A reader made the excellent suggestion of "Tutorial, please!" regarding how to make a book 'dori.
Given the MONTH and my various COLLECTIONS O' Stuff, I thought a Valentine-themed 'dori would be perfect to show the PROCESS.
Meet the LUVDORI!
I have a variety of items that I thought would work well for a love-themed 'dori, so I dug up the possibilities.
What I was looking for: Pinks and Whites and Reds; Roses & Hearts; Keys; Messages of LOVE.
Here are just SOME of the contenders that I gathered for consideration in making the cover -- fabrics, ribbons, handkerchiefs, and dish towels:
I find it helpful to round up The Usual Suspects and look at them together. This way I'm actually SEEING them and not just REMEMBERING what they look like. I also want to note which interactions and combinations of "ingredients" start to spark excitement. Using the book you have in mind, see where placement of fabric patterns or images/ type will work best. How will you layer the components to make the most of the linens you'd like to use? Experimenting with and figuring out these possibilities beforehand will save you from making cutting missteps you'll regret. After you've decided on all your fabrics, take some time to IRON them, preferably with spray starch.
Want to make your own book 'dori? I'll walk you through how I made mine -- materials and tools used -- and the step-by-step process. All of the photos in this section can be clicked on for a larger, pop-up views.
The finished LuvDori used:
Five different ribbons
A mini key & padlock
Crop-a-Dile II Big Bite Punch.
1. & 2. Book that I got at GoodWill for $1 was the right size (can easily accommodate a cahier size notebook).
3. I cut along the red line on the front cover with an Exacto knife. This is to separate the pages from the cover: OUR ULTIMATE GOAL.
4. Another cut at the back cover.
1. Here I'm showing the cover separated from the pages. I threw the pages away ONLY BECAUSE they had mold on them. There are plenty of good reasons to reuse book pages, but mold has never been (nor will it ever be) one of them.
2. I ripped off the cream-colored endpapers from the book cover. This step isn't mandatory -- you'll be covering over it anyway.
3. I ran a strip of duct tape down the spine for reinforcement.
1. I gave the cover TWO layers of white craft felt. I cut out an approximate size of felt and glued it down. (I used Crafter's Pick THE ULTIMATE! glue for this project. This is my favorite glue for projects like this.) I trimmed the felt to size; the book cover acted as a guide. More glue; another layer of felt. Trimmed to size. Then I let it dry.
2. The polka-dotted fabric was going to serve as the background so I cut a piece (using the book cover as a template) that would be big enough to both cover the front AND have enough to wrap around to the inside and be glued down. At each of the corners. I made a diagonally cut so that when the corners were turned, they didn't have a lot of excess fabric that might have created bulk. I glued ONE SIDE first to ANCHOR the fabric. Here I've glued the bottom edge of the book cover, then flipped the fabric over the glued edge and made sure it was secure. (TIP: I blorped out some glue onto a plastic lid and used a brush to apply glue.)
3. This image shows a close-up of the fabric now glued to the bottom edge, and a close-up of the diagonal cut of fabric.
4. With the one edge anchored, I now flipped the book cover over, and drew the fabric back to reveal the felt. I brushed on a layer of glue on the felt.
5. I carefully re-placed the fabric to the felt and gently brushed (with my helpful hand) away any wrinkles to make sure the fabric was lying flat with no wrinkles. It's also a good idea at this stage that if there is a pronounced pattern on the fabric, to make sure that it lines up well with the edges of the book cover.
1. Flipped the book cover over again.
2. Glued down the TOP flap of fabric.
3. Glued down one SIDE of the fabric, then the other.
(You may have to finesse the corners a bit. If you've left yourself enough fabric -- i.e. not cut to close to your corners -- this is fairly easily accomplished: Add glue and use your fingers to mold and shape the fabric so that it lies flat to the corner of the book cover.)
I positioned the HEART HANDKERCHIEF in a way that was pleasing to my eye. The reason I chose this handkerchief is because of its scalloped edge. Scalloped edges are just PRETTIER than straight edges. Like most ladies' hankies, this one is delicate (but not fragile) and the polka-dotted material underneath shows through in a way I like.
1. I glued the bottom edge of the hankie THEN DID A LIGHT GLUING of the hankie to the polka-dot fabric (the outside cover), taking special care to make sure the side scallops of the hankie were glued down.
2. Top part of hankie could now be glued down.
3. The outer cover at this stage.
1. & 2. I glued down a length of ribbon. I liked its edges and wanted to include those.
3. I glued down a thinner ribbon on top of the first. Its hearts interspersed with flowers is very Valentine-y.
4. Cut two rectangles to fit the inside front and back covers from scrapbook paper. The ULTIMATE glue works well for this. Allow the glue to permeate the paper fibers and smooth down the paper with your hands.
1., 2., & 3. I edged the inside of the covers with Martha Stewart ribbon -- HEARTS and XOXO and BE MINE. To make the ends of the ribbon neater, cut the length a little longer than needed and add a bit of glue to the ribbon, and fold it back on itself and glue together.
1. Spine of cover with a pencil dot. This is where I will punch a hole and sink a grommet for the elastic that will hold the 'dori closed. I punched the holes with the Crop-a-Dile. I'm so glad I got this tool. Before I was struggling along with a the sharp end of a compass, then using a hammer to set grommet. This was a painstakingly LONG process and the hammering didn't always = the grommets actually being SET. This tool gives you the results you want really quickly!
2. Grommet installed.
3. All five grommets installed.
4. Here's how the elastic was strung through the two holes at the top and the two holes at the bottom of the spine.
5. What the strung elastic looks like from the outside of the 'dori.
1. Knotted center elastic on the inside of 'dori.
2. & 3. Center elastic gets threaded through two stacked buttons. These vintage buttons were salvaged from a glasses case I used until it "no longer owed nobody nothin'".
1., 2., & 3. I added a key and padlock set to the top and bottom elastic loops. This key really fits in and will open the padlock! Cute!!
I added jump rings to them both, then attached them to the loops.
The side dangle action adds movement and a bit of sparkle and -- dare I say it -- WHIMSY.
I hope this post has given you some ideas about creating your own book 'dori, and has been successful in showing how really EASY they are to make.
If you have any questions about the process, please write me in the comments section, and I'll get back to you!
If you were inspired to make a book 'dori as a result of reading this post, I'D LOVE TO SEE IT!
In the upcoming weeks, I'm planning on showing how to make some coordinating accessories to go with the LuvDori.
THANK YOU to the reader who made the suggestion that spurred this post. If YOU have a suggestion for posts, please let me know!
I'd love to be creating content that you guys find of value.
Until next time: Happy Crafting!