A Bookbinder’s Black Friday

A Bookbinders Black Friday - logo

Welcome to my 8th annual roundup of bookbinding-related Black Friday deals! It’s that wonderful time of year when I think to myself Why don’t I have a massive bag of cash so I can buy all the things?

In all likelihood, I will not be leaving my house because I’ve got a craft show tomorrow and I’m engaged in my annual Holy crap, I don’t have enough inventory freak out. I see both caffeine abuse and lack of sleep in my future.

There are quite a few bookbinding-related online sales going on today (and some beyond that). Check ’em out:

The Getty Store is offering 25% off sitewide now through 11/28. I’m mentioning this sale because they’re the publishers behind Artists and Their Books: Books and Their Artists by Marcia Reed and Glenn Phillips – a gorgeous book. Use code 25HOL to get the discount.

Now through 12/21, Arnold Grummer is holding their Annual Press Sale. Discount varies depending on the press you choose. Please visit their website for more information.

On 11/23 only, Hiromi Paper is offering free domestic shipping on any order over $100.00 (after discounts). Use the promo code kinyoubi2018 at checkout to get the discount.

John Neal Bookseller has two offers:

  • Get free standard domestic shipping on orders of $100.00 or more. Use code BF18FS at checkout for the discount from now through 11:59 p.m. on 11/25.
  • Get 10% to 50% off Black Friday Sale items from now through 6:00 p.m. on 11/30 (a full week!) – save on some of their most popular books and supplies.

As part of their holiday sale, Oak Knoll Books is offering 20% off select used/antiquarian titles and 50% off select publishing titles. This sale is going on now through November 27th and no special code is needed – the discount will automatically be applied to the cost of these books.

From now through 11/30, The Paper Mill Store is offering 10% off orders of $250.00 or more with code 250SALE and 15% off orders of $500.00 or more with code 500SALE. They also offer free shipping on all orders $149.00 and over.

Paper Source has a number of awesome deals going on, all valid now through 11/27:

  • Get free shipping on all orders over $50.00 (no code needed).
  • Buy fine paper online and get 25% off (no code needed).
  • Make an in-store purchase of fine paper, get a buy one, get one 50% off discount.
  • Get 50% off all purchases from the Paper Bar – they’ve got text and cover weight paper in lots of colors and sizes (no code needed).
  • Spend $50.00 in-store and get $10.00 or spend $100.00 and get $25.00 (I’m unclear on whether they mean gift cards or actual cash).

Now through 11/27, Paper-Papers is offering 50% off the already discounted price of products in their Clearance department. Use coupon code bigdeal at checkout to get the discount.

Pergamena, producer of stunning fine leathers and parchment, is offering free UPS Ground shipping on all orders over $100.00 Use coupon code FR33SHIPPING at checkout to get the discount.

From now through 11/25 at 11:30 p.m. GMT, Vintage Paper Co. is offering 20% off all purchases over £10 (approximately $13.00 USD). To get the discount, visit their website and click on the image of the papermaking man. The discount will automatically be applied, no code needed.

If you’ve got a bookbinding book on your wish list, you’re in luck! Amazon (yep, that Amazon) is offering $5.00 off print book purchases of $20.00 or more. From now until 11/25 at 11:59 p.m. PT, use code NOVBOOK18 at checkout to get the discount. Note: Offer only applies to products sold and shipped by

By the way, don’t forget Giving Tuesday! There are tons of worthy organizations out there that would love your support. Here are some of my favorites:

Happy shopping and/or donating!

I’m teaching at FOBA next year!

I am thrilled to announce that I will be teaching a class at the 2019 Focus on Book Arts conference! Now that they’ve posted sneak peeks on their website and I see myself there (!!!), I finally feel comfortable giving the scoop.

Here’s the announcement (I just had to take a screenshot):

Focus on Book Arts conference workshop sneak peek

This will be my second time teaching at FOBA. The idea for this workshop actually came out of a discussion that happened in my 2017 workshop.

Here are the details:

Find Closure

Need that finishing touch for your journal? I’ve got you covered!


Consider this workshop the equivalent of a Closure Dressy Bessy. First you’ll complete a set of two soft cover, leather books each with a different variation of the long stitch binding. Then comes the fun part – you’ll experiment with a variety of ways to secure those books. You’ll explore ways to use buttons, leather straps, sticks, and metal hardware to create up to 5 closures per book (as time allows).


Bring your own embellishments (buttons, ribbons, etc.) that you’d like to use for closures – there will be time for discussion and problem-solving as a group.


You’ll leave this workshop with two books measuring 9.5″ x 6.5″, along with a detailed handout and resource list for all materials used.

