Sunday, March 25, 2012

Make a Record Notebook

Good morning!  Checking in after 6 hours of amazing crafting time yesterday. It was so fun, per usual.  At this Ladies Craft Day my craftiest friend, Jana, taught me how to make a notebook out of a vinyl record.

Hall and Oates "Private Eyes",
Average White Band "Self Titled",
Steely Dan "Pretzel Logic"
I made three of these beauties today.  It was so easy, I was ready to make two more after my first one.  Jana is so amazing, she made almost 20 in one day!
The front is the cardboard album cover.  The back is the actual vinyl.

After the jump you can see the full tutorial with lots of pics.

First, get your materials together.
You will need:
-an exacto knife and cutting mat (or old magazine)
-white computer paper
-a metal ruler
-a record that you like the cover of
-embroidery floss and a needle
-Power drill with 3/16" drill bit
-metal clamp (optional, but highly encouraged)

When I start a new project, I like to start with the least exciting part first, and then move on to the more fun parts of project towards the end. This is in an attempt to help my project completion rates.

1) Using your exacto knife, metal ruler, cutting mat, and computer paper, you are going to cut your desired amount of computer paper to the dimensions 8.5" by 2.75".  (Cut your paper in equal fourths the "hotdog way")  I was lucky enough to have this part done for me.  Since Jana was making 20 books, she had kinkos cut a ream of paper for her for only $2 per cut.  Three cuts = $ deal ever to avoid this tedious step!

2)  Using one of your pieces of cut paper, or a cardboard guide, find the part of the album cover that you would like to use as your notebook cover.  Trace it in pencil.  Then grab your cutting board, exacto knife and metal ruler.  Cut out the cover.  (Note: take the record out of the cover before you start cutting.)

3) Place your cover over the record to get a visual.  How much of the record edge do you want hanging out?  I just have a small amount, but you could do one with more of the record showing at the bottom.  People will say, "Oh, it's made from a record...COOL!" a little bit faster.  Once you are happy with the look, trace it in pencil and get ready for exciting part.

 4)  Line up your metal ruler with the edge that you drew in pencil and get your score on!  Hold your ruler tightly and pushing very hard, score the record about 10 times.  You really cannot over-score the record, but certainly can score too lightly.  So go for it.  Score that record!  After you have created a groove, line up your ruler against the scored edge, and hold your record right at the edge of the table.  Applying even and firm pressure, push on the record until it snaps.  If you did not score it enough, you may get an uneven break.  You can snap some of the excess with pliers if you need to.

Repeat with the other two edges.  (Only three cuts total because you are leaving a rounded record edge on the bottom)

Here are two of the three that I cut.  Ready to rock!  Look at the words on the record, they are positioned correctly and easy to read.  The other side of the record will have the words going diagonally.  Make sure when you assemble the notebook, you turn the record so that the part facing out is what you want people to see.
 5)  Time to put the notebook together!  Put however much paper you would like in between the record and album cover.  After you line up the stack, use the clamp to hold it together tightly.  Put something between the clamp and record like cardboard or an extra piece of record so you don't get any indentations from the clamp.

Then, you are going to drill four holes in a row about 1/2" from the top of the notebook.  You can space them evenly or unevenly, it's all about the look you want.  Hold the book tightly near where you are drilling to make things a little bit easier.

6)  With the clamp still holding the notebook together, you are going to use your embroidery floss and needle to sew the book together.  We used the Japanese bookbinding technique, but you could sew it however you like, I'm sure.  To avoid this post going on forever, here is a really great explanation with full visuals about Japanese bookbinding.

You did it!  Isn't it awesome!?

Here is my cost breakdown:
+Record to use - free (If you don't have old ones around the house, you could search a thrift store or record store dollar bin)
+Computer paper - free
+Embroidery floss - free (You know I have that around my house.  Craft stores sell it for about $1)

Total: free!
Even if you don't have these materials around the house,  it would cost about $5 at the most if you need to buy a record, embroidery floss and paper

Enjoy!  Let me know how it goes if you try it.

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