In February of 2015 I wrote a post about my artist’s book Grid Road Poems.
The original edition is out of print, but to celebrate having posted 250 times (the number was reached with the most recent Friday Night Flicks) and my blog having received more than 25,000 views, I thought I would present a smaller version that you can make for yourself.
First, you will need to print out the three sheets of the pdf. The book is designed to print on 8.5 x 11″ paper, but should work just fine on A4. Try printing one sheet first to make sure that your printer is not cutting off part of the image. If it is, you will need to scale down slightly to make everything fit. I printed my sample copy on 67# (148 gsm) cover stock. I let freshly printed sheets rest for at least a few minutes, especially if using an inkjet printer.
First, score the side edges of the pages on the first two sheets. This is important as the sides will not all be obvious once the pages are cut apart.
Cut the pages apart (the short black guides at the sides indicate where to cut), then trim off the blank ends following your scored guides. Make sure to keep the pages from sheet one and the pages from sheet two in separate piles.
Glue a page from sheet one back to back with a page from sheet two. I glued page 1 to page 5, page 2 to page 6, and so on. It does not really matter if you get them out of order as long as you are consistently attaching a page from sheet one to a page from sheet two. It is important to keep the top edge the same on both sides, so you might find it helpful to put a small arrow on the back of each page indicating the top.
I used a glue stick, then let the pages rest under weight for half an hour. If you use an adhesive with more moisture —paste, PVA— you might want to let them dry between absorbent paper under weight for a day. If you don’t have a press, just find some heavy books.
There are a couple of steps that you can do while your pages are resting.
Take sheet three (cover and template) and score across between the solid lines at A. Do not score between the dashed lines yet. You may need to trim the edges of your pages a little, which would mean your second score line (B) for the cover will be in a slightly different place.
Cut out the template at the bottom of the page. Pierce a hole at the top of each of the heavy vertical lines. You can use a T-pin or pushpin to do this if you don’t have an awl.
Cut out the two heavy black lines from the pierced hole to the edge, creating two slots.
When your pages are ready, trim them if necessary. (You may need to do this if the pages didn’t match exactly when glued.) If you trim one page, you will need to trim all the others to match. Make sure that you keep the rectangular shape. If you trim the pages, you will also need to trim the template. If you do, make sure that you keep the pierced holes centred both vertically and from side to side.
You will need to cut the slots in your pages so that they go from middle to bottom in two of the pages, and middle to top in the other two. Use the template as a guide to pierce two holes in each page and make a mark through the slot in the template to use as a guide when cutting from the hole to the page edge. Use something that will leave a clear mark. (I used a black rollerball pen.) You will be removing the mark when you cut the slot, and it is easier to cut the slot if the mark is obvious.
Your pages should look like this:
Take the part of sheet three with the printed cover and fold along your score line. Stack your pages together and use them as a guide to score a second fold line. If you didn’t trim your pages it will be about where the dotted line guides at B are printed. Fold along the second score.
Again using your stacked pages as a measure, score two more lines: one should be outside your first score line towards the top of the sheet, the other outside the second score line towards the bottom. The distance on my sample copy was a little under .125 inches (3 mm) but your pages may be thicker or thinner than mine. Fold along these score lines.
You may find it useful to make these folds with the pages inside what will be the cover. It will be easier to make the narrow fold with something inside it. Your cover should look like this:
Open the cover flat and cut off along the left edge indicated by the green pointy finger. Turn cover over and use your stacked pages to mark the width. (Note that the trimmed edge is now on the right in the image below.)
Cut the cover to the finished width using the mark you made as a guide.
Gluing the cover comes next. I find it helpful to include the template along with the stack of pages. This provides a little ease in the fit of the finished cover. Glue the cover —glue goes on the flap indicated by the green pointy finger— with the stack in place, then remove the stack immediately so that the template is not glued to the inside of the cover by accident. If you leave the end of one of the pages sticking out a little bit while gluing, it will make removal of the pages plus template a little easier.
The final step in making the cover is trimming off the excess flap left at the top edge after gluing. After the glue has dried/set, place the pages (without the template) back in the cover. Place a steel ruler along the top edge of the cover and cut along it. Be very careful not to cut into the vertical edge. The finished cut edge should look like this:
Although there are fewer pages than in the original edition, there are still a number of different ways to assemble the pages. Here are two of them:
And there you have it —your personal handmade copy of Grid Road Poems.