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Design, Print, and Build Your Portfolio

Lesson 18 of 20

How to Build a Portfolio Cover with Fabric

Bonnie Christine

Design, Print, and Build Your Portfolio

Bonnie Christine

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Lesson Info

18. How to Build a Portfolio Cover with Fabric


Lesson Info

How to Build a Portfolio Cover with Fabric

So we're done with these for now, the next thing that we need to do is start building the front and back cover to our book board. I want to take just a minute and cover some more math because everybody's pages are not going to be the same size is mine, so if you're home, grab a pen and paper and follow along with me. This is also available and the howto build and bind a book, a book, and it has a step by step instructions on how to bind this book, and it has all these math things in it. Um but either way, even if you've purchased the course, you have to go to my website to get it. And if you need to visit on a web browser so you can see my side bar, you will see the book in my sidebar and use a coupon code as you check out so distant case you had any questions about that. So, like I said earlier, my pages measure thirteen by nine and a half, which gave me a printable area of eleven and quarter by nine and a half your cover's, no matter what size you're inside pages are your covers shou...

ld measure one half inch taller and one half inch wider than the printable area of your pages, so that means mine is ten by eleven point seven, five your spine is this bit right here your spine should measure ah hafen inch taller than your pages and um hello this's a little bit of math you need tio add one fourth of an inch to the width of your cover board subtract that number from the width of your interior pages and add a half a niche okay it's in the book okay and sold me out which means mine's an inch and a half okay it means by the internet um and then we'll cover fabric dimensions in just a second so that's what you need to know or your book board having this I keep a messy desk try to make that less messy ok so the next thing you want to do is hinge your boards together so you need to come attached the spine to the cover so what I'm going to do is line this exactly up on my cutting matt and I want to place the spine about one fourth of an inch to the left on dh that needs to be exactly vertical along each other so like I said um being exact with how you make your book is going to make your pages in your board and everything flipped really nicely and when you get things get a little wonky your you'll be able to tell so double check that everything's in line here and I think that looks pretty good so I'm gonna take my hinging cape this is ah linen handing tape and I'm just going to cut off this first bit because this is a brand new role and it has glue on it not that I don't know that that matters but so you want a piece of linen tape that's about six inches taller than you doesn't have to be exact but about six inches taller than you the height of your boards okay, so you want plenty to wrap around in the back so I'll just cut this I eyeball stuff I can't follow a recipe either I eyeball it all okay, so the back just peels right off and um what you need to do is lay this down to attach these two and this is another thing that it's really important to keep straight so I'm just going toe like barely tack it down right there and make sure I'm looking at the lines on my cutting that to make sure that that is straight um you can just kind of lightly tackett to double check and then when you're happy just give it a really nice press came then all you need to do is flip your board over and pull these up so you just want to make sure that you're tugging straight up and down um so it's not you know at an angle you can do the same thing here is kind of tack it and then make sure you're happy with it thanks and then given a nice breasts and you can also take your bone folder and just make sure that that has contact in there okay so this is gives you a really nice hinge for your book and I have to do the same thing one more time for the back cover everything that we do today we have to do twice um but hopefully only twice I do things three times a lot when I'm home or for ok so I've lined that up a quarter of an inch and I'm going to cut this roughly three inches on the path with three inches on the top and bottom and that is and then we're done with this hinging case so there are lots of different kinds of hinging tape a lot of them use glue bookbinders used p v a glue um but I have had great success with the self that he's adhesive kind and you don't have to break out the glues ok that looks straight and you just want to make sure you pull it like not too hard but just where it's nice and thought and then I'll run this so it's totally fine to have some exposed sticky right there because it's going to get covered up okay so we have our friend back covers the next thing we need to do is work with our fabric that we're going to cover the fact the covers with so um this could be any kind of fabric because I'm a fabric designer I've used my own fabrics but you can use any kind of fabric these air just cotton quilting weight which is the most common wait fabric you could use linen fabric they sell bookbinding fabric and solid colors if you want to just keep a nice solid color but if you are an aspiring surface pattern designer you could also get your own fabric printed at spoon flower and use your own for the cover of these which would be a really nice touch to show your stuff so for the fabric there this is the last bit of math your fabric should be two inches taller and two inches wider than you're finished hinged covers so we hinge these I'm going to measure them at two inches to each side and then cut my fabric accordingly um you certainly do not have to do this but I like to add a different spina contrast ing spine fabric so if you want to do that, you need to cut two extra pieces of fabric that are two inches taller the same as your hands cover and twice as wide as your spine so my spine was an inch and a half so minor three inches wide so the one thing well I need so I need to cut this down so this is what I'm going to use for my um my spine fabric and I think I'm going to cut gonna cut two at one time they need this is already three inches wide and they might need to be twelve inches call so I'm going to just start over here and this is where rotary cutter comes then use um a c one two three four and because I'm gonna count this again okay that's right I didn't bring any extra okay I'll set that and then I also need to do the same for my cover so I have already cut this at the witte that's twelve inches and so my fabric needs to be twelve by fifteen and a half so it's already twelve and I'm going to measure fifteen and a half