As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to try my hand at mixed paper books* for my January project. Some talented bloggers made it look like a breeze and I figured it couldn’t be too complicated to assemble some pretty paper.
Mistaken, thy name is Emily.
Working on the mixed-paper books was fun at the beginning. I enjoyed selecting the paper and choosing different card stock weights and textures from my supply. But then it spiraled into a nightmare.
Error #1. I’ve yet to invest in a big paper cutter. I don’t have a lot of storage for supplies right now and I haven’t really needed it. So I ended up cutting and measuring All. Of. The. Paper for the first two books (which were supposed to be identical twins) by hand. This meant that the cutting was less precise and definitely more time-consuming than I had planned.
Error #2. Once I had all of the paper assembled and cut for the first two books, I had no idea how to bind them. Originally, I planned to simple use a hole-puncher to create holes and then bind them with three loose-ring hinges. I hadn’t considered how difficult it is to cut through a stack of 20 pieces of paper, most of which are card stock.
I ended up painstakingly hole-punching three individual holes in each piece of paper using my single hole-puncher, lining up the pages to make sure that the holes were place consistently.
Again, this was so much more time-consuming than I would have dreamed. It was also sort of painful on my wrists. Also, my initial attempts at hole-punching left the corners of a few pieces looking messy. I used a pair of scalloped-edge scissors to try to mend the look, but I would have been happier with a cleaner aesthetic.
Error #3. I planned to use a piece of heavier material for the cover of each book. My hole-puncher can’t punch through material that thick. Instead of searching for a solution, I simply abandoned the cover in favor of time.
The long and the short of this? I’m almost done with the two mixed-paper books. I’m only going to try to complete two for now, instead of the originally four. I need to reassess my methods before I expend a lot more time and materials on a similar project.
However. I do think both books will be done by the end of February. So the project wasn’t an utter failure; it will just be completed later than I had originally planned, with fewer books to show for my efforts.
What did I enjoy most about this project? The paper! I loved playing with all of my favorite papers, digging through my collection and finding paper long forgotten, and organizing it.
I definitely would try to make a mixed-paper book again. I think I just need to plan a little more carefully and design the book in advance (along with addressing logistical issues like binding)
On a related note, I’m planning to give these journals away to two of my subscribers once they are complete. More details to come, but if you are interested in one of them, go ahead and provide your email in the box in the upper-right. I’ll keep you posted about the completion of these.
They would be perfect for storing 4×4 or 2×2 Instagram prints or journaling. I am trying to focus on Project Life albums this year, which is why I am going to give them away.
Meanwhile, I’ll be sharing my February craft project (which, ironically, is complete) on the 16th.
Now it’s your turn. Any craft project disasters that you care to share? Humor me in the comments.
*Pictures in this post detail all of the pages, front and back, of the mixed-paper books.