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Click for a Larger View Would you like to make small notebooks with polymer clay covers? This is a very quick and easy method, using small amounts of clay, sticky-back plastic and embroidery thread or ribbon.

Making the Pieces:

Decide how big you want your notebook to be. This one is about three inches tall by three and a half inches across. The method is suitable for up to at least five inches tall by six wide. Roll out and trim a sheet of clay that size, about 1/8 of an inch thick (thickest setting on most pasta machines). My front cover sheet was made using a cream and brown lace cane sliced and pressed onto a sheet of brown clay, then rolled through a pasta machine.

Project Pieces
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Cut a strip one inch wide from the left hand side of your front cover sheet. Use a small round cutter or a narrow drinking straw to cut out three holes from the strip, evenly spaced along the centre line. I will refer to this strip as the spine. Bake the front cover.

Roll and trim a sheet of clay the same size for the back, but do not cut off a strip - the back is solid, as this gives you support to write on when using the notebook. Use the baked strip from the front cover to mark the exact places for the holes on the back cover, cut the holes and then bake the back cover.

Cut sheets of paper, as many as you wish, to fit your covers. Mark the places for the holes using one of the covers as a template, and cut with a hole punch. The finished front, back and punched pages are shown in Figure 1, above.

Assembling the Pieces:

Click for a Larger View Take the backing off of a sheet of clear sticky-back plastic a little larger than your cover, and lie the two pieces for the front cover FACE DOWN on the sticky side. They should be positioned right against each other - one of the nice things about this method of bookmaking is that no gap has to be left between the spine and the cover to allow the book to open, so the pattern can continue uninterrupted. This is shown in the picture at thr right. Trim around the edges so that there is no overhang of plastic.

Click for a Larger View Since this next part is critical, I have shown it with white sticky-back plastic, but you should use clear as before. Cut the plastic the width and height of your cover, and place it over the inside cover working from the open edge (NOT the spine) inwards. Before the plastic reaches the spine, flip the spine strip so that the front of the spine is against the front of the cover - what fabric workers would call 'right sides together'. Bring the plastic up over the double thickness of clay, and up to the holes in the spine. Trim if necessary. This is shown in picture at the left.

Click for a Larger View When you open the front cover up flat again, the plastic that was over the double layer is trapped between the spine, but because it is thin and clear plastic, it does not show. This can be seen from the inside cover in the picture at the right.

Click for a Larger View Layer up your pages between the front and back covers, and use a large needle to put your ribbon or four or more lengths of embroidery floss down through the top and bottom holes through the front, pages and back of the book. This gives you strands running from top to bottom of the book, and the two ends at the back of the book. Bring one end up through the middle hole to the LEFT of the strands going from top to bottom and the other up through the same hole but to the RIGHT of those strands. Tie the two ends together, and make a neat bow. Trim the ends. You may wish to put a drop of glue on the bow for strength. You booklet is finished!

These books are a good way of using up mixed clay (roll a marbled sheet) or small amounts of left-over canes. Once you have made one, you'll see how quick they are to do, which makes them ideal for selling cheaply at fairs.

Crafty Owl
©September, 2000 Text and Pictures

We'd like to thank Crafty Owl for this great lesson! We also invite any PCC member with a lesson or project that they would like to share to email Leigh or Stephen and we will assist you in bringing your lesson the the PCC Website!

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