Notebook: Part I (inside).

Pocket Moleskines: 12-dollar nuggets of goodness, perfect for taking on voyages. But I can’t afford to feed this habit, and I tend to put off writing in them because they’re so nice I don’t want to “waste” them. So, last November or so, I checked out Michael Shannon’s page on making your own faux-Moleskine notebook, and this art has become something of a (benign) habit. Particularly once I realized that you can use ANY kind of paper. My favorite is graph paper, but you can also use…

Staff paper!
Parchment paper! (faux vellum)


Once you’ve chosen, you take a sheet of paper and — well, you know the song… YOUUUU MUST RIP IT!

Into four pieces. You then fold each of these in half, leaving you with folios. (Folia?) 

I think I’m going to start using a paper guillotine, because matching these can be a pain. Both of those sheets have the fold on the opposite side (away from us, in the picture), so you have left-fuzzy and right-fuzzy folios.
Now we collate them into signatures. For this weight of paper, I used 8 folios/signature, which makes mini-”books” of 16 pages. Just stick one folio inside another, and if you have fuzzy edges, it works best to alternate “left” and “right” folios.

Once you’ve made 6 signatures, you can put them together into a block. As you can see, that wavy edge-pattern you’ve seen on some old books is due to the folios being collated after the paper was cut.

Lovely, no?


…Of course, you can’t make these stay together until you’ve punched holes through them, which was the secret catch to this post. Oh man, you’ll have to take another ten minutes now. I win!!

Sew anyway…
Then you sew them together. On this one, I forgot that one is meant to punch four holes, rather than three, but it still worked… just won’t be as even.


So now that you’ve got your signatures all sewn, you need to smear glue on and near the spine, then press cheesecloth (or gauze, like I use) into the glue, to hold everything together nice and firmly. Leave this assembly pressed between a rock and a hard place, and move on to the cover.

And once you have that, it is time to take over the world. And/or make some endpapers. And find something to cover it with. Part II to come soon!

P.S. I made more tarts this morning. <3

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