Guest books and gluing drama…

For the past week I have been working on a custom order for a guest book. I have to admit that when my customer picked out her choice of materials, I did not think that the combination was going to work. However, I have been proven wrong throughout the process of making the book – her choices were spot-on.

I really appreciate it when someone can rock my creative world. I get so stuck in doing the things I do. It can be hard for me to accept and try out others’ ideas. That’s why I really appreciate custom orders – the extra work involved can be hard, but it’s so worth it to get a brain stretch along the way.

Another benefit of this process is that it helped me figure out how to approach another custom order that I’ve been avoiding. One solution leads to another.

Handmade guest book by Elissa Campbell

As you can see, the guest book has a copy of a matted wedding invitation on the cover. For some reason, I could not figure out how to get the invitation centered and mark it off for gluing. Part of the difficulty was likely due to the fact that the mat for the invitation was a piece of bookboard wrapped in bookcloth. The extra thickness made it harder to manipulate.

I tried to outline the invitation with post-it notes, hoping that I could glue the back and then position it. The post-its did not want to stick to my very lumpy handmade paper. Then I tried laying out straight edges, hoping that they’d stay still while I glued. Those suckers were so flipping wiggly!

I even asked my husband for suggestions. His response – “I dunno.”

After some grumbling, my brain decided to join in. I created a template out of cardstock that was the same size as the cover paper. I cut out a hole that was slightly larger than the size of the matted invitation. I then clipped the template to the cover so it wouldn’t wiggle (take that!).

Handmade guest book by Elissa Campbell

Victory was mine!

I was successfully able to get the invitation glued into the perfect position. I unclipped the template and the cover went into the press.

I’m really hoping that my happiness isn’t short-lived. If I take the cover out of the press tomorrow and find that some stray glue made it on to my cover, I’m going to throw things.

Soft things.

Another part of the guest book involved mounting envelopes containing the save-the-date and response cards. I added them to the inside of the back cover. This was a much easier process because I used an acid-free roller adhesive (the envelopes were lightweight and didn’t require PVA). They are stuck on good.

Inside guest book back cover

After pressing the front cover overnight, I’ll complete the binding – I’m using a stab binding with 1 1/2″ green ribbon to match the invitation.

I’ll try to get some shots in before my customer comes by to pick it up.

2 Responses to “Guest books and gluing drama…”

By Christine - 19 June 2008 Reply

There is a trick about gluing something very centered… I was taught how to do it in a graphic design class. I can look for it and share it with you if you are interested… Let me know.

By elissa - 19 June 2008 Reply

Christine –

Oh yes yes yes….please oh please teach me! I am so at your mercy. 🙂


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