Here are pictures of the finished books (colors will vary in the workshop kits):

Handmade leather journals with multiple closures - closed

Handmade leather long stitch journals - spine viewHandmade leather journals with multiple closures - open

Registration for the conference will open in March 2019. Keep your eyes glued on the FOBA website for more details as they become available.

I hope to see you there!

Vermont Open Studio Weekend – Montpelier Artists

Vermont Open Studio Weekend logo

Vermont’s Fall Open Studio Weekend is coming up this weekend, October 13 & 14! If I weren’t participating in the event, I would totally be making my own studio visits.

Most Vermont craftspeople work in studios located in or close to their residences. These are places of production and inspiration located in downtowns as well as at the ends of dirt roads. They are exciting places to visit because they reflect the dynamic yet organized process that is used to produce the finished work of art.

The studio itself is enormously informative because you can see at a glance how the artist works. Buying or ordering work during an Open Studio sale is a unique experience because you have the opportunity to speak to the artist directly.

An extra bit of coolness – the Vermont Crafts Council is coordinating this event with American Craft Week (October 5 – 14), a national celebration of the wonders of American craft. Craft makes our communities vibrant – it encompasses our traditions, history and our way of life.

Since I’ve already mentioned that I’m participating, you know that my studio is a must-see. 🙂 What you might not know is that there are six other locations within a 15 minute drive of here. Montpelier has a sweet little cluster of artists for your studio hopping pleasure. 

I’ve listed these local studios below, where I’m referring to them by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the orange 2018 Fall Event & Resource Guide. There are several ways to get your hands on a map:

Here’s the rundown of who’s who (click on the links to learn more about specific artists):

Note #1: You can’t see studio #99 on the map below because it’s at the same address as #100 – Google is overlapping the two studios. Bad Google!

Note #2: Studios #99 and #100 aren’t in the Fall Event & Resource Guide because they joined the event after the guide went to print. You find directions to those studios here.

Note #3 (just one more): If you’re wondering why the studio numbers are different colors, that’s because they correspond with the marker colors on the map I created to help you plan your travels. Behold – the Google Map!

If you do plan on coming to the Montpelier area, let me know and I’d be happy to recommend some local restaurants for your munching pleasure.

I hope to see you at the studio!

Open Studio Weekend is part of Vermont Arts 2018, a year-long celebration highlighting the wide variety of arts events taking place throughout the state. Thanks to the Vermont Arts Council for creating this project! You can join the party by following #VTarts2018 on social media (Instagram, Twitter).

Vermont Arts 2018 logo

The Art of the Fold: Instagram Post Round-up

I hope you’ve enjoyed my journey through The Art of the Fold: How to Make Innovative Books and Paper Structures. It is a fantastic resource and compendium of Hedi Kyle‘s life’s work. The book is a must-have for anyone who loves paper and the magic you can do with it.

Below you’ll find a round up of all of my Instagram posts detailing my work on each structure in the book.

Folded paper accordion booksThe Accordion

1. Folding an Accordion 2-4-8
2. Folding an Accordion 3-6-12
3. Folding an Accordion with Extensions
4. Simple Accordion
5. Pocket Accordion with Separate Cover
6. Pocket Accordion Variation – Full Sheet
7. Pocket Accordion with Integrated Cover
8. Pop-Up Accordion
9. Flag Book
10. Two-Sided Flag Book
11. Interlocking Loops

Folded paper books and boxesBlizzards

12. Blizzard Book
13. Wheel of Fortune
14. Blizzard Box
15. Crown Book
16. Crown Greeting Card
17. Blizzard Pocket



Folded paper books One-Sheet Books

18. Franklin Fold
19. Triangular Book
20. Four-Way Map Fold
21. Fishbone Fold
22. Tree Fold
23. Diagonal Pocket (here and here)
24. Booklet Fold Variations
25. Booklet Fold Star Pop-Up


Folded paper booksAlbums

26. Panorama Book
27. Spider Book
28. Piano Hinge
29. Piano Hinge Accordion




Folded paper enclosuresEnclosures

30. Button Pouch
31. Sling Fold
32. Telescoping Ziggurat
33. Star Box
34. School-Book Wrapper / with Pleat
35. Slip Cases with Partial and Full Sides
36. Self-Closing Wrapper


Oh, and have I mentioned that you should totally get the book?

The Art of the Fold: Enclosures

Sadly, this post is my last in the series detailing my journey through Hedi Kyle and Ulla Warchol‘s new book, The Art of the Fold: How to Make Innovative Books and Paper Structures. Today I’m highlighting the structures in the last chapter, Enclosures

If you’re new to my blog, then you should know that I’ve been posting my structure of the day on Instagram, so be sure to follow me there. You can click on the name of each structure below and you’ll be taken to its related post over there.

