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Concertina Collage Books

Lesson 6 of 6

Adding the Covers & Finishing the Book

Molly Meng

Concertina Collage Books

Molly Meng

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Lesson Info

6. Adding the Covers & Finishing the Book

Lesson Info

Adding the Covers & Finishing the Book

So for my last page, I'm going to keep in the same color scheme and use this, which totally makes me think of girl scouts for some reason, I just love that that dual color and measured down to the size I need, you can see how win you start to collage more and more on your pages, the book gets a little unruly, which is why I leave the covers to the very end you don't ever wanna construct your book and put the covers on right away, because then you're dealing with even more of a difficult of a difficult fold. So measuring this just for my final page, I'm going to take my pencil, and then I'll be able to cut this down just to the right size. So always remembering perfection is not a goal here, fun is a goal, and having something that you really love and that you can add two later is also a great way to look at this book, so we're gonna put that in for our final page, and then we're gonna collage on top of that again, I'm using this double sided. This happens to be the dot gloom, which hol...

ds paper justus well is double sided tape, and I want to get it to the edges, so a lot of people tend to go overboard. With these, but I find that it's really just about getting those four edges and then throw a couple lines down the middle, the four edges air where the most wear and tear happens, so you want to make sure that they get out to the four edges. You don't need a ton of any of this on the inside, so I fit that to my page good thing with the dark blue is you can go backwards if you need tio unlike double stick tape or something stronger, fit that to my page and then finished my collage and because I really love layering things on top of other things, I'm gonna double up with the paper now when I mentioned earlier about ripping paper instead of cutting its that works really great if you're using an old paper if you're using something a little bit newer like this type of paper that has a white back ripping is not a satisfying not because it doesn't work, but because it ends up showing a white edge, which if you're trying to give something an aged look, having that white ed show up is not as fun. So if I were to rip this, the thing is, is that those white hairs end up showing through and I don't like that quite a smudge, so I like to use the scissors on the newer paper on the older paper no problem it's great again I really only need the four sides so that's all I'm going to do for this and then I'm gonna add one more layer which is her learning page you know she had learned about all different kinds of things plants animals so this is a page from her book her girl scout book and that's going to go on top of there now with more time and more pieces I would probably keep going and adm or I'd add more photographs and add more pop outs I might even add another little book it's pretty endless for what you can dio but the few things that we've added in here are something loose something that's physical that pops out of the book as well as this pop out little mini book with multiple pages her envelope with her swim meet win and then lacing up the pages if you wanted to go further and longer with the book you could do that as well adding either with lace the lace up pages or with the book finding tape and you could keep going this thing could be a cz long as possible but for now we're going to stop there and then create our covers so the final thing you want to do in this particular project are concertina collage book is the covers the covers are made of chipboard these happen to be a five by seven kind of fairly thick chipboard you could use other things as well, but this is what I find works best it's a real sturdy cover, and we can cover with almost anything. What we're going to use is a newer paper, so because the books take a lot of wear and tear on the outside, oftentimes using a newer paper that has a little bit thicker, sturdier consistency to it works really well, plus they's fold and bend really well, and since we kind of miter the corners and finish it that way, these all can take that folding really well. A much older paper of vintage journal page or untold letter that's a little bit tougher when you want to get to these folds and cuts for the covers, but they're great additive as you collage the cover. So first, I'm going to show you how to just cover with paper, the cover, and then we're going collage the front one, so I'm going to take this paper and on the back side of it, I'm gonna lay down my chipboard and I need about an inch, maybe a little bit more again. It doesn't have to be exact, but it's kind of nice to know that you want to go about an inch in maybe an inch and a half because you're going to be folding this paper around you want to make sure to give yourself enough room, but you don't want so much paper that when you do fold in you have this big thick uh part of the paper that you can't manage that that won't stay apart so that's what we're going to do, we're going to use our exacto to cut the page using your self healing mat below this make sure you watch out for your fingers it's going to go all the way around and do about an inch or an inch and a half around and cut that paper down so I can see that I've got a little not straight on my paper, which was pretty normal for me I'm not a hugely straight cutter and I tend tio cut a little bit of an angle which doesn't usually make a difference so I wouldn't worry about it but for the purpose of this we are going to try to get a straightest possible so you want to use some kind of adhesive. It doesn't matter exactly which one double sided tape is great anything that's strong enough to really hold the paper down and then once you've got the paper down on your end cover and you attach it to your according book you'll be okay so I tend to use a lot more on this and I do it both in the paper and on chipboard because we wanted really really sturdy one of the places you want to make sure you've got a lot of strength of your adhesive is the corners because we're going to turn those corners in you want to make sure those stick as well so I'm using a lot more of this on this paper than I do in the book but it's good to have it nice and