Loose blank cardstock, roughly 7″ x 12″. I happened to have a surplus of this hanging around so I sized my book according to the stock.
Printing on front & back of each page. Layout takes a while, so make a small guide book (which can be seen in the bottom left) of which images should go on the front/back of each page beforehand.
Clamping the book together, adding spacers between the clamp and the cover to prevent any pressure points from ruining the look of the cover. The front cover or your book should be cut about 1/8″ shorter left-to-right, I’ll get to why shortly.
Post drilling. The black heavy pieces which I am using for the cover are “superblack illustration board”, they come in large sheets and are fairly easy to cut to size with an exacto knife – just take your time and measure twice before you cut. After the holes are drilled you’ll need to tidy up the rims a bit with an exacto, just to keep everything neat.
Once you’re happy with the cuts, and the cleaning, you’re going to need to make one more cut on the front cover. This will be made about 1.5″ from the binding side, and allows your book to open. After you’ve cut the piece off, carefully realign it while adding the 1/8″ of open space and begin to attach both pieces together with Book Tape. This tape has that cloth feel to it, and provides a great movable binding that will last for a long time.
Next up, scoring the paper. This is annoying, but it’s necessary for the pages to lie somewhat flat and evenly. You can get a bone scorer at most art supply shops, or ( and i know this is tacky ) buy the Martha Stewart paper scoring kit – which is what I ended up doing. It works much better than I expected, and if you find a coupon at for the craft store you can likely pick it up for between $10-$15.
Another note about paper scoring: I chose to “graduate” each page score about 1/16″ according to how they were laid out in the book. This allows each page to fold open in it’s own space so the pages aren’t all crammed by the end of your book.
Final scoring of each page., and realignment.
Screwposts being added and sized for the thickness of the book, you can also pick these up at a craft or hardware store.
Binding finished, first flip-through of the book…
Impact Stamp addition. For an extra touch I wanted a subtle addition to my cover. I had these antique impact stamps lying around but did not have enough letters for my full name, so I went with just my initials. This is a pretty simple transfer process as you really just hit each letter with a hammer a few times, but if you’re going with this option TAKE YOUR TIME. You can completely destroy the clean professional look of the cover if you add these crooked, or took close/far apart etc..
Closeup of the front right corner of the book.
Once I was finished I actually was bored by the interior cover being blank, so I added a simple envelope to hold business cards and any other info I would want to bring around with my portfolio.