Ugh! Marbling failure!

Our minor success of the afternoon!

Our minor success of the afternoon!

It’s a sad day.  We have utterly failed to produce what we wanted to today.  We have something to show for our efforts, and have added brief “how-to” section below, but… well, there’s always tomorrow.

Our aim right now is to create endpapers for a couple of books.  We love those beautiful combed pattern papers which you see in old volumes. I’ve made them before using commercial marbling inks, and it was super easy to achieve the effects which we wanted to reproduce today.  The little problem we had today was that we couldn’t find the inks – I’m not even sure if they’re in our house, at my parents, or the casualty of a house move.

Knowing that there are other options, we tried to marble without marbling inks.  This is good, we thought, because we’ll find a cheap alternative.  And honestly, do you really need proper marbling inks?  Unfortunately, it’s been a sorry mess (seriously, my hands are better marbled than the paper).

Even so, you can achieve results with perseverance – you just need to experiment a lot with consistencies and perhaps even with which paints you use.  I’ve got to say honestly that with commercial inks, you can at least just get on and experiment with design rather than simply trying to make it work.

We experimented with:

  • oil colour
  • acrylics
  • faux marbling using some gel colours for Easter eggs
  • nail polish (that actually worked – hurrah!)

Continue reading

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Embossed leather book cover – Part 2

Hello Begonias!

In part 2 of our book cover tutorial, we’ll be looking at the decorative elements which you can add to the plain leather covered book shown in Part 1.   Of course, you might already love the plain version of your book, so why not go ahead and make a second?

We've already completed this plain leather covered book.  Next stop, decoration!

We’ve already completed this plain leather covered book. Next stop, decoration!

OK, so if you don’t already have a covered book, go to Part 1 to create something like the one shown above.  Admire it and set it to one side.  You’re going to be working on a separate piece of leather for the next bit. Continue reading

New project coming soon: leather covered notebook with embossed design

I have edited the centre part of a book panel to make it easier to transfer the design.  You can find the original book cover alongside many other beautiful examples here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wildmuse/sets/72157623038723753

I have edited the centre part of a book panel to make it easier to transfer the design. You can find the original book cover alongside many other beautiful examples here.

Hello Begonias!

It’s been a plague house here in Bavaria, but we are now almost fully recovered from a heavy dose of the flu (not man flu, not a mere cold, but full-on hideousness).  We send healing thoughts to anyone else who has been suffering the horrible bugs doing the rounds recently.

Tosh had been working on a notebook covered with leather to share with you, and has now been able to complete the basic work to create a plain, undecorated version.  It is quite easy to do, and I will post photos and guidelines for that shortly.  A follow-up post will include a decorative front panel based on the centre part of a 16th century book cover design and decorative (fake) metal hinges.  Although the original book is covered with embroidered velvet, the design also works well on plain leather, using a soldering iron to emboss.  In this way, you can do quite intricate designs with ease.

See you soon!