Here’s how I finished my children’s board book. (To see the first half of this tutorial, go here.)
You will need basically everything that you used in the the first half of this tutorial, with the addition of any decorative paper or supplies you need to illustrate the cover and inside pages. For my book I used paste paper for the cover and pen and ink and watercolor for the inside (just a quick note, if you have a baby with chronic wet hands from thumb-sucking, like mine, I wouldn’t recommend watercolor because the paint will smear every time she touches it—yes, I learned that the hard way).
Making the Cover
- Cut out two pieces of board (whatever you want for the cover. I’m using binders board). Make sure the grain is parallel to the spine. I made my covers 1/8 in. wider and 1/4 in. taller than my pages because I wanted them to hang over the pages a bit (see finished book to see what I mean).
- (Optional) Round two corners on each board to match the rounded pages, using the same technique as you used for the pages. If you made your covers bigger than your pages, you may want to use a bigger coin.
- Choose your cover material. If you are using binders board, you will want to cover your cover boards with paper. I’m using paste paper. You could also use book cloth if you want. Make sure that whatever you choose will cover your boards and overlap a little bit, and that the grain will run parallel to the spine.
- Cut the cover material to just a little bigger than your cover boards.
- (Optional) Cut out any words or designs in your cover paper. I cut out the title (contar) in my paste paper and put a white piece of paper behind it. You can do this with any combination of papers and to form any design.
- Glue your covers to your board. Cover your board with glue or paste (glue sets fast, so make sure you have it exactly where you want it). Use a bone folder with a piece of scratch paper underneath to smooth down the cover.
- Trim your edges. If you have a rounder corner, you may want to cut out little notches in the corner so it goes around nicely. For the square corners, cut perpendicular to the corner, leaving about 1/8th in. so the board won’t be exposed (see the picture below to clarify).
- Glue down the edges. I usually glue systematically: first the top and bottom sides, then the spine and fore edge sides.
- Glue your covers to your book. Brush glue onto the outside of the first page (make sure you don’t glue your covers on an upside-down book) and place the front cover on, with the spine flush with the book’s spine. Repeat with the back cover.
- Press your book. Place your book in a book press or under some weights or heavy books and allow to dry for at least 6 hours (overnight is best).
If you’ve already filled your book full of delightful illustrations, then you’re done. Congratulations! I know that was a lot of work. Hold your little book and feel the joy of creating a little piece of beauty for your child to enjoy.
Here’s what I did with the inside of my book. I decided to make a Spanish counting book (my wonderful husband is from Ecuador and we are trying to raise our baby to be bilingual).