Sunday, June 13, 2010

board book

Esther emailed me yesterday to ask if I had ever made a board book: they have a client who is looking to make some board books for two year olds and Esther said she might hire me as the binder for the project. That is pretty cool.

One small problem: I've never made a board book before. No big deal. I did some interneting and found surprisingly few tutorials on the subject: most sites claiming DIY board books just told you where to buy blank ones you could decorate yourself. But luckily perserverence paid off and I found a site that was helpful. It didn't have any pictures—which I hate!—but the directions were clear enough that it worked out. It suggests using cereal box cardboard for the pages, but I wanted something thicker, so I used thin corrugated board. (For the actual commission I would use some thickness of binder's board, but I don't have much of that just lying around and it's a huge pain to cut without a board shear, which, due to them being insanely big and expensive, I do not have, but do deeply covet.) I just used scrap paper for the actual pages, but once it was all done it seemed like it wasn't quite enough, so I dug through my stamps and did a little stamping on each spread just for fun.

This paper was an old envelope. The small and large A's are prints from a wood block and a rubber stamp: I uses a letter from each of these sets for the other vowels as well: the only letter that differs is the third since I don't have a third set of letters. With the A's the third A is made from a star-shaped eraser: I taped off two of the arms to make the A shape. I like it: it looks a little Treky to me.

The third E was a rubber stamp that I bought at a foundry sale somewhere. When your last name starts with E you tend to end up with a lot of them, which is lucky because it's hard to fake an E shape from something else.

The first I is a rubber birthday candle stamp.

The third O is a rubber pumpkin stamp.

This one is a little sketchy. I didn't have a U wood block (I had the others because they were letters in my first and last names, so that means no U) so I covered up the top of the O to make it a U. The third U here is a shape made from setting a line of U's on my re-setable stamp set. I only had 5 U's so I had to re-set them to make the lines going in different directions. (If you look to the left of the big U you can see a single line of U's that I stamped first. The page looked too empty with the bottom right corner empty, so I did the U shape of U's to compensate.)

And that's that. Even if the job doesn't come through it was definitely fun to figure out how to make a board book. I wish I'd done this research a little sooner: It would have been a really fun thing to do for the kids while I was in Ecuador.

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