stiff in that so the first thing when you cover the cover of your book is you bring the corners in so on each of the four corners I'm going to go one at a time and bring those corners in it's as if you're my terrain but without cutting and then flattened down your paper bring in the next two corners flattened down your paper you're gonna get a really nice clean tight covered chipboard I'm going to put a little more glue in here because these will now be hitting the chipboard this is often the part where people find if they don't put enough of the adhesive it can come off. You're doing dealing with the whole new material, this ship board and you really need to put enough adhesive toe have it stick nice and tight so now you're gonna bring all four sides in turning you gonna fold these four sides in so far you see how my my corners air covered my corners, air covered gonna bring that side in and then my final side and it'll look like we cut and monitored the corners and you'll never see this inside part you'll never see this inside. Chipboard that's, where are you? Actual book is going to be glued into. So those are your two end covers, so they look the same. You could make him look totally different from one another. These happen to match, but it's that that key part of my tearing your corners, or what feels like my during your corners without the cutting is pulling in the four corners and then folding over from that and making sure you have enough adhesive. So what we're going to do with the front cover is we are going to collage. I found this really fun little box of these fishing, fishing poles, these homemade fishing poles, and I thought it would be a neat one to add to the front of her cover to make it seem like that was one of the projects they had to do to earn a badge, so I had this little die cut that kind of reminded me of the shape of the girl scouts, and I covered it with paper. That's going to go down on our cover but before that goes on our cover, I'm going to use my all to punch two holes to attach this little fish dingell so my all is nice and sharp and again it could be any kind of pokey stick that you've got but in all is a nice nice tool to have when you're collage ing because it gets through so many things so I'm gonna poke through you can see how I get right through this is a really fine thin chipboard and through the other end poking through and then I'm actually going to use a little bit of string that's on here to tie it so it's already got this little fine fine fishing wire and I'm going to put that fishing wire through the hole and come out the other side this's that point where you think you need glasses but I don't have them so it's great attached just like we wanted and then I'm gonna come up through that other hole and again you can use anything you want on the cover you khun collage with anything you want with three d stuff is always fun because uh it gives that book that extra dimension but you could use ribbon or fabric or any other things that you want excuse me first not going through that hole exact ok there we go through that other hole and now we're gonna tie that little guy on I think it's really fun to use personal pieces whenever you're collage ng it's always nice to be able to say oh yeah that was my grandmother's or that was my father's piece of machinery or artwork or hand sewn something and to add it into these books it just makes it all the more personal so now we're going to take that and put that on our cover but before I do that let's attach our covers to our book and then we'll make that our final piece on the cover so using an adhesive not the elmer's because the ellmers is just a little too wet either you're you're glue dot or your double stick tape you're going to want to put a little bit here and a little bit here and again it's mainly important around the four outsides and I know this is the front of my book I didn't even look because I wrote the word front so I had that hint right away that that was the front of my book but you do want to double check that all the time and I'm going to put a little bit more in here just to keep a consistent consistent stick and you can combine in pieces that works as well so if I wanted to use the double stick tape and then use glue stick in there you could do that as well so because we want our book to be able to stand open as well, I'm going to put my page a little bit closer to the bottom so that's the front of my book, I want to hold my whole book close together and check all four sides it's about mmm it's about a third of an inch that the book comes into the cover, and I'm doing it closer to the bottom, then I am to the top because when I wanted to stand, I wanted to have less of a lean I want to stand a little bit straighter, you could put it exactly in the center of your cover, and then you may have a little bit of a lie. I mean, when you open your book up, I wanted to have less of a lean, so I put it a little bit towards the bottom and gave myself a little more room at the top, and they're going to put on the back cover doing the same exact thing, adding the adhesives and then lowering it into it, so I'm gonna put it, he said here, as well as on the book itself where it says back is my back cover four, four sides being the most important, of course, and give yourself a little strength in the middle we're going to do the same thing, so I'm going to measure the two but not measure I'm going side by side the two covers so I know definitely when I put my book in there that those will open side by side and then I'm going to bring the back cover around and do the same sort of thing where I'm about a third of an inch in from each side except the top I'm about a half inch down from the top and that's where I'm going to lay it and dick so you can use your prayer on that one if you don't have anything three d popping out make sure it's in there really tight closing the whole book together you have your back in front cover back front and we're gonna attach this on our front cover I'm just gonna open it up one more time make sure that our friend yep so we're gonna add to our front cover now I'm going to use a little elmer's for this it needs a little more strength than a glue stick or double sided tape so I'm just going to use a smidge and when I say a smidge I mean smidge a tiny tiny amount do not use a lot of elmer's the one thing elmer's loves to do to paper goods is to second right up and then you get a wordy a worthy issue in your paper and