Time to get wrapped up in enclosures!

30. Button Pouch
This structure isn’t just restricted to housing buttons – you can use it for any thin, three-dimensional object. 
The first time I made it, I wasn’t successful at getting the holes to line up with the buttons on the insert card. I think a better approach might be to start by placing your objects on the pouch panel where the holes are cut and trace around them. After that, cut out the holes and use that panel as a template for placing the buttons on the insert. It seems easier to redo the insert than to recreate the whole pouch.

Button Pouch - folded paper enclosure

Button Pouch - folded paper enclosure

31. Sling Fold
This structure is so clever – it can open like a traditional book or with a gentle pull it can be opened up to raise arches, revealing new surfaces beneath them. Hedi recommends using Elephant Hide paper for this project and YES YES YES. This structure requires you to repeatedly thread and coax paper through slits, so you need something that can handle the abuse.

Sling Fold - folded paper book

Sling Fold - folded paper book

32. Telescoping Ziggurat
Yeah, I had to look up what a ziggurat is. Many thanks to Wikipedia: “A ziggurat is a type of massive stone structure built in ancient Mesopotamia. It has the form of a terraced compound of successively receding stories or levels.” This structure has lots of folds but the process for making it isn’t difficult. You work on two different strips of paper and attach them together at the end. You could easily keep going and make a super ginormous one.

Telescoping Ziggurat - folded paper book

33. Star Box
This one is like a tool roll up, but made out of paper. The box consists of four triangular compartments that come together to form a square when looked at from the side. The math geek in me needs to point out that this means that the compartments are all right triangles. I wish I could talk about math more in my daily life.

Star Box - folded paper enclosure

34. School-Book Wrapper / with Pleat
This project gives you two structures in one. The School-Book Wrapper is similar to the book covers you made with paper grocery bags when you were in school. It’s a quick way to give some extra protection to a book. I made one for my Blizzard Book. I ran into a problem with the instructions – on step 6, you’re told to fold the covers to line up with the spine folds. If you do that, the covers don’t fit properly (not wide enough). When you cut your starting sheet of paper, add in 1 spine thickness to the 4x width measurement – this will get your covers to fit correctly (confirmed by Ulla).

School-Book Wrapper - folded paper book enclosure

The School-Book Wrapper with Pleat is a variation of the first structure with an added pocket to tuck in a wraparound cover flap. I used my Fishbone Fold for the text block (this is a suggestion of Hedi’s in the book). I added pieces of cover weight paper to the rear “bones” to stiffen them up – this made it easier to insert them into the wrapper.

School-Book Wrapper with Pleat - folded paper book enclosure

35. Slip Cases with Partial and Full Sides
This one is another twofer – you can enclose your book in the partial-sided slipcase and then enclose the whole shebang in the full-sided version.

Hedi recommends using a soft textured paper for this project and I think that’s a good call. I used reversible Unryu which starts out a bit crunchy, but softens as you work with it. First I made a partial slipcase for my Crown Book. Once the partial slipcase was completed, I had to tease out its sides a bit until they fully covered the sides of the book. 

Slip Cases with Partial Sides - folded paper book enclosure

I made both partial and full-sided slipcases for my Blizzard Book. The three components all fit together quite nicely.

Slip Cases with Partial and Full Sides - folded paper book enclosures

36. Self-Closing Wrapper
This project is a nice way to end the book – it wasn’t very complicated and it felt like I got to make something that would give my Flag Book a hug. The structure has an integrated flap that tucks into a subtle pocket, making for a tidy and secure wrapper.

Self-Closing Wrapper - folded paper book enclosure

Self-Closing Wrapper - folded paper book enclosure

Many thanks to all of you who joined me on my folding adventures! I hope you find the book as enjoyable and informative as I do. And if you’ve been on the fence about getting a copy, get off the fence!

This thing is pure gold. C’mon, it’s HEDI KYLE.

Trip to Leatherwise

On our last day of vacation in California, we made a stop in Santa Cruz. We had some time to kill before our flight, so out of curiosity I did what I do – I performed a quick internet search for any kind of bookbinding supplies in the near vicinity.

And…victory! I found Leatherwise, a sweet little leather shop.

Outside of building - Leatherwise

In this case, size sure didn’t matter. Every square foot of the place was jam-packed with awesome.

