A Butterfly Book

We had a fabulous workshop last month at Skipton Stitchers, one of our members ran it, it was called a Garden Book workshop and I really didn’t know what to expect. The equipment list was things like papers, fabric, paper napkins quotes, glue, blade…luckily she was bringing lots of stuff as I really haven’t got much in the way of decorative papers.

I took some pretty butterfly fabric with me and this provided me with the inspiration to make a butterfly book.

Well I had a wonderful time, sticking, playing with papers, learning all sorts of new tricks…

We made ‘stickers’ by putting sellotape over a magasine image then soaking it in hot water, the paper comes away leaving the image on the tacky sellotape! The ones I did at the workshop didn’t come out as well as I wasn’t careful enough to keep the sellotape smooth, but I did one at home and it came out beautifully.

We stuck a single ply of a pretty napkin onto vintage book pages using clingfilm! We just put the clingfilm in between and covered it with brown paper and then pressed it with a hot dry iron and it melted enough to stick the napkin.

We had to make a total of twelve double pages, each set was A5 size. Apparently these pages are called signatures. Sally showed us how to layer the papers, add bits on to make them big enough, add simple flowers or buttons. She had a huge stash of what she called rejects from eco printing, they certainly wouldn’t be in my reject pile!! Clearly in a day we weren’t going to make all twelve but she was happy for us to take bits home so we could finish our book. Luckily I found several sheets which fitted in with my theme of butterflies and colours of teal and purple…even if it did wander to pink too.

Once home I set about making the dozen signatures. I found some quotes about butterflies and printed them off, I made a lace butterfly from an old doilly, I tried tea dying for the first time when I realised I had some very white broderie anglais with butterflies on. It took quite a while as I really overthought the first few, over stitched some, eventually I realised I was going to have to do a few cut and stick ones otherwise it would take too long. My cutting table looked like a bomb had hit it!

Next came the clever part, how to put it together. Each double page had a slit cut down the centre leaving a good inch top and bottom. Next I needed an A4 piece of card cut full length but the width just a tad narrower than the slits. The piece of card was then folded in half and then again and again till it looked like this…

The signatures were put into pairs to go back to back with each other and an order sorted, then each pair of pages was ‘threaded’ onto a fold of paper (there’s six ‘mountains’ in the photo above for the six pairs of pages. A long narrow piece of card was then threaded up the middle of the ‘mountain’ so it stuck out a bit each end. This holds the pages in place but also means they can be changed or moved around if necessary. I was amazed how sturdy it all was. The double pages could now be stuck or stitched together to hide the backs, I remembered I had lots of double-sided sticky tape which I found when clearing my mums house, it worked fine and probably less messy than me with glue!

Having made the book I then had to make a cover. I felt it needed to be firm so I cut some daler board to size and made a fabric cover with the original fabric which inspired the whole book on the outside, I managed to position it so the little blue butterfly was centred on the spine. I added the button and ribbon to keep it closed. As an afterthought I pinned on a butterfly which I made at a workshop a few years ago, it’s been hanging round my sewing room ever since. It’s only pinned at the moment whilst I decide if it works but I thought by putting it on the spine I could stand the book up in a row and it wouldn’t get damaged.

I’m now trying to work out if I could use this system of construction with fabric books!

We have an exhibition in October called ‘There is no planet B’ so I’m thinking it could go in there, it used lots of recycled bits and it’s all about nature. One of my favourite quotes in the book is very apt…

If nothing changed there would be no butterflies.

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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8 Responses to A Butterfly Book

  1. Karen says:

    Fascinating! I didn’t know the trick for making stickers with sellotape, nor melting cling film with the iron to stick something down. What a lovely thing you’ve ended up with. I really like the fabric you’ve used for the cover and the little 3D butterfly is a perfect choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sharon says:

    Fabulous project

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sian Coggins says:

    Hello Margaret, I follow your adventures with huge admiration and am still in first stages of “enthusiastic beginner”, learning asI go, despite my somewhat advanced years. It’s a bit tricky sometimes if you don’t have anyone nearby to help with queries and questions. Thanks to you I have started to expand my horizons; a cool crafting project is next. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Laura says:

    What fun! And a great keepsake, too! I love all of your book projects, Margaret! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kathyreeves says:

    This was so interesting, Margaret, and what a beautiful book!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amo says:

    It’s great you enjoyed something slightly out of your comfort zone.

    Liked by 1 person

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