Caleb’s Spellbook

Before I can move on with his book harness, I need to make Caleb’s Spellbook so I know how I’ll be attaching it to the harness. And because I’m being very extra with Caleb, I’m making the book from scratch!

Full disclosure: I know next to nothing about book binding. I read a bunch of tutorials, watched some videos, and combined the ideas into something I thought would work with minimal expenditure.

I ended up buying some antique looking paper, a book binding kit (just a simple one with an awl, string, and the plastic knife things used to press the paper). Nothing fancy. And some cover board. Then the decorative elements for the cover.

To start, I folded the paper in half, pressing with the plastic knife presser thing. I put them into bundles of five

I then did some math to figure out where the binding holes should go and how big the cover should be.

I made a little guide for the holes using the cardboard that came in the paper package. I marked each group of five pages. Then punched the holes using an awl.

Next, I sewed it up. I made sure the knot went on the outside, and other than that, I just adjusted my sewing until I was happy with it.

Then, I sewed the stacks together. Next time I think I’ll sew them together as I go.

I then worked on the cover. I used my measurements to draw it out, checking with the pages that I liked the size. I also measured the spine and traced that. I decided on a free spine (not the actual term probably) because it seemed easier and I like the look better.

I did glue the paper spine. It seemed like I should, but I don’t know if that was technically necessary. Then, I used book binding tape to attach the covers together. I did this around the papers, which was tricky, but I wanted to make sure it fit properly.

Then I attached the cover to the pages by gluing an extra sheet of paper to the cover board, and then to the top (and bottom) page of the book.

Next, the cover. I went with leather. I draped it around the book, and marked the book edges with chalk.

I used that as a guide to cut it out (and went too small at so keep that in mind). I wanted a leather circle with a transmutation type circle on the front to tie into the harness. So I used the same technique (with a slightly different drawing) to create a circle of leather.

I glued this to the front of the cover using leather glue. To determine the position, I layed out the other design elements.

Next I made the straps. I knew I needed the spine to have some sort of connection point for the harness, so I added a d ring and rivets to hold it in place. I made the straps a bit longer than necessary so I can figure out the closure.

Then I added the closures using rivets. I messed these up a bit. The closures I bought would have worked better if they attached on the cover, not the open book, but they still work. They’re just a bit fiddly.

Then, I added corner covers.

I’ll make his journal in a similar fashion, with a different cover type.

If anyone else decides to be this extra and use my tutorial, let me know! I wanna see your books!!!!! If you have any questions, leave me a comment here or shoot me a message on IG.

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