Hey! Welcome to your exclusive project – A wraparound pocket book to show off your ephemera collection and ideas from Sketchbook Revival 2022!
Long strip of stiff paper (160gsm cartridge/ 110lb Bristol) around 60cm long and 11cm high (24 inches long by 4 inches high)
Ephemera such as old encyclopedia pages, maps or annuals
Cutting knife (a blunt straight-edged kitchen knife will do)
White paint or gesso
Ribbon or thread to tie (optional)
Make the first fold of the concertina 8cm (3 inches) in from the right-hand end of your long strip, followed by four more folds the same width. This will give you five pages, and around two and a half widths left over for the cover. (You can see I’ve cut extra strips for more books…)
Now prepare the inside pages, by selecting interesting papers from your ephemera collection and cutting them to size. You’ll need five sets of folded pages. I chose plain brown paper 14.5cm x 10.5cm (5.5 inches x 4 inches) and pages from a Guide to Shorthand cut to 12cm x 9cm (4.5 inches x 3.5 inches), painted lightly with gesso.
Once the papers are dry, put them together in the order you prefer. I’ve layered a painted page over a brown paper page, and laid them out, ready to sew. Three sets will lie in the valley folds on one side of the concertina, and two on the reverse.
Place one set of folded pages (a ‘section’) into the first ‘valley’ of the concertina. Charge your needle with linen thread, three times the height of the book, or one long length if you’re confident about not getting in a tangle.
Holding the papers firmly together, prick three holes with the needle, making sure each one is on the crease.
Starting at the middle hole on the back, take needle in to the centre and up through the top hole to the outside. Then miss the centre hole and go down to the bottom one, creating a lovely long stitch on the spine.
Come up to the middle hole and out, to be reunited with your tail.
With needle and thread on one side of the long stitch, and the tail on the other, tie a double knot, which seals the binding like a parcel. Trim the ends, or leave them long.
Continue to sew in each section separately.
Flip the concertina over, and sew in the last two sections (…making sure you have it the right way up!)
Here’s the concertina with all five sections sewn into the valley creases, ready to fold the cover.
Fold the concertina up, with the extra strip on your right, and lay a ruler two millimetres (a sixteenth of an inch!) out from the vertical edge.
Score two parallel lines, a few millimetres apart, with the blunt side of your knife, to create a spine the width of the book.
Repeat on the other edge.
Use a length of linen thread, or ribbon, to create a simple tie which wraps around the book and holds the cover shut.