The Mousetraps Get Domestic!

The Mousetraps Get Domestic!

In celebration of the warm weather last weekend, The Mousetraps decided to put on some spring skirts, grab their Polaroid cameras and a picnic lunch, and take a bike ride around their favorite neighborhood. They pedaled slowly through the streets, stopping every now and then to take pictures. As they sat down in the park to enjoy their lunch, they flipped through all of the photos they had just made. Mouse turned to Trap and said, “This is great! We should put all the photos together and make a photo-documentary about our bicycle ride!” Trap got wide-eyed with excitement. “Yeah! We can make our own book! I know just how… Japanese stab binding!”

*The Mousetraps suggest listening to Beirut’s album “Gulag Orkestar.” Most of the songs on this hauntingly beautiful album were written (and performed!!) by singer, multi-instrumentalist Zach Condon. A mixture of many styles, including indie folk/rock and Eastern European gypsy music, this album is sure to get your creative juices flowing.

Japanese Stab Binding!

Time: 30-60 minutes

Supplies needed: scissors, hammer, pliers, nail, ruler, paper glue, needle, thread, medium to heavy weight paper (scrapbooking paper works well) for book pages, 2 pieces contrasting paper for front and back covers, pencil.

1. Cut paper to desired size of book. (The images below show a 6″ x 4″ book with 16 pages.) You can add as many pages as you want.
2. Mark the front page with two pairs of sewing holes. (For the 6″ x 4″ book, mark the 6″ side at 1/4″ from the edge, then measuring across the 4″ side, make a mark at 1″, 1.5″, 2.5″, and 3″.
3. Stack all the pages together with the marked page on top. Place something heavy on the opposite end of the marks, such as a paper weight or a brick or rock. At the sewing marks you made, punch through all the layers with a hammer and nail. With the needle and thread sew book together. Sew each pair of holes individually and tie the thread ends tightly and trim to 1″.
4. Cut the contrasting cover paper to the same size as other pages. To attach the cover pieces, apply glue to the wrong side and glue to top and bottom of sewn together pages. Be sure to tuck in the thread tails and glue under the covers.
5. You will need to remark your sewing holes on the cover of the book and again punch through the layers with the hammer and nail.
6. To sew the outside binding, double thread a needle and know twice, leaving a 1″ tail. Open the book to the third or fourth page. Push a butter knife or letter opener through the book spine. From the outside, sew to the inside through the space created by the butter knife and into the starting hole (see diagram below). Remove the knife or letter opener.
7. Follow the rest of the binding instructions as detailed below in the diagram.

8. Now you can make your own photo albums, story books, journals, or any other type of book!