Recycled Matchbook Notebooks
Originally uploaded by lessherger.
Matchbook Notebooks. 100% recycled. What more to say?
Comfortable Shoes Studio is the name of my little studio in Beverly, Massachusetts; here I paint large watercolors, smaller acrylics, and mostly bind books and journals. I specialize in custom bound journals and sketchbooks with adhesive-free sewing in which the sewing is visible and decorative on the spine. If you're interested please email me!
I got an amazing amount done over the last few days off. 3 days really up s the ability to create and do. Not only is it relaxing but it frees one from the confines of work, in my case my commute.
So I finished several jotters, 7 hedgehog journals, 2 large hedgehog journals, listed an amazing amount of items on ebay and etsy. Packed and shipped quite a few items.
I took hundreds of photos of journals this weekend as well. So I’m ready to list them at a moment’s notice.
Cant’ wait for my next 3 day weekend- next weekend!
I’ve spent the majority of the day working on books and gluing up spines. I finished 3 small notebooks, with cardstock pages and place markers. 2 of the 3 have leather covers, flap and strap and the other is covered in recycled sign vinyl in pink.
I also spent a lot of time sewing up some hedgehogs. I did a bunch of them in card stock and a few with the new graph paper. It took a lot to make a regular thickness hedgehog, I think it was something like 250 pages! (Just checked 256!) That’s just a lot of paper. I’m used to cutting and folding about 160 to 180 pages for a hedgehog. This paper is SO thin. It’s nice though.
Tomorrow I’ll be gluing up the spines and putting them all in covers.
I also got some more recycled covers ready to go, so I folded up a bunch of paper for them. I’m going to print lined paper tomorrow morning and get that ready for Sunday.
Hopefully tomorrow will not be as freaking hot here in the North East as it was today. Luckily for me my studio is in the basement and that stayed pretty cool all day, but it is warmer than it was. This heat is crazy!
PIcs of the new journals tomorrow AM too.
I’ve got a load of pictures to take and upload things to eBay and etsy. I’ve made and have bunched up a load of Jotters. Some are 100% recycled, some have Wausau paper and lastly some have graph paper. I found some graph paper in pads and I’m Cutting the glue off and using the paper.
About the graph paper, It’s not as easy to work with as other papers. It has a very soft feel too it, if that makes sense. A stack of 15 sheets is less stiff than most paper. Because it is soft feeling I’m able to put more pages into a jotter and most likely into a hedgehog as well. So these graph paper jotters have 60 pages. While sewing I also found the paper to be more slick that other paper, meaning that while I was working with it I could feel it shifting around. Knowing if I left it as is it would give me big problems on the sewing machine I used extra clamps to hold it in place while sewing and went very slowly. I only messed up one but even that one is good enough for me to use. So I’ll have some graph paper jotters up on etsy by the end of the day.
Because of the difficulty of making them and the expense of the paper I won’t be making a ton of them, I think anyway. I do like them, so I guess I have to weight out my option. Price wise they are a lot more expensive for me to make than a regular jotter of the same size. I guess we’ll see.
Welcome notebookism readers!
I haven’t had much of a chance to write abot my sign vinyl journals, but here I go now, this is a quick post, so feel free to ask more questions and I’ll answer as they come up!
I start with large signs I scavenge from a local store. I asked permission for them and a lady holds them for me. It helps I also work there. However I suspect if you talked to the local manager of a mcdonalds or something you could say your willing to recycle their old signs and they’ll let you have them. Advertising posters are usually good for one season. And they need to get rid of them somewhere and most places have to get rid of the signs and have to pay for removal.
Vinyl takes 100s of years to decompose and when it does break down it becomes some nasty stuff. I won’t go into my recycling philosophy here, but here in the states we need to keep as much out of the landfill as possible.
So I clean the vinyl, they can get nasty. I use spray cleaner and a rag. Wipe it down and scrub anything really nasty off. I then trim off all the folds and rings and cut them down to manageable sizes. Depending on what kind of sign you get, they can be tent sized!
So I then take a template and cut cover sized chunks out of the signs. This dulls the heck out of my rotary cutters. So I switched over to using a box cutter, it works much better.
The inside pockets are also signs, these coated in vinyl. Here again I ask for them, and I get them. I also wipe these down with some spray cleaner and then cut them into smaller manageable pieces. I then cut and fold them to the pocket size and shape and use a sewing machine to stitch them into place.
I use another template to decide the placement of the holes and I then stitch the journals up. I fill them with either Wausau or Xerox paper that onto which I’ve laser printed lines. For stitching I then use hemp or Irish linen.
Sign vinyl is a great material to work with. Sure it’s rough on the tools , but it responds well to a lot of uses, and makes on hell of a tough notebook. The great thing about it is that if you spill coffee on it you can wipe it clean with a damp cloth, just like the car seats of the late 80’s. I have one request, if you (the reader) decide to go ahead and make these please don’t use my exact design especially if your going to make them for sale. Book and journal sales amount to a portion of my income that I’ve come to need, so snagging my design would be bad for me.
I carry these 3 notebooks with me everywhere. The large one is my work notebooks, on the weekends it sits at home. But the other 2 they are always in a man bag of some sort and with me almost everywhere. The top notebooks is a moleskine pockets gridded with a PenSlip in black leather and antiqued brass eyelets. I carries 2 pencils, and it used to carry my Space Pen until someone stole it off my desk.
the second is a hedgehog covered in distressed sheep hide filled with cardstock pages. I use it for ideas and notes about products and possible art. I also sketch out some spine designs in it.