I use the Simple Note app for jotting down ideas as I always have my mobile phone with me.
I do have physical notebooks but tend to use them more for development. For example when I sit down to flesh out an idea. This could be for jotting down research or for when I outline my plot or character development like their backstory. I also jot down useful tips I’ve picked up from reading blog articles or watching videos by other authors.
Originally, I hadn’t bought a ticket to this event, at Felixstowe Book Festival 2018, as I thought it was only for children and accompanying adults. When I discovered I could attend, I bought a last minute ticket and I am so glad I did.
This workshop covered different techniques for making books. We were given paper, pens, needle and thread.
We were shown three different techniques. First we created a simple folded book and they showed us how to use this technique to create a thin long book or a short wide book.
Then, we made a shaped book. The design they taught us was in the shape of a house. Inside we cut out doors.
We were encouraged to fill in our books. I choose to turn the ‘house’ book into Noah’s home with easy words for my son to read. Another attendee theirs into a row of beach huts, someone else had the house changing through the seasons and a girl drew each house belonging to her best friends. It was great to see how universal the design was for each person.
For the folded book, we were asked what our favourite word was. Mine is “banana”. We were then challenged to fill our books based on our favourite word. I decided to write about different colour bananas to the tune of “one potato”. Later, I gave the book to Noah to colour in. He was able to read the colours and word banana easily. As a minion fan, he found it funny that it was about bananas.
The final technique we were shown was a stitched book. They taught us how to gather a suitable number of pages and the right size cover. We were shown how to safely make the holes for binding and the pattern to use for the stitch using a waxed thread.
We then had time afterwards to try making any of the methods again or to continue decorating and filling in our books. I made another stitched book and used floral paper from their scraps box. I plan to use this as a notebook to records ideas for a best selling novel!
The scraps box was full of all sorts of different bits of paper ranging from left over card/paper to gift wrap and gift bags to wallpaper. For the cover you need something thicker than the paper used inside. It really demonstrates how creating your own books is very sustainable as you are repurposing stuff you may have otherwise thrown away.
Around the room were several books for anyone wanting to learn more about making books. They recommended:
The event was brilliant. Emily and Jeni worked well together to deliver an engaging and interactive workshop. I hope they continue to return to Felixstowe Book Festival to share their knowledge and enthusiasm of making books.
I had planned to create a video to illustrate how to make these but haven’t had the time. Hopefully, I will one day.
Have you ever made a book – what style do you make and what did you use your creation for? I am hoping to do this with my son to encourage his writing. Please let me know if you’ve got any tips.