across if you're new to using rotary cutter please be careful they're very sharp it's a big no no around my house leaving them open like that closing up they're dangerous they're dangerous I could do the math with the board but I don't trust myself so we have some people in the chat room you mentioned a little bit about the board before but but this board is self healing right if you make any marks on it with the rotary cutter people in the travel I don't know where they're gonna leave marks on there don't worry I should have discussed the cutting that their magical right there magical this is probably several years old this is by clover alpha also makes one who makes the's rotary cutters also make them martha stewart has a line of cutting mats but any sewing cutting matt is called self healing so they're made to cut on and they they heal themselves really um so yes please don't cut on your dining room table or on your countertop or anything like that make sure you have a cutting that or something underneath it that you can throw away but um the marked measurements are totally invaluable for this process so if you add a spine fabric we need to do that first and so I'm gonna take my first one over here to the ironing board we have some questions here going I was just wondering if you have a good resource for book finding material online resource blick materials like it's where I have gotten everything yeah um and then some of the sewing specific material the pell on easy theme uh you confined and selling sinners or online or through my mom's sk wilting shop it's called a stitch in time and we can get that to you too directly from us if it's something that you want but we have some other questions I can I can throw out you okay great. I know you talked a little bit about how important it is is to kind of do this yourself make it your own but we still had some questions and maybe you could just reiterate why this is sort of a beneficial thing people are saying like, oh, why not use another bookbinding source there mentioning a bunch of other ones that they've used? What is the benefit to going through and kind of doing this yourself? Yeah, so people know of professional the finding places yeah, this particular ones is why not use blurb or another online bookbinding source? So you could I I like the fact that, uh, mind look very handmade um I like having the control over every last little detail so I can cover it with my own fabric or the fabric of my choice and insert all those little special details if you get something bound professionally it's going to look really nice is totally an option, but you may have a harder time if you really wanting to make the inside pages unique like putting water color over them are inserting little bits of things it's just going to be harder to personalize, but you can definitely do it. Just how I did my my pages. One more question here, just a clarification really? I know you mentioned your printer you said palmer printing and we had some people in the chat room questioning that there were few different palmer's that were coming up, they said one in chicago, one in minnesota is there any clarification on exactly which palmer you've been using uh I have state to say this I think they're in minnesota e I believe it's the first one maybe we could way somehow we could have somebody in the chat room bomber printing specializes in pattern printing and they are just ah fabulous small company to work with that I couldn't believe that I sent my stuff over and they understood exactly what I needed and shit to me within like three days they're really really good question over here good bye palmer is that a a glossy paper semite lost you know what you ordered? This is very nice and that is actually matt I mean there's a sheen to it compared to the mat presentation paper that he's at home but this is matt on I believe it's under one hundred pounds I think it's eighty pound something like that but if you use palmer they're familiar with what I'm doing today and they'll be able tio say exactly what they threw my name always comes to our rescue so they're saying that you go to palmer printing dot com that's that's the one that can help you out go check them out and whatever you need email them, contact them and I think that they'll take care of their logo is like blue diamonds or something cool yeah we'll post the lincoln and chat rooms people can check it out that great I'm going to see it for hot over here careful yeah, yeah, all right, I can't believe I didn't look at the iron. Ok, so the first thing I want to do is get rid of any raj is that I have so a bunch of different ways you could do this if you're so or you could, um, fold this down and actually stitch it, but I kind of cheat and I just fold it down and it takes care of itself when we had the fuse herbal. So I'm going to fold down about a fourth of an inch and iron it all the way down the missy underfunding, they're all different this's working, and then I'm going to do the same thing to the other one about a fourth of an inch. Okay, so I only have to do it to one side because this is the other side is gonna get wrapped the back of our book board and be covered up with paper, so just this one side that comes to hinge needs to be folded over so a raw edge will ravell and you don't want your fabric raveling unless you do, unless you that's the look you're going for, you want it to be scrappy could do that, too, ok, so the next thing we need to do is add if usable to these and I have some here on mike they're good okay, so every few usable is a little different I've used several different kinds of usable for book finding um I've also used something called this is called easy theme I can't remember but if you have a favorite usable from selling give it a try they are all just have a little different instructions so you don't iron this one first you do several different kinds, but this one is thick so all you do is stick it down but make sure to refer to your instructions if you're not using this same kind so this just starts to come off and what I'm going to do is, uh on like and just stick it down right onto the fabric and you just want to make sure it's in line we can always kind of cleanup in the edges, but few unroll it and kind of press as you go you just want to keep your edge straight so I have ok that's great and then so this fuse balls sticky on there now we're going to iron that down in a second, but I need to do it one more time to this one so these I've already cut to size which wass I cut him three inches wide first and then I forgot that I had to fold over a fourth of an inch so I had to cut off a fourth minute so make sure to take that into consideration if you're holding these okay so if you go over this is like reposition herbal a little bit and then you can see that I went over a little bit right here and I just