Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How to: Beaded Book Cover

Yesterday I was so happy to share my finished Mardi Gras scrapbook.  I thought it might be useful to someone out there to share how I created the cover.  Now might be a good time to pause and say that I am not one for directions.  When I have an idea, I forge ahead as if I were the first pioneer of craft, all the while knowing that my good buddy Google might lead me an easier, cheaper, and usually tested approach to whatever idea I have.  So with this, I took the same approach, and overall I'm happy with the outcome, but I did learn a very important lesson about glue.  Before I get to that, let's start with the materials:
  • beads, preferably all the same/similar size
  • scissors
  • chipboard 
  • card stock
  • hole punch or awl
  • adheisive to bind card stock to chipboard (I use 3L Scrapbook adhesive)
  • glue for beads (for this project I tried 2 glues - Judi Kins Diamond Glaze and Beacon Quick Grip
  • paper cutter (optional)
  • inks (optional)
To get started, decide on the shape/size of your book.  Keep in mind that your cover should be anywhere from 1/4" to 1/2" bigger than the pages on the top bottom and right side. 

Cut your chip board to the your desired size.  My book came out to be roughly 8" x 9".  For a thicker cover, you can use two layers of chipboard or cardboard or whatever you have on hand.  I would just be sure to glue the two layers together before covering them with card stock.

Once you have your chip board cut, lay it in the middle of your card stock and leave about an inch to 1.5" on each side.  From there you will need to fold the corners of the card stock over the corners of the chipboard so that it looks like this:

Once you have the corners folded, you will fold each side down, making sure that the fold is nice and straight.  I do this before adding the glue/adhesive as it's a bit easier.  Once you get all sides glued down it should look like this:
Now you have your cover.

After getting your cover situated, you'll want to cover the inside cover.  You can do this in a bunch of different ways, but I took the easy way and just selected some card stock that I liked and cut it to size.  It's roughly an 1/8th of an inch smaller than the cover all the way around.  

Now once you have it cut, you can easily glue it down and be done with it, but I like to ink my edges just a bit, especially if I'm dealing with lots of colors.  It gets rid of those white edges on the paper.  I know that most people probably wouldn't notice it, but I like the little touch.  Here's what my inside cover looked like after I was done:

The little tag is something I added later.  It's a 7gypsy card that I've had forever, and I simply snipped off the opening parenthesis, wrote my book name, location and date and then added a bit of ink to let it blend in a bit more with the cardstock.  Oh, and I used a stamp with a bit of glitter glue.  Here's what that looks like up-close:
Ok, so back to the book.  After you have your inside cover squared away, repeat the process for your back-inside cover.  Once both covers are done, you'll want to punch some holes.  For this, I created a template out of some scrap paper.  
I also used this template for all of my pages.  I just laid the template over the cover/pages each time I needed to punch.  As I went along, the holes got slightly off skew, but I was ok with that considering I was using binder clips for my binding. 
Next is the fun part - the beads.  

The bead part is easy.  You just cut the beads to size.  I tried to layer mine so that the beads looked interlocking, like bricks.  Sometimes it wasn't possible because there'd be a wongo bead (technical term - wongo), but overall it kept the beads as straight as possible - not going for perfection here.
My process went like this:  Cut beads. Run glue down the length of where bead should lay.  Lay beads down.  Repeat.
For the first half of the front cover, I used Diamond Glaze.  I've used this glue for other projects before, so I knew that it was sturdy and I knew that it would dry clear.  What I didn't account for was the fact that this glue is water based.  I went along just fine, but since I didn't start with a full bottle of glaze, I ran out.  I left the cover to dry and as I did, I noticed this:
Buckling.  Yuck!  I had to go back and re-lay the tag, and I used mini glue dots to re-affix some of the worst hit areas.  The top part of the page still has that pretty big buckled area, but I let it go, mainly because I didn't have another piece of that particular card stock and I loved it so much.

So I hit the store to check out my options and I wound up with this - Beacon Quick Grip.
 This glue was great for the job at hand.  It's a much thicker glue, and the beads required less handling. The only downside is that it's got a stink to it, so you need to use in a really well ventilated area.  The big kid was home with me while I was working on this, and I was being silly and she kept swearing that I was high on glue. 

The back cover showed no signs of buckling with this glue.  I also found that the back was a lot more flexible - it felt like a soft cover book, compared to the front, which was half Diamond Glaze and half Quick Grip.  In both cases though, the glue dried clear, the beads seem to be very in tact, and I'm really happy with the end result.

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