John-Paul Flintoff

Why make your own books

How hard can it be?

I made a book in just five minutes, at a coffee shop, using only the materials in front of me…

Why hand-made matters

A few years ago, I made a decision: I would never again buy anything “cheap” if I could help it. In other words, I would buy less than I had bought in the past, but it would all be good quality.

Home decorated plate, "Eye love you", by Nancy

The i…

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You can be creative using very special materials, or with just about anything.

The hand-made books in these pictures contain pages made out of brown paper bags that once held groceries and envelopes from the bank and the tax office (I wanted to see if I could make myself love them, and I enjoyed using their unusual shapes and sizes to make fold-out pages).

The covers are made of a wallpaper sample and brown corduroy from a pair of my old trousers.

The teatime-themed pattern printed on the endpaper is made from a printing stamp that I carved into a children's eraser.

Sometimes I use shop-bought PVA glue, and sometimes I make my own wheat paste. The choice is yours.

What kind of books to make

Try doing this with an ebook!

As a keen book maker, I have become increasingly interested in how physical books are different from ebooks.

Handmade Sew Your Own fully open

One of the best examples of that is the pop-up book

What to do with Work In Progress?

Every so often, when I've collected a great heap of loose sketches, notes To-Do lists and used Diary pages, I use my Filofax holepunch and stitch them all together to dignify them with the status of a “book” – of my work in progress.

(The stitch is sometimes called Japanese stab binding.)

What do you do with yours?

Handmade handouts

Recently, instead of distributing boring sheets of A4 after a talk – I decided to provide the same content as a one-off, mini-booklet (still using just one sheet of A4).

I drew it by hand, scanned and copied it, then slightly customised each one, using coloured pens. People loved it.

What do people think?

See my books on Pinterest
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Satisfied customers… eventually

Handmade Jane's picture of Kathryn at Selfridges After my recent book-making demonstrations at Selfridges, I got some feedback that gave me pause for thought.

Kavita Kapoor attended the class with Jesse Chan-Norris, expecting to be shown some very finished books (“it was billed as a masterclass,” she writes on her blog, and she was dismayed by what followed…

Library of dreams

When How To Change The World first came out I asked people at public events (and elsewhere) to write down one dream on a tiny piece of paper.

I created lots of little handmade books to hold all these people's dreams in storage – and this morning I stumbled upon this small stash.