Handmade Books: Learn How to Make a Book Using Mixed-Media Techniques

What better way to dive into the creative world of art than creating book arts? If you can dream it up, it can be turned into handcrafted pages. Bookmaking is more popular than ever, with artists exploring a variety of techniques and approaches to creating mixed media and fabric books. With a little guidance from the experts you will be on your way to making book sculptures in no time at all!

Start by exploring the wide range of possibilities of pulling together your treasures and scraps into mini-collage fabric books. Then, learn how to bind a book using different techniques, and even learn how to incorporate cheesecloth into bookbinding. Then, slim your sculptures down with a technique that is a fun twist on traditional handmade books. Using mixed media backgrounds and a few rules to follow, you too can create book arts to capture your memories, dreams, and imagination.

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Learn how to make a book using a variety of techniques and book making supplies when you download your free article collection!

Get creative and fun bookmaking ideas from four expert mixed media artists.

What’s inside?

In the first of our upcycling projects, A Most Original Name Tag, you’ll learn to make a ‘name’ for yourself by cutting apart and reconstructing overalls to create the perfect background for adding your signature style. Next, in From Plastic Bag to Fused-Plastic Fabric, you’ll venture through a truly green art idea learning to create a unique fabric collage of fused bag layers and colorful patterns. In Mixed Media Glass Flower you can follow along as glass dishes, metal buttons, hardware, and stained glass remnants are turned into green art creations. Then, from trash to treasure, Raw Beauty RecyclaBabes help you elevate debris and found objects to the level of art supply to create upcycled projects with attitude.

Create handmade paper books using treasures and scraps from your stash.

How to Make Mixed Media Books for Beginners

"Creating Treasure Booklets"
by Jen Osborn

While walking through a local antique mall, mixed media artist Jen Osborn came across a collection of school photos that had her brain spinning with ideas. In this bookmaking tutorial, she demonstrates how to take art elements, such as photos, and pull them together using fabric scraps, found objects, embellishments, and basic stitching to create fun-filled fabric books. Each page she creates is machine and hand stitched (or glued) together to create mini mixed media books. After reading this article you will know how to make a book from start to finish; including constructing pages, embellishing, using an awl, and how to bind a book together. Download your free bookmaking tutorial to get started creating your own treasure booklets.

Learn how to use unusual materials for making handmade books and for book binding.

How to Make a Book Out of Cardboard

"Collage Board Books"
by Katie Kendrik

Artist Katie Kendrik discovered incredibly useful book making supplies by sorting through her stacks of a common household item: corrugated cardboard. In this article, she demonstrates how to use pieces of discarded cardboard as backgrounds, adding layers of paint and materials to created collage pages for mixed media books. She provides a wonderful variety of techniques for creating these pages, which you can pick and choose from in your own book making adventures. For her bindings she has selected a rather unusual element, which adds an ethereal feel to the finished handmade books. With this fun, unstructured approach to making handmade books, you will learn to make a book and how to bind a book using a whole new realm of book making supplies.

Get tips on creating a skinny book.

How to Make a Spiral-Bound Skinny Book

"Get the Skinny on Mixed-media Books"
by Chrysti Hydeck

Be "thin-spired" by the refreshing opportunities of creating pages for a skinny book. These mixed media books are often created for an art swap, where artists are often given sets of rules and a theme to guide their skinny book creations. Artist Chrysti Hydeck demonstrates how to create backgrounds for bookmaking, calling the process more “carefree play” than structured designing. She brings all sorts of book making supplies into play, adding paper and art journaling supplies to the background for a skinny book that truly tells the tale. She also shares her tips for creating handmade art books on a busy schedule. Create your own skinny book pages and get your doodle on with this lighthearted approach to handmade paper books.

Get tips on how to make a book sculpture.

How to Make a Book Sculpture

"A Look at…Tunnel Books"by Chrysti Hydeck

This mixed media technique is a fun alternative to standard bookmaking. Each creation sets the stage, whether literal or abstract, and engages the viewer as an audience member rather than a reader. If you’ve never made book sculptures before, this is the perfect place to begin.

From page construction to binding, these 4 articles cover everything you need to get started creating handmade books.

Plus, along with these articles on how to sell your art, online blogging tips, and ideas for promoting your business, you’ll tap into an entire community of thriving and creative artists just like you. And, with this free membership to the Cloth Paper Scissors community, you’ll discover a support network of thousands of mixed-media artists to help you along your journey.


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Learn coptic stitch bookbinding with this free collection of bookmaking ideas, tips, and techniques!