Inside of Leatherwise

Rolls of leather at Leatherwise

Rolls of leather at Leatherwise

Leather skins at Leatherwise

Rolls of leather at Leatherwise

Rolls of leather at Leatherwise

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I wanted to have all the things. Unfortunately, I was limited to what I could carry. After much deliberation, I settled on a dozen wood buttons…

Wood buttons

…and some green lambskin. The color is so beautiful!

green lambskin

If you’re ever in the area I highly recommend making a trip to this wonderfully aromatic shop. So.much.leather.

Here’s the scoop:

And if you’re never in the area, you can still shop at Leatherwise! They’ve got an eBay shop just waiting for your visit.

Trip to Japantown

After visiting the American Bookbinders Museum, we headed over to Japantown. Most Japanese immigrants to the United States arrived via San Francisco.

According to Wikipedia, there used to be 43 distinct Japantowns in California, but that number has dwindled down to three. In addition to San Francisco, you can find Japantowns in both San Jose and Los Angeles.

When you arrive at the San Francisco Japantown, you’re greeted by a torii gate (Sacred Bird gate) built in 1976. I had seen several torii gates when I was in Japan and they were fairly elaborate – this one was much more industrial in design:

Japantown, San Francisco

In the center of Japantown Peace Plaza is the San Francisco Peace Pagoda. The pagoda was designed by Yoshiro Taniguchi and built in the 1960’s. It was presented as a gift from Osaka, San Francisco’s sister city in Japan. In 2015, there was a proposal to grant the pagoda landmark status by the Historic Preservation Commission, but it looks like the application hasn’t yet been approved.

Japantown, San Francisco

San Francisco Peace Pagoda

I bought a couple of things during my visit, but no paper. I’m not really sure how I managed to restrain myself. Anyway, one thing I got was a tube of Yamato Sticking Paste. It’s made of tapioca starch, is non-toxic, and doesn’t wrinkle paper. The tube is also fun to squeeze.

Yamato sticking paste

Yamato sticking paste

According to This to That, the paste has a tendency to yellow over time. We’ll just have to see how the stuff works out.

I also bought myself a new chopstick rest for my glue brush. This is a tip I learned from a workshop neighbor – it’s great for keeping your glue brush from rolling off the table.

Green chopstick rest

Green chopstick rest and glue brush

My dream was to visit the Japantown Kinokuniya that day, but I didn’t get into the store. Again. Just like 9 years ago, but without the power outage. I got turned around and couldn’t figure out where it was – Google Maps fail. I’m telling you, there’s something weird out there that just does not want me to visit this store.

The next time I go to San Francisco, I’m going to Kinokuniya FIRST. This I vow.

Japantown is definitely worth a visit. If you plan on going, here are the details on how to get there.

The Art of the Fold: Albums

This post is the sixth in a series detailing my adventures working through Hedi Kyle and Ulla Warchol‘s new book, The Art of the Fold: How to Make Innovative Books and Paper Structures. Today’s post focuses on the structures in chapter four, Albums. Only one more chapter after this!

If you’re new to my blog, then you should know that I’ve been posting my structure of the day on Instagram, so be sure to follow me there. You can click on the name of each structure below and you’ll be taken to its related post over there. No pressure though – as you can see by this post, I’m also writing roundups on my blog on a biweekly-ish basis.

Let’s jump into the albums!

26. Panorama Book
The first time I made this structure was in a workshop with Julie Chen at the Garage Annex School – she called it the Panel Book. Whatever you call it, this thing is bananas (in a good way). Not including the covers, this book is made from one sheet of paper. Through folding and cutting the accordion, you create hinges that allow panels to pivot. Use Elephant Hide paper (not actually made from elephants) for the accordion if you can get it – it’s durable and folds beautifully.

Panorama Book - folded paper book

27. Spider Book
I had wanted to learn how to make this structure after I saw a photo of it several years ago, but was unable to find directions. When I saw that the book was one of the included projects, I went NUTS. I am thrilled to have finally gotten it under my belt (totally worth the wait). Hedi recommends using key stock or other pre-made templates for scoring the pages. I decided to give my scoring board a try and it worked well.

Spider Book - folded paper book

28. Piano Hinge
One of the cool things about this structure is that it doesn’t require any adhesive – the magic is all in the hinge loops. If you like, you can laminate the cover papers together to help stabilize things. My construction is a bit wonky, so I think I’m going to go that route at some point. It’s definitely worth making models and testing out different papers with this structure – don’t commit to using something special in your stash until you know it will work.

Piano Hinge Book - folded paper book

29. Piano Hinge Accordion
I had never encountered this structure before now and I am so in love with it! It uses just one rod to facilitate its opening and closing. The pages are doubled up sheets of paper and mylar, creating pockets for content. I chose to add pieces from my collection of paper triangles. Doesn’t everyone save all of those little triangles that are created when you miter paper for gluing to bookboard?

