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Making custom Word books


Like with Paper Bag Books, I am intriguied by word books. I love most of the ones I’ve seen but they never really seem to be of the words I want. Beach, Home, Family, all good, and some stunning examples, but I wanted to make custom ones for my kids and there is no one selling chipboard versions of individual names that I have seen. I also wanted to push the boundaries a bit, so I came up with this dual sided word book for DD. Her name works because of the letters of it. Having the double Ds in the middle worked really well, but I think it’s possible other letters would work. I like being able to use the ribbon looped around the first and last letters to tie it closed as well.

The process is pretty easy.

1. cut 8 x 12 strips of fairly heavyweight cardstock then score and fold, creasing well, so each one is now 4 x 12. Stick them together well, not just on the edges)

2. pick your font and play with it in WordArt or whatever you use till you get it to be just about 4 inches tall. A really really FAT font works for short word books only, but a tall thin font (like Euphorigenic, here) lets you use quite a long word. Cut out the letters (you can easily do this on a Cricut or Craft Robo or whatever cutting machine you use, as well as doing it by hand)

3. Now the sort of tricky part – you need to lay the cut letters on the 4 x 12 cardstock pieces (put the folded edge at the top!) The first letter needs to be far enough from the left edge that you can fit whatever binding holes you want (BIA, Cropadile, whatever) so leave a good 3 inches from the left edge and where the letter is. Stick it with repositionable adhesive.

4.Trace around the letter and cut it out, but only on the right hand edge of the letter – leave a bit of the left edge as part of the page. This is assuming you are working on a standard left bound word book or a left side page of a dual one like this.

5. What I do is leave the completed page on my desk, and for the next page, work under that one (in a 2d way, not literally UNDER it!)so I can see what sort of overlap I will want. I repeat the process for each page.

6. Once all the page are done, use a couple of binder clips to clamp all the pages in a stack with the letters arranged as you want them to be. Turn over and trim the excess flush with the length of the last page. You may need to adjust a bit to make sure you don’t get a first page that is all letter and no substance – unless you like that.

I do realize as I write this that it’s perhaps not clear for real visual learners. I had intended to photo the last one I made but then…didn’t. I will do, if I get a chance, but I’m teaching at Scrapfever this weekend and sorting out a few last minute details so I may not get to it till next week. But I will add them either in a blog post or as a PDF.

In the meantime, there is a very good video by desdichaedo for making a chipboard book. It is in 5 (yes 5!) parts, so very detailed in the decorating – the first in the series addresses the construction of the book. It’s not really the same as my cardstock one, but the principles of laying out the pages are more of less the same.

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Ah YouTube. How did we ever manage without it? OK, so there are some dodgy things on there but for How-To stuff I think it is a real font of knowledge. There are a handful of people who I think do a great job – like many, I love Make a Card Monday by starofmay, the all-too-infrequent uploads by everydayscrapbook, and the videos by Hero Arts and Ranger. One thing that really surprises me is how much information you can get from a foreign language video – the first person I ever subscribed to, 2worldswings, had a great video on using envelopes to make a cool pocket card (love this) in Portuguese and it makes perfect sense (to me anyway). There are some marginal one, to be sure, as well as multiple versions of the same technique (Stampin’ Up Demos all seem to do their own version of a technique, for example, as the videos are probably a selling tool for them) but overall you can usually find what you need there.

I’ve even done a few myself, although “video” really isn’t correct. At present my video camera is stationary in my office window, forming an integral part of our home security system. DH has a tiny one that isn’t great quality and DD has a cheap one that she doesn’t like to share. So my “videos” are really slideshows, with music and subtitles and the occasional Ken Burns effect. I recently moved to a newer version of iMovie that has MUCH better quality. Some day I hope to actually do a live action one LOL! But until then, I enjoy making the slideshow versions and they must suit some people because against all reason I have over 50 subscribers. Go figure. For lots of crafters, it’s just another aspect of the explosion of inspiration on the net, along with forums and blogs.

In light of the recent news of Scrapbook Inspirations ceasing publication, and the continuing rumors of other well-known and longer running magazines struggling, it seems what is great news for crafters who have access to the internet is not so great news for publishers, or for crafters who are not net-savvy. I’ve been on the internet since it was Arpanet. I feel like I know my way around. But what about those crafters who are not internet savvy? If all the books and all the magazines stop publishing crafty goodness, what of them?

Only time will tell. To get a little more scrapbooking (and technology) into my post today (if it works) here is a sample of one of my slideshows, of a minibook I made which uses that envelope from my first subscription-video in Portuguese, by 2Worldswings (still not sure if that is 2 World Swings or 2 Worlds Wings – I really should ask her!)