Mini Books

Posted on January 13, 2024
Tags: madeof:atoms, craft:bookbinding

Two coptic bound small books, seen from the top with the pages
somewhat open. One has purple and orange triangles on the cover,
the other one waves in two shades of greenish blue.

In 2022 I read a post on the fediverse by somebody who mentioned that they had bought on a whim a cute tiny book years ago, and that it had been a companion through hard times. Right now I can’t find the post, but it was pretty aaaaawwww.

Two coptic bound small books, seen from the front. One of the
covers is covered in grey paper, the other one is cardboard that
has been spray-painted copper.

At the same time, I had discovered Coptic binding, and I wanted to do some exercise to let my hands learn it, but apparently there is a limit to the number of notebooks and sketchbooks a person needs (I’m not 100% sure I actually believe this, but I’ve heard it is a thing).

A coptic bound small book, seen from the front. The cover is
made of white cernit, with thin lines painted in gold acrylic to
form a sort of B shape.

So I decided to start making minibooks with the intent to give them away: I settled (mostly) on the A8 size, and used a combination of found materials, leftovers from bigger projects and things I had in the Stash. As for paper, I’ve used a variety of the ones I have that are at the very least good enough for non-problematic fountain pen inks.

Two coptic bound small books, seen from the front. The covers
are covered in grey paper with a piece of light blue lace on top.

Thanks to the small size, and the way coptic binding works, I’ve been able to play around with the covers, experimenting with different styles beyond the classic bookbinding cloth / paper covered cardboard, including adding lace, covering food box cardboard with gesso and decorating it with acrylic paints, embossing designs by gluing together two layers of cardboard, one of which has holes, making covers completely out of cernit, etc. Some of these I will probably also use in future full-scale projects, but it’s nice to find out what works and what doesn’t on a small scale.

Two coptic bound small books, seen from the front. The covers
are covered in grey paper, and they are half-covered by a piece of
off-white tulle, cut on a diagonal. One of the two books has a cat
eye embossed and painted in gold.

Now, after a year of sporadically making these I have to say that the making went quite well: I enjoyed the making and the creativity in making different covers. The giving away was a bit more problematic, as I didn’t really have a lot of chances to do so, so I believe I still have most of them. In 2024 I’ll try to look for more opportunities (and if you live nearby and want one — or a few — feel free to ask!)