Instructions: Tips for the Brush Book

The beauty of the Brush Book is that almost all of the folding patterns are the same: the pages are folded in half; the binding strip is folded in half, and then has several repeated steps; and the final locking strip continues in the same manner. The Brush Book, listed on page 44 in Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures & Forms, has elicited some questions over the years. The instructions are correct in Unique Handmade Books, which you may still be able to find, but it is out of print. The materials list in the first edition of MHB was corrected in subsequent editions, but if you have an older copy, here are some tips.

One strip of paper, 2" x 11" is all that is needed for the binding strip, however, I found that the strip should really be 2" x 9 3/4" for a better fit. Pages are 2" high, can be any width. Locking square is 2".

Fold long strip in half.

Open. Fold ends in to center fold.

Fold in half, lengthwise.

Fold in half, widthwise.

Fold ends in to center fold.

Wrap one end around left side of single signature.
Wrap the other end around right side of signature.

Too long! It sticks out. So I took it out and trimmed it to 9 3/4".

Fold the 2" square in half and fold the ends in to the center fold.

Apply glue to the flaps, then to the outer folded areas.

Slip this locking slip into the binding strip, left and right.

Pinch into place.


Have you got the book completed so I can see it what you have done.

I make my own covers also but never seen one done this way. Looks interesting. I imagine it Looks very pretty if you can show it complete.

Unless I am not finding it..
Alisa said…
This is it. It is a simple single signature with a folded spinepiece that holds it together instead of the usual pamphlet stitch. You can see another on page 44 in Making Handmade Books.

You could use a decorative outer folded page as a cover. With a contrasting spinepiece it would make a nice little booklet or card.