want to trim that off because if your iron touches it we'll get all sticky like it was earlier so many must not trans refusal so I don't want to make my fabric I just want to barely get that off usable off came and then a little bit on the edge here too ok so the next thing we do is iron this to our fabric just if you're a home going through these steps you just need to make sure to do this in the steps that I'm doing it because if you have already added feasible to your a large piece of fabric you can turn this down because then you'll be earning this beautiful down too so you need to do this part first ok so my fabric is directional do you know what that means? It means it's vertical has a pattern that needs to be set up right so this is going to be the front of my pattern I mean the front of my book and it's going in the correct direction so I want to just fuse my spine fabric over here to the left straight up and down and if this was directional I'd want to pay attention and that to um so the way if usable works is that it gets set by the iron ah and then it's permanent so everything has a different different instructions but I think roughly ten to fifteen seconds um works for any fuse herbal but I know some you khun you can keep too long so just refer to your directions if you're not using this kind okay so that's one and you can see this is totally fused together now and it's got no raw edges ok I have to think for just a second because it's easy if you're fabricas directional it's easy to get the back cover upside down so this is my front cover and it hinges like this and my back cover yeah it's I believe needs to hands like this yeah ok so I think this is the same I think I overthink it I think you just do the same thing for the back. Just make sure that if your fabrics directional that you double check that ok, so I'll press this one now I got my car I got my fabric upside down on on the back ofthe one so I've been scared ever since. So what happens if you have the fabric upside down or any way to fix that or is that just something you just three would you just redo your back? You do it three times you could probably just recover it and not have to start from zero, but this is permanent once you get it down, I'm gonna try really hard to not do it upside down today, ok? So the next thing we need to do is add feasible to the back of our big piece of fabric and actually adhere it to our book board, so I'm gonna lay my book board to the side and my fabric down I have thes this is the fuse a ball I have it cut to size, but I think what I have learned is easier toe work into strips rather than one giant strip because it's so sticky so I'm just going to cut this in half and apply it and two different swoopes, if you will and I'd like doesn't need to be exact, it just is something easier to work with in one big giant sheet. Another way to work with feasible is to have put a very large piece of usable down already and then cut your fabric so you're sure that the future will goes to the edge that's generally how you work it for at things like apple k but I think for squares you know it's just it's easy to do it this way, it's fitting that you so I'm going to start from a corner and lay this feasible down again, if you kind of go over on the sides we can always weigh can always clean it up okay? And like it's a little bumpy there but that today so you can see if I was using that giant piece it just kind of it's easy to get out of hand but you can try it if your home you have extra but the key I think is starting from the corner and then keeping one of your edges in line ok, so we've got that on that sticking to you press it it is not thinking on this side only sticky on the side that I laid down and then the heat will I'll use it yeah so the next thing you want to do is start to adhere it to your book board um what I like to do is it doesn't have to be completely exact, but you want plenty of space on the top and bottom about in hinche and then if you've done your spine, you can fold that back it'll fold right where you have it line that up with the hinge of your tape, okay? And then I'm going to iron right here because I'm not going to be going over I'm not gonna be patching them at um and the only other thing you need tio remember is to not you steam at this point because ah wetness could or for your board so just use dry heat and I'm not gonna I'm staying away from the edges because if I touch this edge it wouldn't hear it to the mat um, so I'm just tacking it down ah, and I'm gonna come flip this over and make sure to get the it is really good in just a second but this is attached now so it'll stay in places I flip it over so the next thing I need to do is cut my corners so that I can hold this back so what you want to do is cut your corners at a forty five degree angle um and roughly the edge of a roof of this ruler or the edge of extra piece of footboard is the right distance to cut away you just need a tiny bit I'm not sure if that's like I think it's like three sixteenth of an inch or something like that um and then I also I kind of eyeball the forty five degree thing. I mean, you can tell that this is not what we're going for we want like a forty five degree triangle right there um but I haven't had any problems eyeballing it, so we cut all four corners off and you can see my my fabrics not like the perfect distance away on each side that it's not gonna matter ok, so the next thing I want to do is fused the's edges up and I want to start on one long side first so all you do is pull this up and start ironing you know, I think I'll move over here to the ironing board okay, so I just want to give this a little tug as I go to make sure that you don't want to pull it too tight or anything you just want to make sure that, um you're getting a tight a taut uh you know, your fabric pulled taut I think I'm gonna be fine to do it right here. Okay, so the only thing I've learned from experience is you don't want to touch your iron over here by accident because it'll pick up the usable so I have some like I said traditional bookbinding uses glue at this point I love using for usable and us it kind of depends on your purpose but I have a portfolio that's like seven years old that I made using fuse herbal and it still looks great p d a glue is archival so there's there is a time and place for that as well but this is worked really good for my purpose and still looks really good on my even my old port feliz so so you want to make sure to do both of the long sides first an opposite sides first you could probably also do the short sides, but you want to do two sides opposite each other first. Okay, so too do these corners. All you have to do is kind of tuck in that little bit of fabric. And when you fold these up, this corner should line up perfectly so that you're not having any board show and then you just iron