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BookSmithStudio.com | Nikki Smith Book & Visual Artist

Handmade books and various art explorations

Archive for the ‘Handmade Books’ Category

Papercloth Squid Book

September 28th, 2012 by Nikki Smith

Today I wanted to share with you one of my all-time favorite handbooks.  It has the most organic, touch-me vibe!

This book was featured in the 2012 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors PAGES, shown above.  (If you haven’t seen this magazine, you should definitely check it out!  I also have a fun tutorial article published in the same issue on how to make an accordion book with envelope pages.)


I love everything about this book!  The interior pages have Turkish map-folds so that they explode open.  Each page spread was decorated with organic forms made of custom printed tissue paper.  (See the upcoming November/December 2012 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors for my tutorial on printing your own custom tissue paper from your artwork.  It’s super easy!)


The book has wrap-around covers in four directions – you can see how it opens up below:

And below is the cover with the beaded closure.  Check out that amazing texture!


The cover incorporates custom printed tissue paper as well.  Here, I’ve used tissue paper to create a large sheet of papercloth (also called fabricpaper) from which the cover was cut:

Watch this blog for a tutorial on creating your own papercloth in early November!

Dos-a-dos His/Hers/Ours Goals Journal

September 18th, 2010 by Nikki Smith

Finishing this His/Hers/Ours Goals journal has been one of my artistic goals this summer! =)

Dos-a-dos Goals JournalThis is a completely handmade dos-a-dos journal, using acid-free paper, bound with a variation on the Centipede binding style over raised supports.  It lays flat for easy journaling.

Dos-a-dos Goals Journal: Side viewA dos-a-dos book (from the French meaning “back-to-back”) is a binding style where two (or more) books are joined back-to-back with the fore edge of one book next to the spine of the other, sharing a common back cover.

Dos-a-dos Goals Journal: Detail of bindingA detail view of the binding, showing the spine of the two outer journals, with the fore edge of the midde journal in between.

Dos-a-dos Goals Journal: Binding Close-up

I’ve entered this dos-a-dos journal along with two other handmade books (my Alphabet Caterpillar Book and my Mini Music Booklace) into the Cloth Paper Scissors Artisan Search 2011.  As I was on a roll, I couldn’t resist upgrading it from a 2-in-1 his/hers journal to a 3-in-1 “his/hers and ours” journal.   Comments welcome!  The finalists will be announced September 27th…  Wish me luck!

New mini-book: Book of the North

September 13th, 2010 by Nikki Smith

Book of the North - Cover

This mini four-in-one book measures 1″ deep by 3 1/4″ round when closed.  It was created from fabric, ribbon, ink-jet printed photos, and a snippet of a map treated with ice resin for the cover title.  Inside, four mini-books interlace to showcase old family photos and life on a farm in rural Minnesota.

Book of the North: Open

Each of the four mini-books follow a theme (winter and childhood play; old family portraits; outdoor activities and recreation; and farming life) and are hand-sewn to the ribbon closure.  The covers include fabric-wrapped tin and tiny magnets are stitched into the ribbon ends to secure the book.

Book of the North: side view

I really enjoyed making this mini-book, even if I missed a deadline with it!  It was nice to get back in the studio again now that my toddler has started “school” (day-care).  Feeling inspired, I’ve also started working on a few more books which will be posted shortly.  Stay tuned!

P.S.  That lovely painting glimpsed in the background of the first photo above is part of a beautiful oil painting of my childhood farm by fellow artist and friend, Wanda Hibbs.

Music Charm Mini-Book, 3/4″ square

March 2nd, 2010 by Nikki Smith

This charming little mini-book is 3/4″ square.  It has covers recycled from a discarded bracelet, sheet music pages (love it!) and is coptic bound with a clasp for attaching to a necklace or bag.

Charm Music Book - Sheet Music Pages

Charm Music Book - Covers

The striking black, white and red makes it perfect for a night on the town.  It is a beautiful one-of-a-kind accessory for a book or music lover!  (That’s me!)

Book of Home

February 6th, 2010 by Nikki Smith

This week has been productive for my art, if not for my job.  😉

I created a mini-book for the OWOH giveaway (you can PEEK HERE or enter by leaving a comment on the OWOH giveaway post  HERE by Feb 14th) which was lots of fun and got me back in my art studio again.  I’m going to make two more mini-books in this series (and one is for me to keep!)

Book of Home, Open - Back and Front

Next, I made this “Book of Home” with photos from my childhood farm in Minnesota as well as a few from my current home in Texas.  (I was inspired by a similar book by Laurie Snyder.)

At the near right is the book open, showing the back side with a tree from a field on our family farm.  At far right is the front side of the book.  Images from top to bottom are: a copper shield; black birds in a tree; my parents looking at the old barn; my mailbox in Texas with icicles; an old photo of my sister, her friend and I walking through the fields; an arial view of Coffee Creek Ranch; and the old barn.

When open, the book is shaped like a house.  When closed, the book is shaped like an envelope.

Book of Home - Cover 1

Book of Home - Cover 2

Book of Home - Side View


Here are a few more photos:

Book of Home - Interior 2Book of Home - Interior 1


Thanks for looking!  Remember, comments make me happy!  =)