure it all lined up. There’s a piece that may need a touch of trimming, but otherwise it fit perfectly.

After applying some pressure to let the glue set, I put a rubber band around the book and used a binder clip to help hold it together.

I came back to the book about two or two-and-a-half hours later, and it was dry.

And glued upside down.

Yep. That’s right. After all my paper-matching, and after correctly sewing all the journals in right-side up, I glued the spine in upside down. I couldn’t believe it.


Luckily, the paper on the “back” (now the front) cover matches the front of the first journal well, and the same is true of the “front” (now the back) cover and the third journal.


Really, the inside looks fine. It’s just that, one way or the other, the book will go on the shelf upside down.

Taping the flaps down was one of the hardest parts of the process. The tutorial says to back the flaps up a touch and shows her smoothing the paper down so there’s a crease towards the spine. I had trouble with this last time, and it didn’t turn out well. My first attempt this time turned out the same way, but the second one was perfect, so I redid the first one in a similar way. I kept a good arch on the book cover and fit the paper into the crease, then I taped it down. That seemed to work. However, one flap is coming loose from the tape, probably where I repeatedly repositioned it. I’ll fix that with more tape or with tacky glue.


Covering the Flaps

I don’t like how the Kraft-tex paper looks with the patterned paper I used, so I decided to cover it with something. I had nothing suitable on hand, but I remembered that, while at the Dollar Tree the day before, I almost bought some burlap “ribbon” with a lace pattern over it. At the time, I figured I would never use it, so I put it back and saved a buck or two.

Now I needed it, though, so my sister and I went to the store again. Except we tried Dollar General first, and they didn’t have the one I wanted. The Dollar Tree near us didn’t have it, either, so I bought plain burlap.

My mom thinks the burlap looks alright with the patterned paper and the journals, but I’m not as sure. The paper is from the Old World stack I bought, so the patterns are elegant but also look faded, stained, or cracked. The journals are different colored maps with shiny trim. I don’t think plain burlap matches either of those, but the lace-covered one might. I’ll have to see if I can get my hands on it or on something similar.

So, as of right now, my book is 99% completed and 99% perfect. I’m thrilled! I’ll keep the gluing mistake in mind for my next attempt with the feather journals, but I doubt that will be today. I hope to get studying, roleplaying, researching, and perhaps even writing done. We’ll see how that goes.

Hope you enjoyed this craft post. I’ll update you when I finally cover the Kraft-tex flaps.

Mata, ne!



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