you're never happy about that so that is our final book about the girl scouts and the girl that was in the girl scouts, so let's, open it and see how it all comes together, so if you don't have chipboard and you can't make your own covered that way, you can always use an old book cover a great way to do that is, uh, cutting the guts out of the book and then splitting the book down the spine. So you're going to actually lose the entire spine of an old book cover, and you're going to build the same exact project inside of an old book cover. You'll do the same process with the pages, building the pages and attaching the two covers to the two ends, but instead you'll have an old book covered to look at, which is also another really fun way of having a collage concertina book you khun still dio similar things pop things out at in three d's add the pages that you want at the color pops and that's with an old book cover that's a lot of fun to do, too there's a million different ways you can do one of these concertina collage books and a lot of different things you can add so here's one that I ended up sowing some paper and putting on a little emblem. And then I ended up gluing that page to the cover it's great to have these three d elements to your books that really give him a lot of life and really personalize it in this book we have a number of different elements this is a book with the idea the theme process was a young boy is graduating from fifth grade and this was his life that his parents kind of kept together up until now so we have his baby photos and this is a little this is a little something you can do in a book which is sort of like a pop out pull out so it's different circles that I've sewn together and then added baby photos to soda little photo onto each one of those and you can see how it comes out of the top of the page here I actually did that whole and that sewing before I had here that page to the book so anything like that that you're going to have pop out or lace up or in this case this movable little banner here you can see it's done before you finished the entire book so you want to just make sure that as you're going along you're paying attention to when you're gluing when you're covering something up when you're adding something way added three d letters and here which is fun they really pop out this is his song pages that uh he's saying in school and I just clipped them together so they stay in the book but each one has a little tab on them and they come out like that so you can leave through each page and see the different songs that he had to sing in school and those khun stay like that and you're just carefully fold each time or you can do what I did and at a little clip that keeps them all together and that way they stay nice and firm in the book another little part here is something that flips up so this's a drawing that he did when he was in kindergarten and then there's a little note on the bottom sam age for and how it's kindergarten teacher I used to love his drawings and eventually gave his parents this drawing so you can do pop ups this could be a photograph of someone and then you pop it up and tell a little story behind them and then this is a little mini book that we've done so these air some of his fellow classmates and it's just a few pages of the book you could make this as intricate or as simple as you want and then it just goes in the back of the whole entire book so there's all kinds of elements that could be added pop this back in its pocket this's a little pocket that was built out of an old envelope I cut down the envelope and then I just stapled along the bottom and then glued it into the book that's when I pop up cuts another thing you khun dio is again collage in the covers is always fun you can use washi tape is a is an additional kind of decorative thing not it's an adhesive but it's additional decorative and in here we have similar to another book we have a piece that I punched a hole at the top and added a ribbon you can use stamping you can use other really driven really nice, beautiful ribbon in there to have it kind of be loose and come out words and you can have a little pop out. So normally when the book is closed it's just a picture like this that says for me and then you open it up it says they're all rooting for me the whole team. This is a book that I ended up sewing the card onto this paper and then gluing it onto the cover so again layering the collage elements and having a little more handiwork in your collage elements a little more three days is really fun and adds to the book a lot so layering in the collage always an important element we did a little fringe appear for just a little something this is a braiding your paper so you would take a knife and you would cut with your exact tonight, he'd cut the four strips along the paper after you've collage, and then you take another strip of paper and braid that into the page, adding a little adhesive on both ends, so they stay. This is a photograph that I sewed in and again, having those little hand elements I think, is a great idea to give your collage a little more depth thiss happens to be a painting on a piece of acid tate acetate is something you can get it any general art store it's just a clear plastic and you can paint onto it and then make that a layer and something where you can actually see through to the back. This is an envelope added into this page, which allows me to have other elements inside of that and then holds those elements really well and then just a really simple pop out banner that is visual inside, but also a little visual. When you close the book, you have that little banner that pops out too. So those are the many, many, many things you khun dio in your concertina collage book. But, of course, there's so many more, depending on the ephemera and the vintage paper, or the old books, or the new photographs that you might want to use and create with there's just so much you can do. And you can think about it as a personal keeper of your items, or something that you can make for somebody else imagined giving. This is a gift to someone else and having them open up this world of goodness. That's, not just one page it's, not just one short little book. It's, this never ending story that's, so incredibly creative. And once you get going on collage ing and creating your personal book, it's, hard to stop. So I think it's a great way to express your creativity and have a lot of fun creating your own book.