Piano Hinge Accordion - folded paper book

I hope you enjoyed the Albums chapter of The Art of the Fold: How to Make Innovative Books and Paper Structures. The album is not dead!

Last stop, Enclosures!

The Art of the Fold: One-Sheet Books, part 2

Today marks the fifth entry in my series of posts detailing my adventures working through Hedi Kyle and Ulla Warchol‘s new book, The Art of the Fold: How to Make Innovative Books and Paper Structures. This post focuses on the remaining structures in chapter three, One-Sheet Books.

If you’re new to my blog, then you should know that I’ve been posting my structure of the day on Instagram, so be sure to follow me there. You can click on the name of each structure below and you’ll be taken to its related post over there. No pressure though – as you can see by this post, I’m also writing roundups on my blog on a biweekly-ish basis.

Holy sheet, here we go!

22. Tree Fold
This structure looks a lot like the Fishbone Fold, but with one big difference – the width of the pages changes instead of remaining the same. The movement of the book is similar – when you open it by pulling on the center tab, the sections pop open. I used Chiyogami this time around and it worked well.

Tree Fold - folded paper book

Tree Fold - folded paper book23. Diagonal Pocket (here and here)
The Diagonal Pocket is awesome because you can use it as a book cover. If you decide to make one for your Tree Fold book (as Hedi recommends), then note that the provided paper dimensions will result in a structure that doesn’t fit correctly. Thankfully, Hedi provides directions for creating a folder that will fit a text block in your choice of size. The paper size you’ll need to accommodate the Tree Fold book is 13″ high x 14″ wide with grain running short. It took approximately 12″ of thread to bind the book using a pamphlet stitch.

Diagonal Pocket - folded paper structure

Diagonal Pocket - folded paper structure

Diagonal Pocket - folded paper structure with Tree Fold bound in

24. Booklet Fold Variations
You get multiple structures for the price of one here! Using a four-section booklet as a starting point, you can create three additional books with simple modifications. As you can see, I used bug patterned papers for all four structures. Because bugs. The starting sheet size for each project is 11″ x 17″, although Hedi mentions that 8.5″ x 11″ is also an option. The name for each structure can be found below each image.

25. Booklet Fold Star Pop-Up
I’m going to say right off the bat that when Hedi recommends experimenting first, she’s not kidding! I think I made six models before I got this one right. After trying some different types of paper for this project, I definitely recommend going as lightweight as you can. The lighter the paper, the easier it is for the book to relax into the final star shape. 

Booklet Fold Star Pop-Up - folded paper book

I hope you enjoyed the second batch of structures in the One-Sheet Books chapter of The Art of the Fold: How to Make Innovative Books and Paper Structures.

Next stop, Albums!

Trip to the American Bookbinders Museum

Over the summer, I spent a week in California with my family (a real vacation – yay!). I was fortunate enough to visit The American Bookbinders Museum in San Francisco. 

American Bookbinders Museum sign

American Bookbinders Museum

I visited the museum back in 2009 when Tim James ran it. It has since moved into a gorgeous space and now offers a wonderful experience of the history of bookbinding and an explanation of why it’s relevant today. It’s amazing what can happen in a few years!

American Bookbinders Museum

American Bookbinders Museum

American Bookbinders Museum

American Bookbinders Museum exhibit

I was charmed by the posters – they seem to be reproductions of what I’m assuming are etchings.

American Bookbinders Museum

American Bookbinders Museum poster

I’m pretty sure that this is the same press I visited nine years ago. The detail work is beautiful.

Until the book-sewing machine was introduced, books were usually hand sewn by women. Women were a natural choice to operate the machines due to their familiarity with textile sewing machines.

The irony is not lost on me that the person who donated this guillotine has the last name of Stump.

Palmer & Rey Guillotine sign

There were a number of historic book models on display that just happened to be bound by one of my favorite people, Karen Hanmer. If you’re new here, you should know that I’m a bit of a Karen groupie. If you’re not new here, then maybe you’re tired of hearing me talk about her. Too bad.

Book models by Karen Hanmer

As we were leaving the museum, I took a look at the donors list and saw quite a few familiar names…

American Bookbinders Museum donor list

…including my own!

American Bookbinders Museum donor list

I totally forgot that I had sent them some sample books a number of years ago – I acquired them from a bookbinder who had passed away.

If you’re in San Francisco and geek out over bookbinding and its history, then you absolutely need to haul ass over to the museum. Here are the details:

  • Address: 355 Clementina Street, San Francisco, CA (Google Map)
  • Phone: (415) 824-9754

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