Washington, D.C. — I was hired to calligraph a song of friendship by a client. What I had originally conceived as a long vertical piece eventually turned into a multipage booklet. I was a little nervous not knowing how to approach binding the pages together. After a bit of Googling, I came across this wonderful YouTube video by Sea Lemon, demonstrating a DIY approach to binding single pages.
It was easy to understand and implement, down to waxing my own embroidery thread. I didn't have access to curved bookbinding needles, so I tried bending straight bookbinding needles with jewelry pliers. It took two snapped needles for me to realize that I should heat the needle in a bit of flame to make it more malleable. I couldn't achieve a graceful curve, but what I did make worked well enough. (Sidebar: I found that using the straight needles also worked, but required some maneuvering between the pages.)
I love to embroider and cross-stitch, so I found this process to be really fun. And oddly enough, the repetition was quite meditative. When I have more time, I would love to make hand-bound art journals for my niece.
I was happy with the results, and the hand-done binding added an even special touch to this already unique gift from one friend to another.