In December I bought half a dozen books from Barnes and Noble to read over the Christmas vacation, and Handmade Books for Everyday Adventures by Erin Zamrzla was in the stack.
It was the subtitle that caught my eye: 20 Bookbinding Projects for Explorers, Travelers and Nature Lovers. It was in my basket before I even looked at the projects inside.
Zamrzla, a California-based artist and bookbinder, has created an attractive and easy to follow book that is perfect for all skill levels. The cleanly laid out book contains 20 book projects, which are divided into 4 sections: Everyday Outings, Outdoor Play, Nature Excursion and Road Trips. Each project has clear written instructions and illustrations, as well as a double page photograph of the finished journal. The instructions for 8 Japanese stab bindings are at the end of the book for easy reference.
The book’s projects range from straightforward accordion and glued bindings to more complicated sewn bindings – Zamrzla’s clear instructions give the reader the confidence to create wonderful personal journals.
I particularly liked the recycled items she uses in her projects, such as used bicycle tubes, tickets and maps, and 35mm negatives. You’ll also see Erin’s love of re-purposing old things into new books in her Flickr feed and in her Etsy store, where she sells a popular Cassette Tape Book.
At the end of the book, you’ll find a section on book binding tools and materials, as well as a couple of pages listing common terms and techniques. Generally, these sections appear at the front of a book but I like how Erin has placed them at the end – it’s less overwhelming to the reader. This book makes creating handmade books accessible to readers of all skill levels.
Whether this is your first handmade book project or you’re an accomplished bookbinder, I think you’ll find Handmade Books for Everyday Adventures a lovely resource.