Bookcloth Tutorial

I posted a tutorial on making your own bookcloth on Instagram a while back, and thought it’d be fun to offer it here, as well! (I’ve also edited it and added more commentary than I felt like typing on my phone.)

To make your own bookcloth using this method, you will need:

  • A large, clean work surface
  • Fabric
  • An iron and ironing surface
  • Japanese paper
  • Wheat paste
  • Paste brush
  • Waste paper to cover your work surface
  • Scissors
  • The measurements for how much bookcloth your project needs
  • A ruler or yardstick
  • A large, clean pane of glass (windows work great for this!)
  • A utility knife, x-acto knife, or similar
  1. Clean your work surface (in this case, my flat file downstairs).
    Bookcloth Tutorial 1
  2. Figure out how much you need. In the picture you can just barely see my book map, which is what let me know how much bookcloth I needed.
    Bookcloth Tutorial 2
  3. Cut out the amount you need (with some extra just in case).
    Also: thanks to the fabulous Xcentricities (corset.net) for the fabric! It’s unique to them and they very kindly sold me some.
    Bookcloth Tutorial 3
  4. Iron the fabric.
    Bookcloth Tutorial 4
  5. Cut Japanese paper to size. I did this by laying the fabric out on the paper and cutting around it. You’ll need about a 1″ margin on all sides. Don’t forget to line up the grain! (note: fabric grain runs parallel to the selvage, the rough edge on either side of full yards of fabric)
    Bookcloth Tutorial 5
  6. Paste time! Put the fabric face down, smooth it flat (you can spray it with water if it’s being troublesome), and paste up the paper.
    Bookcloth Tutorial 6
  7. Carefully lower paper, paste side down, onto the fabric. This is definitely the hardest part.
    Bookcloth Tutorial 7
  8. Use the pasted up margin affix to a piece of glass. A clean window works well. (Bonus: the pasted margin will keep your bookcloth from shrinking as it dries!)
    Bookcloth Tutorial 8
  9. Repeat as desired, allow to dry overnight.
    Bookcloth Tutorial 9
  10. Optional: relax outside with cute person and refreshing beverage.
    Bookcloth Tutorial 10
  11. Cut around the fabric with a sharp knife and carefully peel away. Ta-daa! Book cloth (cleaning is easiest with a sharp blade like a razor or utility knife blade – just scrape the remaining paper off the window.)
    Bookcloth Tutorial 11

And bam! Your very own custom bookcloth.

One of my favorite sources for fabric when I want an unusual pattern is Spoonflower, which is sort of like Cafepress but for fabric. They have SO MANY PATTERNS WHOA.

Good luck and have fun!

 

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