Make a concertina!

Make a concertina with Rachel Hazell, The Travelling Bookbinder

Hello! Here’s another project created for Iona Primary School and you. We hope you enjoyed making your own journal to use as a diary. Today you’re going to fold a brilliantly simple book structure, perfect for presenting observations and details: Make a concertina!

Make a concertina with Rachel Hazell, The Travelling Bookbinder

You will need:

  • A long narrow strip of paper. I’ve used a piece of Bockingford Watercolour paper that is 7cm high and 76cm long. The weight is 190gsm
  • A shell or bead or button to fasten
  • Some thread, wool or ribbon, around 75cm long. I’ve used some thick linen
  • A needle
  • Scissors
  • Pencils/pens/crayons/paints
Make a concertina with Rachel Hazell, The Travelling Bookbinder
  1. Fold the long strip in half.
Make a concertina with Rachel Hazell, The Travelling Bookbinder

2. Then into quarters (by folding the ends in to meet the middle crease.)

Make a concertina with Rachel Hazell, The Travelling Bookbinder

3. I divided each quarter into three, by gu-estimating, for a square-ish book, but you might prefer a narrower one, by dividing the quarter into four.

Make a concertina with Rachel Hazell, The Travelling Bookbinder

4. Here’s the strip folded into the finished concertina.

Make a concertina with Rachel Hazell, The Travelling Bookbinder

5. Decide on the position of your fastener.

Make a concertina with Rachel Hazell, The Travelling Bookbinder

6. Then mark and prick two holes, showing where you’re going to stitch.

Make a concertina with Rachel Hazell, The Travelling Bookbinder

7. Starting on the inside, leave a short tail and attach your bead, shell or button with a couple of stitches.

Make a concertina with Rachel Hazell, The Travelling Bookbinder

8. Tie off with a reef knot (aka a double knot.)

Make a concertina with Rachel Hazell, The Travelling Bookbinder

9. Then take your needle and thread back to the outside.

Make a concertina with Rachel Hazell, The Travelling Bookbinder

10. Remove the needle (and put it in a safe place for you to find again) then wrap the thread round and round the book. Secure by catching the thread around the fastener.

Make a concertina with Rachel Hazell, The Travelling Bookbinder

11. Now choose whether you want to make a series of concertinas or concentrate on what’s going to go on each page. Look around your house for any tiny things to draw, precious and ordinary, hum drum or special.

Ideas:

  • found objects
  • colours
  • views from the windows
  • corners of rooms
  • textures
  • unexpected details
  • leaves
  • buttons
  • patterns

Please show us your concertinas, and the insides of your books here on Facebook or here on Instagram or here on Twitter! Thank you.

Read Make Love Books and Stay at Home! Best and bookiest from the Isle of Iona, Rachel

6 thoughts on “Make a concertina!

  1. Such a lovely way to start the morning, I shall jump out of my bed an cut my strip now! Thank you for the lovely project and I hope you are well.
    Cathy
    Birmingham, Alabama

    1. Dear Cathy, I LOVE that you jumped out of bed to make this concertina book! It’s a pleasure to create a project for you. Happy Easter, best and bookiest, Rachel

  2. Thanks from a beginner bookmaker! I think I’m more interested in the background that you have there. May I ask what you might be doing with it?

    Cheryl

    1. It’s a pleasure Cheryl! The driftwood background? Normally i’d bind them together with a Coptic stitch, but the texture of these is most appealing, Best and bookiest, Rachel

  3. I love your photographs of the process that included the natural background beneath the paper and books and especially the accent of color from your yellow boots!

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