Class Description

Accordion books are a playful way to repurpose old books, greeting cards, photographs, and paper. In Concertina Collage Books, Molly Meng will teach you the tricks to assembling an extensive accordion book with a front and back cover. 

Molly is an artist, teacher, and storyteller who creates one-of-a-kind, mixed-media collage pieces from her extensive collection of estate sale finds. In this class, she’ll teach you how to: 

  • Choose an inspiring theme for your accordion book 
  • Reuse old greeting cards, artwork, and other paper 
  • Construct and collage the pages and covers 
  • Incorporate pop-ups, braided pages, and fold-outs 

Molly will help you plan and gather materials so you have everything you need for a successful assembly. She’ll also share tips and techniques for producing a polished and inspired final design. 

Learn how to convert your odds and ends into artful accordion books in Concertina Collage Books with Molly Meng


Nola Passmore

I really loved this course. So many creative ideas that sparked my imagination. Molly's instructions are really clear, and I loved that things didn't need to be perfect to work well. I applied what I learned immediately to make a concertina book for a friend's 50th birthday. I'll definitely be doing more of these. A great way to make gifts or use for your own memorabilia.

mary gabriola

This was a really fun class. I’ve made a few concertina books in the past, but I’ve never added other elements like pop-ups and inserted tabs. I got lots of ideas for new things to try, and a really good demonstration of the basics. I especially appreciated the discussion of all the alternatives - things like different kinds of adhesives, and when you might use each one.

Rachel Lyons

thank you thank you! i have sooo many greeting cards that i can't bear to throw i don't have to! great ideas and easy to follow.