Hi guys, no I didn't forget about this tutorial lol but it's turned out so long for a blogpost I'm splitting it into two to save the length.
So this section will be for the book itself, aka this bit:
Part two will be for the Removable Cover and fitting the book inside, aka this bit:
So this tutorial is just how I created my Smash Book, it is not the only way to create a Smash Book (there must be a bunch of tuts out there by now) or the 'official way' or anything, just how I went about doing it, as I've been asked a million bazillion times how I made my previous Smash Book I wanted to show & tell how I made this one.
So first up you will need:
1) A binding machine
(I have the Zutter Bind-it-all. I have a little more info on binding machines in my FAQ page if you want it.)
2) To know how to use your binding machine
(this is not a product demo - one of the reasons I didn't want to do a video tutorial on this was so it wouldn't get all caught up in machine settings etc, just use your machine however you would ordinarily.)
3) Paper to fill it, I'm choosing 12x12 pretty pattern papers
4) A cover to encase it, I'm using a large sheet of heavy-weight watercolour paper (approx 16x11 or something similar)
5) Owires, I'm using 1" wires
6) Ruler, pen/pencil and scrap paper for template
7) Glue and Bone Folder, optional if you want to make pockets.
Creating Your Smash Book:
So first you need to decide what size you want your pages to be, as this will also determine the size of your covers. I went for something really easy; 6x10 so that I could pick some scrapbooking papers I found pretty and have minimum wastage (cut 2" off the top, and then straight down the middle). This also meant my large watercolour sheet would be pretty much the right size for a cover without having to cut that down either.
*Tip - My last homemade Smash Book taught me that if you are going to be sticking a lot of things into your book then your pages are going to need to support them, so either you choose only card-weight papers, or double them up as I'm doing here. To do this simply fold your paper over (pretty side out), glue the bottom and once bound you'll have a full sized-pocket opening via the top!
Next measure your cover:
Whatever size you want your cover to be is entirely up to you but you will need it to be big enough to a) fit your spine and b) have enough extra space either side to fit your pages when the book is both open AND closed. By that I mean you have to take into account both the width of the pages AND Owires (i.e. I have to account for 6" pages AND 1" Owire). If you only calculate your pages you will come up short when the book is closed and have your pages sticking out. If in doubt add on some extra, k? Ok =)
Then I measured the direct centre of my cover sheet, and 0.75" either side of it, like this:
I then scored all three lines to create an 'M' shaped cover, like this:
That centre line is what I will later put into the binding machine but the reason I scored the line at 0.75" either side of it (making the spine a total of 1.5") is so that the ending result will allow room for the 1" Owire and the 'M' to remain an 'M'. If you create the spine too tight the 'M' will straighten out and not allow for any give, so I would recommend measuring 3/4 of the size of your Owire either side (therefore your spine should turn out to be one and a half times the Owire size).
I then created a template for binding by taking a scrap piece of paper the length of my pages and measuring the centre point (5") and from there I measured either side where I would like my wires to go.
Again how you want to bind your book is personal preference, you may wish to run your wires down the entire length of your book. I prefer the look and ease (not to mention the savviness of using the minimum) of just doing two punches per page, and therefore using only two 6-ringed Owires for the whole book.
Here's how I used the template,
I stuck my pages securely to it with a clip, lined up the centre to my punch line and BAM!:
So all my pages once done looked like this:
I then took my cover and folded it inside out as you can see above, then stuck the template on that too, lining up the middle line with the centre of my cover:
Once punched and flipped it back the right way it looked like this:
Then I stuck in my Owires:
And added my papers:
Squeezed the Owires together and BOOM, a new Smash Book.
Here's what some of my inside pages look like:
I chose all kinds of pattern papers from different collections to keep my interest, but that meant they really didn't match. So to make it work I put in 'filler' colours & simple patterns etc so that overall it flowed from one collection/colour to another cohesively.
Spend some time arranging the order of your pages to be exactly how you want them, because once they're bound it's tough titties, as my Grandma would say!
And that's part 1 done, yay! and of course you can just leave your Smash Book at that if you want but in part two I'll show you how to make a more 'proper' cover that your Smash Book can slip into (think of it like a dust jacket lol). I'm still working on that one but should have it posted next week =)
Now get Smashin' ;)