there. Just talking tug as you go look over here so I could get this really good. Okay, way. Have one more side to do here, so take those corners in and when you pull it up, they'll line up. Bonnie we had another question on their supplies that you're using here we have a shot there that that ruler and we had a question about, uh, the specifics on that rule or somebody in the chat room says it looks so much better than the clear ruler that they have. Is there anything special about that ruler? Pretty nice. A lot of numbers on it. Thanks. This is easy quilting. Okay, its website is simplicity. Dot com and this ruler is called draft and cut there's also a phone number, but I think there's enough information. Yeah, I have ah, have quite a few ah, sewing rulers so you can find this kind of ruler at any sewing center or quill shop and they are just great for cutting fabric and measurements this's the smallest one I use and they get bigger from there but creative grids also makes a great rulers so I have flip this over because I know that I left several of the edges not I iron down because I was trying to stay away from us so I just want to get all the head is really good and make sure it's totally fused before I move on and we will do this again for the back cover ok, I think that is good so you can see there are, um spine fabric is perfectly aligned with that hinge okay, so I am going to make sure one more time that I'm not going to do this upside down it needs to be like this you do that it is like something like backwards think that's going to be fine that's why ok, so we're going like this for the back cover, so I'm going to flip this I have to add fuel first I didn't do that so I'm gonna set this right here because that's correct and I'm gonna grab this sheet and cut it in half just like I did the other one so it's easier delay down, I did bring excusable and I don't think I'm going to need it so I'm gonna toss that so other types of usable you iron down there like they have two pieces of paper and you take one piece of paper off laid down aren't it on take the other piece of paper off and then aren't it to your surface and those, uh work great to just depends on what kind you have and what you're going for what you're used to I guess does it ever bunch up on you and so do you just do that you start all over again just adored and I really like a bunch did a little bit right there and this is reposition a ble I was an extent but like if you took all this off at this point would be really hard to get back on also I have thrown away I've you know, like rip this whole thing off and started over again but that's actually why I'm using the pell on is that I feel like it bunches less frequently and it gives you can always iron out um not some other kind if you're not careful can kind of get wrinkles under under there so this one irons out really nicely it's it's not the easiest to put on, but I do think it gives uh really nice results I'll see my hair getting stuck in it my pets would be probably underneath it I mean I get to see all kinds of tens medals lots of fred the nervous I'm done that my hair did not get stuck in um I am a little off on this one edge so I'm just going to turn it up because I have remember I have two extra inches on each side anyways room to spare we are going this way I believe ok so I just want to make sure this is roughly about an inch on each side and if I fold this back online that up with the fine right there I just want to make sure that always leave is me a little short on this side but I think that's enough so I'm just going to do this enoughto make sure this doesn't move around on me when I turn it over that's probably plenty so this time I'll cut my corners again you could always mark these with a pencil you know make sure they're truly at a forty five degree angle but as long as you leave about it's not quite a fourth of an inch right there they're going to fold up really nicely okay so I'll start with a long edge I think it does work better from up on the ironing board to so they're trying to get my okay so just be careful not to touch the feasible on the other side but you do want to go all the way to the edge and just tug ever so slightly as you go so my ironist set to, um the hottest setting it'll go it's just with no steam which is what you want if you have your fabric printed that spoon floor is there a certain heaviness of corn that you would choose? Yeah so spoon flower offers several different substrates and I if I'm sewing ah project uh let me think I've used their organic cotton is really, really nice and they're organic sat teen cotton is really nice um the sat teen is a little heavier weight s so this is what I would suggest if it is a light print go with a thirteen or canvas that's going to be heavier on I mean light in color because this board is dark eso I have had to be careful to not really use some of my lighter prince because you can see the binders board behind it but if I had a thicker fabric like satti nor our canvas than then I would be able to use it with no problem and then if you do have a lighter if you have a darker print or even like what I'm using today is not that dark it's a kind of a medium print the normal quote quilting cotton way is fine and it's it's good quality came this is my last edge, so I'm just talking in those corners and ironing it down this one has two pieces of fabric on it so I want to make sure oppressive for extra did okay and then before we move on I just want to make sure that I get all the edges to the front side of this cover discussion chat right now about using a three a m spray adhesive kathy holden said that she used to do things like this just using a spray adhesive is something like that still work for this or do you recommend the iron? Well, I think so I am the only person that I know that does the feasible but it's what makes sense? Because I so s so I think a lot of people use the glue I have musically once and I just found it just is messy and you have to clamp to make sure it doesn't war plot drives and a lot of issues like that people are saying it doesn't smell very good either smell good I try not so this is nontoxic okay, good, good good smell it smells great in here for the people who are watching at home can tell that it smells really good in this video so I think probably a spray now sprays will smell and you have over spray that you have to it's going to be messier than this but probably totally doable the only thing I think about a sprays that you have you have to work a little more quickly like it doesn't give you quite a ce much like these. This is not sticky until I iron it down. And if the whole thing was sticky and I was trying to pinch in my corners, in the and everything, definitely doable, just a different method. So, yeah, there's. Probably a lot of adhesives that would work pretty well for this.

