I’m into bookmaking!


I have to thank The Crafty Chica (Kathy Cano-Murillo)  for her awesome tutorial video on Making An Easy Gift Card Book!  I have been getting her Diary of a Crafty Chica e-mail updates, and this one really inspired me.  The first one I made was covered in fabric – I know, I can’t seem to just follow the directions before improvising!  Mom complains that I do the same thing with recipes.  But, I had all of these red gift envelopes saved and this new brocade with dragons, and, well…

Let me back up a bit.  If you are not interested in watching the tutorial – it’s only 7 minutes long – here’s a short explanation of the project.  You buy gift cards from various stores, but instead of just presenting them to the recipient in an envelope or one of those gift tins they now sell, you make a little 3 1/2 inch by 5 1/2 inch book with envelopes inside to put the gift cards in.  You stick the gift cards on little cut out tags that you make to match the book and envelopes.  I really loved the idea, and decided to make one each for my niece and nephews.  That’s 3 books.

Of course, Kathy does hers with 3 gift cards each, so on Saturday I spent some time going around to stores and buying gift cards.  I started out at Kroger, because they advertise that they have the best selection – over 200 gift cards!  Here’s the problem:  I did not find one that was under $25.  I did buy a 3 pack of $10 I-Tunes gift cards, so that was good.  My mother warned me about some news report she saw claiming that gift cards are risky because some stores may go out of business before the card can be used.  Scary!  But, I went to Target, Sports Authority, and TJMaxx – I think I’m safe.

So, as I was saying, I tried an Asian theme first.  I bound the bookcovers in red brocade with medallions and dragons on it.  Then, I made my first mistake – I covered the inside of the covers before gluing the accordion envelope holders onto the ends.  So I had to prize up the holographic cardstock – hot glue is NOT forgiving.  At that point, I decided to finish it, but to make it a “practic” book.  The second mistake I made was in my accordion folding.  I was about to go into a big detailed explanation (snooze) but let’s just say that I figured out an easier way to fold without measuring out the accordion fold lines.  Lastly, although I love my little Chinese red envelopes, they are quite a bit smaller than the book is – although the gift cards DO fit in them.  I finished off the outside binding with some floral foil I had.  So, it was a bit insubstantial, but it was good practice!

From there, I went on to make a really stunning book with an angel theme.  I used heavy scrapbook paper and some Punch Studio angel Christmas cards I had been hoarding.  It looks awesome!  Although it was not part of the tutorial, I had some gorgeous silk ribbon saved from my (OMG!) wedding shower 10 years ago.  I attached it to the front and back, covering the glued-on places with angel cut outs.  I will have my husband take a picture of it and post it.  I honestly don’t want to give it away…

So, now I want to give gift cards to everyone on my list!  I am working on a Loteria-themed booklet (natch!), and am going to do more…  First, I have to put a coat of varnish on my Blue Dog Shrine orders and mail them out!  I am really bad about that – I get my best ideas when I am supposed to be doing something else!


One response »

  1. Bookmaking can run the gamut – be as fancy or as quick ‘n easy as you choose. Several years back, the NM Museum traveling exhibit van had a book exhibit and did bookmaking workshops

    I sent this to a bookmaking friend – a poet who makes elaborate, time-consuming art books for her poems,


    MINNEAPOLIS, MN – While literature is often a point of departure, artists’ books often bear little resemblance to conventional volumes. Many are sculptural, multidimensional, or made of material other than paper—some have no pages at all. Over the past three decades, the Walker Art Center has amassed a significant collection of books by artists, now numbering some 2,000 objects.

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