They had a couple who had had kids and when they had kids, there were only the really early readers with three or four words per page, and then regular chapter books. So they decided that they, as a family, were going to fill in the gap and make their own books. So they did, and the kids wrote, drew, and then read their own books.
So they showed us how to do a single, sewn signature book with end leaves and really nicely done covers as well.
They'd bought some very nice cotton fiber paper for the signatures, and we got to pick whatever size we wanted. Jet started out wanting a tiny, itty bitty book, but he ended up getting something mildly bigger. They had some nice, patterned scrapbook paper, low acid and lots of pretty patterns, for the end leaves, and then a bunch of colored papers and even old calenders that we could use for the outside of the covers.
Jet chose a calendar sheet that showed a bunch of camels being ridden across the desert. All tans and sunlight, and we used as much of the main herd of camels as we could for his cover. The teacher did a lot of the cutting of the papers, the boards (from cereal boxes!), and the end leaves for us. But we got to make the books ourselves. Jet did the sewing on his signature after I'd poked the holes for him. He did all the cutting and the gluing after I showed him what needed doing, and he did a very, very neat job of it. He then took the book and showed it to everyone in the classroom. I got mildly embarrassed by that, and he demanded that he or I show my book to everyone, too. When I refused to do so he said, "But that's keeping it secret!"
A different definition of secret, I guess. :-)
They'd chosen the single signature because the class was oriented for children and few kids write stories that are longer than sixteen pages. But they had a couple of examples of multi-signature books, so I asked the mom how they'd done those, and she'd recapped what I'd known about multiple signature books. Then I said, "But these don't look like they've been sewn that way." And she nodded, "Yeah, we just sewed up the first signature, and then with each subsequent signature we just tied the next one onto the previous one every time the needle came through the spine..."
Ah... much simpler.
But not solid the way I wanted it to be. Yes, I tried it when I got home. *laughter* I've always wanted journal paper with a grid of faint dots rather than lines or completely blank, so I printed five sheets of dot grid paper, on both sides, and made up a quick, two signature 40 page book by cutting the papers in half and then using those for my pages. I trimmed a quarter inch off the top and side so that I could put a card stock cover on it, and it worked quite well.
And then I wandered around the web, today and found this. Now I have to try it. *grin*
I'm mildly obsessed, now.
The covers were cool. There are tutorials all over the place on how to do a single signature book, but if you do a signature with end pages, you can then glue the end pages to some cool covers.
You'll need paperboard, a piece of cover cloth or paper that's at least two inches longer and taller than your covers and some spine space, and plenty of glue and something to cut things with.
Just cut two pieces of cereal box board/paperboard to be a quarter inch bigger on the top, front, and bottom of the book (the spine edge should stay pretty much right on the spine). Take those two pieces and glue them to the back of your cover paper (or cloth), and make sure that you put enough space between the boards for the width of your book. Then cut the cover paper or cloth so that it's an inch bigger all around your boards. Fold and glue down the corners, first, and then fold and glue down all four edges (it's like a hospital bed corner) so that the folded angles just meet. Let that dry just a bit, and then glue both end papers to the covers one at a time. And you'll have good, hard covers to protect the little book you just made.
John and I did laundry this morning, hung everything up and it's been a surprisingly warm day. Then, at quarter to 10, I started a pot of potatoes and extended our turkey gravy by quite a lot. At 10:30 I rode to Jet's school and let the kids trade books for the holidays. They get the whole week of Thanksgiving off, so it's going to be interesting.
At 11 I rode home and saw John drive out of our cul de sac, as he finished the mashed potatoes and drove them to school. We then went out for lunch, together, at Deli Ciosos and I went to the Michael's yarn sale, as they had Paton's Merino wool on sale for a third off and Jet really wants a pullover like Tanner's. So I decided I might as well make it out of wool rather than acrylic. He wanted the khaki camo I'd bought for helmet liners, and since I didn't actually know if the military would accept multicolored liners, I was mildly relieved, and bought the rest for his sweater.
Now home again... and I should probably write...