Saturday, March 14, 2015

How to Make a Tunnel Book

I have tried several times over the years to make tunnel books. They are wonderful, interactive structures that are visually appealing as well. I have not been very successful in my endeavors as my "pages" tend to warp and bend. Last month at a San Diego Book Arts Salon I met a woman who makes beautiful tunnel books and she was working on one invented by Ed Hutchins. She downloaded the directions here and I came home and did the same. Fast forward to yesterday when I finally had the time to make a tunnel book myself. Below are pictures of the results. This version of the structure has lightweight side hinges and doubled pages. In other words, no more warping!

I used a roll of craft paper for the base structure and it worked beautifully. I used three pages from an old calendar to get the images, but you can use anything, or just draw your own images. I hope you will be inspired to try this project.


1. Choose images.

2. Cut and fold craft paper (8" x 30") and lay out images.

3. Cut holes in pages so you can see through the tunnel.

4. Pasted first image and cut in an oval around elements you want to keep.

5. Paste down the other images and glue side tabs together.

Finished tunnel book with 4 layers of images.

Top view of tunnel book.

Side view of book with hinges showing.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

How To Make Artist's Books: Book Recommendations

My friend Nancy suggested that I do an occasional book recommendation for book artists, origami enthusiasts and paper crafters. Since I was a blogger in need of a post it seemed like a good fit. So here is my first list of books on book arts. These are ones that I return to time and again for structure and content ideas. You can get them at your favorite online bookstore. I hope you find some inspiration or a new treasure here.

My top three recommendations are:

1. Creating Handmade Books by Alisa Golden has clear, concise text and illustrations for making everything from simple one-page structures all the way up to multi-signature sewn structures.

2. Making and Keeping Creative Journals by Suzanne J. E. Tourtillott is a feast for journal lovers. She offers innovative structures to match topics such as gardening, birding and art journaling.

3. Sleight of Binding by Cherryl Moote offers playful structures to lift your books into the third dimension. You will find kinetic and interactive designs in shapes and colors that wake up your creative mind.

Here are some pictures of my work using these books for instruction and inspiration.

 Book/card with tunnel from Creating Handmade Books. (2014)

Jacob's Ladder book (front and back) and content from Creating Handmade Books. (2004)

Jacob's Ladder "Flight" book from Creating Handmade Books. (2009)

Journal with different color and size pages from Making and Keeping Creative Journals.

Inside of journal showing content. (2003)

Inside the Dos-a-Dos book. (2003)

 Glove book inspired by one in Making and Keeping Creative Journals. (2007)

Gallery Book from Sleight of Binding. I modified Cherryl's structure by leaving the paper on the front of the "windows" and using it to fold the cranes. (2012)

Cherrly's book Sleight of Binding has many kinds of flexigon structures. Here are three that I made using Graphic 45 papers. (2014)