Do You Make Small Books?

December 29, 2011

See the post for full details.

Scraps2495Left: Pile of bookcloth and paper scraps. Click on image to view an enlargement.


In the process of binding 20 journals last Friday to Sunday I went through my storage of smaller bits and pieces of fabric and handpainted decorative paper. I wanted to use things up and also not spend money buying more fabric etc. 

The flurry of activity resulted in even smaller scraps of material that are just not suited to the size of book I make. (While my very small journals [3.5 x 4.5 inches] have always sold really well I find that they take as much time to make as the larger ones and I've discontinued making them; there's no point in saving these materials for small books I no longer make.) I also find that, while all this stuff is great for collage, I just have to clear it all out every so often. Normally I'd put it in my teaching bin of collage materials, but I'm not scheduled to teach a collage-related class in 2012 so there isn't any need.

My friend Ricë has been writing about her recent adventures clearing out supplies and giving them away. A couple years ago I gave a packet of scraps away so it struck me that it might be a good idea to do it again.

The bookcloth is 9 x 12 inches (that's the largest piece) or much smaller and narrower. These would be perfect for people making smaller clothbound books or for doing spines only on a variety of sizes of book, or just to have as swatches the next time you go to the store and want to ask your vendor what to stock. And of course the really small pieces would be great as tactile additions to a collage. 

The paper pieces range in size from 11 x 15 inches to small, small strips. Many pieces could be used for decorative paper when making cases for hardbound books (not for endsheets, they are too thick for that) but their greatest suitability would be for collage.

I used to make paper and bookcloth jewelry (I can't find any photos of them right at the moment, so I'll see if I can hunt some up) and you might enjoy doing that as well. Some of the decorative paper scraps make cool pendants when cropped and mounted.

If you live in the U.S. and you're a binder who makes small books, likes collage, or likes odd things to make jewelry out of, and would like this packet just put a comment in the comment box (be sure that the comment has a link to your email so I can contact you directly). I'll do a drawing tomorrow night with names of everyone who writes in. Then I'll contact you for your postal address if your name is drawn.

THE DRAWING IS CLOSED (FRIDAY 9:30 a.m.) I closed the comments section so that others wouldn't sign up. My schedule changed for the day and if I do the drawing now I can get to the post office today—and clear off my table. There are already over 20 people in the drawing so chances to win were diminishing too. Thanks to everyone for offering to give these pieces a new home and new life.

Please note there are no explanations with any of this material, no notes on techniques, no identification of the papers. You'll just be on your own there. To document all these bits would be beyond time intensive. Most of the papers will have light pencil lines on the back, indicating the grain direction, which will be helpful for your immediate use of the material. (I always mark large sheets with long lines running with the grain direction before I cut pieces out of a sheet—that way when I get down to smaller scraps I want to use I don't have to guess, or waste portions testing.) 

THE DRAWING IS CLOSED. The comments section is closed to end entries. Heidi won the drawing and the package of scraps will be going out to her.

    • anne
    • December 29, 2011

    This is a great idea, and I’m definitely interested! I love scraps for small books and collage!

  1. I would be thrilled to receive a packet of your materials to use in my collages. I absolutely lose myself when I collage-I am incapable of not making them.

    On another note, I am half way through reading the perspective book that you recommended. So far, I understand what is being presented.
    Thank you, Jessica Porterfield

    • Christine F
    • December 29, 2011

    I would certainly be interested in a packet. Anything I couldn’t use would be welcome at my book arts group.

    • Vicki
    • December 29, 2011

    My favorite of all the books I’ve made is just 3 1/2 x 4 1/2. I take it with me when I travel to keep track of our vacations.

    I’d love to have your “scraps”. Thanks so much for the opportunity.


    • December 29, 2011

    Oh! Fun Roz, I’ll share with my Mom.

    • Melanie Kiser
    • December 29, 2011

    I would love this packet of goodness! Thanks for giving it away!

  2. Are you kidding? What an amazing (and generous) deal. I would love to receive a packet. Thank you for everything you share in your blog — I’m always stunned at how much you know, how much you do, and how you find the time to do it all and to do it so well. –Carol Leigh

    • Debby
    • December 29, 2011

    Oh, and I was just thinking about making some more books. Yay. Looks like cool stuff. Thanks for offering.

    • karen
    • December 29, 2011

    I’d love to have your packet of scraps. Sign me up.

    • Carol Kunnerup
    • December 29, 2011

    well, I’m on board. I love making small journals and I think it is fun to share scraps and make way for new. 😀

    • Carissa
    • December 29, 2011

    I have never bound my own sketchbook before. It is on my to-do list for 2012. Thanks Roz!

    • Becky
    • December 29, 2011

    Been practicing my bookmaking over the holidays. Definitely interested. 🙂

    • j.long
    • December 29, 2011

    Yes, Please! What a kind and generous thing to do. I do collage on a daily basis and am about to try to make a living at it? Please cross your fingers and toes. jacki.

    • Susie Land
    • December 29, 2011

    What a lovely gift-give-away!
    Roz, you’re so inspiring (loved your bicycle riding thoughts),just having some of your paper would be exciting. To keep and look at at first, then use for whatever it wanted to be used for. Thanks for the chance to win….

    • Dana
    • December 29, 2011

    Thanks for the chance Roz, you’re so generous! I’ve just started making my own sketchbooks and you are an inspiration. I’d love to get a look at your hand-painted papers. Ah… but my chance of winning… sigh.

    • Heidi
    • December 29, 2011

    How exciting and generous! Please put my name in the hat, too. And thank you Roz, for such a wonderful and inspiring blog. I read you daily : )

    • Miriam
    • December 29, 2011

    I love bookbinding and I wish I could take one of your classes, but I do not live in Minneapolis.:( I make mostly small books. I collage a little here and there on my sketchbooks, but mainly draw and paint on them. Thank you Roz!

    • Jo Bryant
    • December 29, 2011

    Wow! I would love to have one of your scrap packets. I follow your blog daily and learn so much from it. I don’t see anyone else online doing the thorough investigation into papers, paints and tools that you do. Please don’t stop.

    Thanks, Jo

  3. I think anyone would deeply appreciate your scraps. Especially me!

    I’d love to create a series of my own small books.

    • Leslie Schramm
    • December 29, 2011

    What a magic give-away , don’t worry I know a nice lady in Iowa that could deliver them to Sunny Scotland if I won the draw. Pull names out of a hat, and Mr Thinsulate is the winner

    • Janet Stollnitz
    • December 29, 2011

    What may be “scraps” to you are treasures to others. I’d be delighted to include some of your scraps in my books.

    • Katie McD
    • December 29, 2011

    Would love your scraps! 🙂

    • Barbara Lemme
    • December 29, 2011

    I would love your scraps! We have a small bookbinding group that would love to share them.

  4. I’d love to get in on this drawing and am sure I could put your scraps to good use….Thanks in advance for considering me!

    • Tammy
    • December 29, 2011

    Please enter me in the drawing!

    • Gina Lighton
    • December 30, 2011

    Please add me to your drawing …I’d love to have your scraps! I do collage and bookbinding and love little books! Thanks!

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