Archive for the ‘Case wrapper’ Category

At this point, it’s time to make the case. It is made very much as if you were creating a hard-backed book. It is very important to determine the grain of the book board before cutting. The grain must run the same direction as the height of the book, otherwise it will warp when it is glued.

The front and back covers should measure:

  • 1 board thickness wider than the actual book in its case wrapper, and
  • 2 board thicknesses wider than the height.

The spine should be exactly the same as the book in its case wrapper.

Looking at what I just wrote, the measurements don’t look exactly right, but that’s what I have in my notes.

We also created a 1/4 inch spacer at this point that we used for marking the hinge.

Cut boards

Once the boards are cut, it’s time to cut a hinge and cover papers. The hinge and cover papers can be made out of one piece for a uniform cover, or you can have different papers for the covers and the spine. I went with two different papers.

The hinge piece should be cut so that it’s the width of the spine + 1/4 inch on each side for the hinge + 3/4 inch on each side to partially cover the covers. For it’s length, we cut basically twice the length so that it could wrap around on the inside

The cover pieces are cut so that they are have an additional 3/4 inches at the top and bottom and again about twice the width so that they can wrap around the inside.

I always find gluing the paper to the boards to be the hardest part. Basically, you lie your boards on the paper and mark where you want them to be. You then glue the paper and places the boards where you’ve marked. You then flip the board and paper over and rub them with the bone folder to remove the excess glue and get rid of any creases.

When you glue the paper, you have to make sure to do it in a circular motion, so that the glue spreads out evenly from the center. This is because the paper will bend as the glue is applied and it helps to keep it even.

When gluing the case, you glue the hinge first. The spine goes down, and when you glue the covers, it’s important to use the spacer between the spine and the covers to make sure you’ll have enough room for the hinge to bend. You always want to use the bone folder to create the hinges by making sure the paper enters the creases and adheres.

In glueing the cover paper, you can choose to overlap the spine paper or abut it. In either case, once the paper is adhered, you need to wrap the paper around to the inside. Before doing that, it’s necessary to cut away a small triangular area going towards the spine from the top and bottom at the outer corners. This allows you to fold the paper over without creating huge bulges. This would make more sense if I could show you a photo, but alas when gluing timing is everything, and I didn’t photograph this part. You then glue the top and bottom and then glue the piece you are folding into the inside. The final product will look rather like this:

Finished cover

This now needs to dry overnight while being pressed. The next day, we attached the case wrapper.

Inside case with wrapper

The case wrapper is attached with the archival double-sided tape. The same way the two pieces of the wrapper were attached. As you can see, the one open side of the case wrapper is placed so that is facing the spine of the case.

Finished product

Closed case

You may notice a little red on the cover. I bled for my art. Short cuts are usually made with a scalpel or a snap blade, and I’ve never been too good with a scalpel, I’m afraid. 🙂

At this point, you can attach a spine label. A photocopy of the book’s actual spine or create one on the computer. Maria generally creates them on the computer as you see below.


Well, that’s it. This was the first of the three cases we created. This one obviously took the most time and is a pretty involved process.

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There are two parts to the case wrapper: an inner wrapper and an outer one. In both cases, you want to make sure to measure so that your folds will go with the grain. Look over the book before beginning in case the book is sloped, you will want to allow extra. The inner wrapper should measure approximately three times the height of the book. A case wrapper is made with library board. Library board comes in both 10 pt. and 20 pt. For this project, we used the 20 pt. The case wraping is then enclosed within a case binding, which is made just like you would a regular hard-covered book. This type of enclosure is primarily used for paper back books thicker than 1/4 inch. Why? Because the boards provide extra stability. In my case, I made it for a hard-covered book that I love – Good Omens by Neil Gaiman.
Inner case wrapper
The first step is constructing the inner case wrapper, which wraps around the length of the book. To do this, you begin by determining the grain of the library board. You want the length to go opposite the grain so that your folds will be with the grain. The first piece should be about three times the length of the item. So you literally lie your book on the board, mark the width, and cut.
Next you lie your book about 3/4 of the way in and mark the top. This will be the first fold. To create the fold, you need a straight edge and a bone folder.Creasing the fold First run the bone folder where you want the crease to be so that you create an indentation (aka score the fold). Then fold the paper up to the straight edge and run your bone folder along its back. Finally, fold the paper completely and use the bone folder to really create an edge.
To get the next fold, you stand the book on edge, so that you have the depth. Mark that line and crease the board the same way.

Lay the book down at that point and then mark the top to find where to crease the board for the next flap. And finally, when you have creased that, use a jig to find the depth that you had for the first bend and duplicate it for the second overlap. This flap should overlap the first by 1-2 inches.

Creating the outer wrapperThe outer wrapper is made following the grain. For this one, you lie the book sideways to find where you will be cutting. For this outer wrapper, it’s important to measure the book within its inner wrapper to get the correct dimensions. The outer wrapper should overlap the inner about 3/4 of the width of the book in the back. The front should leave about 1/4 inch. This outer wrapper does not go completely around the book the way the first one does because you will be encasing the wrapper in a hard cover.

Inner and outer wrappers

The two wrappers are joined using archival quality double-sided tape. Depending upon the weight of the book, you may need three strips. One at each end lengthwise and one going diagnolly.

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