Tyvek covered sketchbook

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Recycle your odd bits of art paper into a coil-bound sketchbook with a Tyvek cover. It's tough, tear resistant, and water resistant.

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Make a coil-bound sketchbook with a Tyvek® cover : 

Make a coil-bound sketchbook with a Tyvek® cover Recycle your bits and pieces of art papers as well as used Tyvek® envelopes

Introduction : 

Unless you have personal access to a coil or comb binder, this tutorial involves the use of an outside source to punch holes or slots. However, you can apply the basic process of creating the covers to almost any other type of binding. There are examples shown on slides 21-23. Tyvek® is an amazing substance and very durable; it’s been a great choice for my sketchbook covers. It’s tear-resistant and waterproof. I’m hard on my sketchbooks and the Tyvek® does wear on the edges, but I feel that this adds to the charm. I’ve experimented with sealing and not sealing the covers. While it’s helpful in gluing down extra bits of gaps or other elements, I haven’t noticed that it seems to make a difference, except in sheen (the sealer I have is somewhat glossy). Go create! Introduction

Step 1: The insides : 

Step 1: The insides Sort out your paper and cut to size. For this sketchbook, I used watercolor paper (both hot-pressed and cold-pressed) approximately 5 x 8 inches (12.5 x 20 cm). Take this to a printer or office supply store that offers binding services; have them punch the long edge for binding. Most have the option for either the coil (demonstrated here), or the comb style.

Step 2: The outsides : 

Step 2: The outsides While you are having the pages punched, have them supply you with two (punched) covers from their standard stock. Most will offer a choice of color (I selected black). I chose to keep my inside pages and covers loose, including the coil binding. This way I didn’t have to disassemble it later.

Step 3: Gather your materials : 

Step 3: Gather your materials See list to follow. Paper for the insides Papertowels Used Tyvek® envelopes Paint and glue container Glue Scissors, brush, pen Paint Sealer Envelope for pocket Covers for the outsides, a binding device Paper for theinside covers and ruler (not shown)

Step 3: continued… : 

Step 3: continued… I wasn’t sure what I wanted, so I had a selection handy! Countertopprotector Various ribbons for bookmark Selection of beadsand whatnots

Materials list : 

Materials list Paper for the inside pages (from step 1) Covers and a binder (from step 2) Paper or card stock for the inside covers Used Tyvek® envelopes All-purpose glue Paper towels Acrylic paint (I suggest at least 3) Pen or pencil (pen works better on Tyvek®) Scissors Old synthetic brush(es) Water Containers for glue, paint, and sealer Countertop protector A ruler or similar straight edge Ribbons, beads, a stamp (optional) Sealer (optional) Emery board and small pair of pliers (optional)

Step 4: Wrap the covers : 

Step 4: Wrap the covers Trace around cover, then add a generous margin for folding over, trim with scissors. I crumpled the Tyvek® further for a more interesting look. Mark and cut an angle for the corners, so there won’t be excess material building up Note: this is a straight edge that does NOT extend over the punched holes

Step 4: continued… : 

Step 4: continued… Paint the printed side of the Tyvek® with adhesive. Carefully place the cover, using your guidelines. Check that you have NOT covered the binding holes! Fold over and press firmly. A small block of wood or a bone folder rubbed over the Tyvek® side will flatten the crumples more; pressing with your hands flattens it less. Wipe up any excess glue with a damp paper towel. Repeat with the other cover. Let dry a bit while you get your paints ready.

Step 5: Painting the covers : 

Step 5: Painting the covers Wiping off a medium-to-thin wash reveals the lovely fibers used in the manufacturing process. This base coat is thinned Burnt Sienna. Thin acrylic paint a bit and test your color(s) on a scrap of Tyvek®. Paint the base color. Wipe off with a clean paper towel in a circular motion. The more you wipe off, the paler the color.Do the inside flaps first, wipe off, let dry (acrylic dries fast), then do the faces.

Step 5: continued… : 

Step 5: continued… Paint on the second color; this will add color and depth. Wipe off with a clean paper towel as before. Remember to do the inside flaps, too! Experiment with thicker paint and/or varying wiping pressures.. The second coat shown is Raw Umber. A third color can also be introduced if desired.

Step 5: continued… : 

Step 5: continued… You can stop here or add to it. I added a bit more painting (below). I used black near theholes, wiping it with a paper towel to blend in a faded edge. Then I stamped a square in black with a painted foam block. I used thick Burnt Sienna on a piece of rectangular wood to stampthe three shapes over the black (below). If you use thick acrylic paint for stamping, let it dry before adding another color or binding the book. You can use acrylic paintor glue to anchor any loosened edges flat. If you decide to seal the covers, do so at this time. The sealer I used required severalhours of drying time. Sealing is NOT necessary.

