Bound and determined

My newest project starts with a hunt…. the Laurel Hunt for the SCA, that is.

No, we’re not supposed to literally hunt down Laurels; the goal is to meet/talk with/obtain signatures from fifty Laurels this year. Even though I know a lot of Laurels and seem to be comfortable talking to them, I’m going to participate just to see how quickly I can obtain fifty signatures.

Okay, backstory told, now to the meat of this post: where to store/collect these signatures?

The Facebook group dedicated to the Hunt suggests obtaining a notebook for this. Well, not to be a snob, but I wasn’t about to go pick up the latest Lisa Frank journal for this modern medieval quest.

Nope. I decided I had to teach myself how to make and bind a small book.

I had some leather left over from the mask I made a couple of years ago for my steampunk Dark Phoenix cosplay (quite a decent amount of suede, actually), so I decided that would be my cover. I debated on teaching myself to make the paper for the notebook as well, but nixed that idea when I started down the Pinterest rabbit hole and saw how involved paper making can be.

Yeah. I was on Pinterest again. I’m actually quite interested in the different methods of book binding, so once I get the hang of it I might try bigger, “better” books.

Anywho, at around three thirty in the morning I decided it would be a great time to make the booklet. (Because what else is one to do at three thirty in the morning but start a brand new project?)

I found a small template on–you guessed it–Pinterest and printed it out. A few snips later and I had the cover of my book ready to start adding pages.

This is where it got tricky: most (hell, almost all) of the tutorials mentioned using an awl to punch holes in the leather and paper.

I could not find my awl at three forty five this morning… so I improvised.

The suede I have is fairly lightweight and thin, so thankfully an embroidery needle did the trick to get the holes started. I couldn’t seem to get them big enough to allow me to use the waxed thread for the leather, but silk embroidery thread slid through just fine. A couple of snips in the flap and the front cover and a little piece of leather lacing and boom! Booklet.

It’s small enough to fit in my belt pouch yet has enough pages for all fifty signatures.

See? Kinda cute, isn’t it?

I can see myself making more of these for largesse or even as giveaways at online book events (or maybe selling them at book signings??….), but I need to refine the process first…. and I need to find my awl.