Class Description

No matter how beautiful your work is, it won’t sell if it’s not presented in a polished, professional way. In Design, Print, and Build Your Own Portfolio, Bonnie Christine will take you through the complete portfolio design process, so you’ll feel confident about showing your work.

Bonnie Christine is a surface pattern designer and mother hen of the Roost Tribe, an inspirational community for creatives. 

In this class she’ll teach you how to:

  • Design your portfolio and develop your pages
  • Print, build, and bind your portfolio
  • Stand out from the crowd and contact companies
Designers, photographers, and artists will all learn about what belongs in a portfolio and what to leave out. Bonnie will help you design a portfolio that reflects your true style and helps you attract the kind of clients you really want to work with.

If you’ve been putting off putting together your portfolio, this class will help you get motivated to assemble a portfolio that showcases your work and demonstrates exactly how talented you really are.



Bonnie, I want to give a super big Thank You! You have helped change my life. I was recently laid off from my full time job. Due to your courses, I have dedicated my time to continue designing. You have helped my heart come out on the pages. Thank you sooooo much! :) thankful & very happy, Dawn Stratchko


I thought this class was engaging and informative. Bonnie Christine has such a natural way of presenting the information and never seems to lose her concentration. I really wanted to learn more about how to put together a professional but handmade portfolio and that is what you get. Thanks for the great class!

a Creativelive Student

Absolutely loved this course! I learned so much and feel confident now on how to present my company in a consistent and professional way.