Do-Lit-Yourself: Mini-Chapbooks

March 3, 2015

ALERT aspiring poets: two paths diverged in a yellow wood, and you can write about both of them in your very own, made-it-yourself chapbook in today's edition of do-lit-yourself. All it takes is ten minutes and a couple of household items, so you could make one for your potential literary friend-turned-rival, too.

See more details below

DoLitYourself

Do-Lit-Yourself is a column for book lovers with a crafty streak. This pinteresting monthly is penned by LPG Education and Engagement manager Lauren Perruzza.

ALERT aspiring poets: two paths diverged in a yellow wood, and you can write about both of them in your very own, made-it-yourself chapbook in today's edition of do-lit-yourself. All it takes is ten minutes and a couple of household items, so you could make one for your potential literary friend-turned-rival, too.

To make your chapbook, you'll need:

chapbook_1_supplies

• Cardstock (something with a little more snap than regular construction paper), maybe in a few different colours

• An x-acto knife

• A ruler/straight edge

• Pushpins

• Sticky Tack or an Eraser

• A sewing needle

• Embroidery floss

• Scissors

Be sure to also have a surface to cut on, like a piece of cardboard. All Lit Up is not responsible for any wrecked tables, just sayin'.

 

Instructions

chapbook_2_signatures

1. If necessary, trim your paper to a good size. Mine was 8.5" x 11", so I cut each page in half to 8.5" x 5.5".

 

2. Fold each page in half, creating signatures. I folded six half-sheets of white paper, plus a brown half-sheet for a cover.

 

3. Nest the pages within one another until they resemble a little book. You'll see that the pages are not level and jut out from the cover.

 

chapbook_3_trimming

4. Correct this by trimming away the excess with your x-acto knife and ruler. You might need a few passes to trim away all the excess.

 

5. Once your pages are all nice and level, open up your book to the centre signature (the middle page). Placing your sticky tack or eraser under the spine of the chapbook, make sure your pages are together and pierce the centre of the spine with the pushpin. Make two more piercings about an inch from the top and bottom of the book. With each, wiggle the pushpin a little so that the holes are wide enough to pass your sewing needle through.

 

6. Now, obviously, let's pass a sewing needle through there. Cut a length of embroidery floss that's about as long as your wrist to your armpit. Thread it through your needle, and run the needle through the centre hole from the cover side through to the inside. Leave about 4-6 inches of thread in the back. Do not knot the string.

chapbook_5_sewing2

 

7. Bring the needle down through the bottom hole from the inside to the cover side, and back up through the top hole, from the cover side through to the inside. (You can see the order in the diagram to the right. Up through 1, down through 2, up again through three.)

 

8. Go back through the centre hole and remove the sewing needle from the thread. Now there should be two ends sticking out of the centre hole on the cover side of the book. Making sure that one thread lies on either side of the long thread that runs the length of the spine (between holes 2 and 3), tie the two ends into a knot, and then a bow. Double-knot the bow to make it extra-secure.

 

9. Trim the ends of the bow with your scissors to be of equal length.

 

chapbook_6_tying

10. You're done! Your chapbook won't lie flat right away: you can fix this by laying it under a weightier book for a spell. You can also decorate it any way you like: stick some more pushpin holes into the cover and jazz it up with a little embroidery, or use a classy stamp (like us).

 

11. If you're looking for a little inspiration about what to put inside of your chapbook, we defer to the experts: past winners of the bpNichol Chapbook Award. Sandra Ridley, Alisha Piercy, Larissa Lai, Gary Barwin, Nicole Markotic, and  Theresa Kishkan will all surely give you the jolt of inspiration you need to finish your mini-masterpiece. (Or, you can use it for grocery lists. Your ups.)


Discuss


comments powered by Disqus