Step 6: Inside cover sheets : 

Step 6: Inside cover sheets Select the paper for the inside covers, carefully measure and cut to size. Glue these in place with a thin coat of glue. Wipe up any glue that oozes out, and let dry. This is important! You don’t want to get any glue on the inside pages when you add them next. This is a heavy brown paper, almost like cover stock. I left about a ¼ inch (6 mm) reveal around the Tyvek® edges.

Step 6: continued… : 

Step 6: continued… If you like, you can add a pocket. This is a recycledjunk envelope, flap glued down and cut to size, then glued in place.

Step 7: insert the binding : 

Step 7: insert the binding Assemble the front and back covers and the inside pages, lining up the inside holes. For a coil binding, I leave it long and trim afterwards. For a comb binding, it’s easier to trim to size first. Start the coil at the end, and twirl around, working your way through the holes. For a comb binding, you’ll have to separate the combs, inserting into the punched slots. It’s a bit tricky, but pretty much self-explanatory.

Step 7: continued… : 

Step 7: continued… A close-up showing the insertion of the coil binding. Once the holes are lined up, I find it easy to insert it from below and twirl it clock-wise all the way up the spine. A binder clamp can help hold the pages together, although I didn’t use one here.

Step 7: continued… : 

Step 7: continued… After the coil is inserted, trim the length, leaving a bit over. I like to lightly file the cut ends to remove any sharpness and twist the end slightly so that it turns inward into the coil. I used an emery board to smooth the ends, and a small pair of pliers for twisting. This is NOT necessary, but I’m hard on my sketchbooks, and don’t want to have them catch on things.

Step 8: Finishing touches : 

Step 8: Finishing touches Add a bookmark if desired. This one is tied right to the coil binding. You can also add a glued-in bookmark during Step 6, right before you glue on the inside end papers. For one journal, I used ribbon ties as a closure device. On another, I created two bookmarks. Bookmarks can be made of anything: ribbon, leather, yarn, fabric strips. Select a material strong enough to last, but thin enough to allow the sketchbook to shut.

Examples of sketchbooks : 

Examples of sketchbooks Green coil-bound sketchbook I wrapped this cover over the coils, but then had to punch each hole individually. This was a bit too labor-intensive for me. The bookmark is a leather lace. One end is knotted, and the other end has a feather from an old duster. I secured the feather to the lace with duct tape. The leaf shape is a stencil I made from painter’s tape and painted around with my second glaze. Acrylic paint colors: Jenkins Green, Chromium Green Oxide, Burnt Sienna spatters

More sketchbooks… : 

More sketchbooks… Blue comb-bound sketchbook I added a dark blue piece of the same cover stock as an edge detail near the coils. This covered the Tyvek® edge and added a bit more strength to the book. I also glued on cut Tyvek® pieces as a collage element. I attached a button to the cover, then punched a hole in the back cover to loop a piece of elastic hair tie. This created a nice closure device. Acrylic paint colors: Ultramarine Blue, Dioxazine Purple, Mars Black, Silver

More sketchbooks… : 

More sketchbooks… Two hardbound sketchbooks (Coptic binding) These two sketchbooks are done in a different style, but they illustrate further techniques for covers. Both use elastic hair bands as a closure device; the turquoise book has a thrift-store earring attached to the cover to hold the elastic. The gold book was lightly sanded on the edges to add to the texture, then spattered with black and red paint.

And journals… : 

And journals… Yellow, orange, and red journal A purchased composition book, covered with Tyvek® wrapped around both sides and the spine. You must protect the inside pages from glue with waxed paper or similar. A hole was punched at the top of the front cover to accept a tied off ribbon bookmark. The birds on the cover and back were stamped. The footprints were done with the tip of a scruffy paintbrush. Acrylic paint colors: Cadmium Red Medium, Hansa Yellow, Raw Umber

And journals… : 

And journals… Blue and green journal Another composition book, This one in blues and greens, but done with tempera paints instead of acrylics. I didn’t thin the tempera at all; it doesn’t have the color density of acrylics, but it makes lovely pastel shades. The ribbon closures are glued below the inside cover sheets. Tempera paint colors: Light blue, green, and dark blue.

End. : 

© 2009 Elizabeth Smith www.lizardart.com Hope you enjoyed this! End.

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