Someone Paid Me to Make Them Something!!

Someone I didn’t know!  Who had no clue who I was and hired me (with zero feedback, no less) to rebind a vintage heirloom prayer book based on stuff I’ve posted!!  Hooray!  She was a fantastic first boss, too- I had very little restrictions and was able to work on the book the way I wanted to.  Admittedly, its a little nerve wracking to have someone put that much trust in me- sending her grandmother’s prayer book, plus pieces of paper ephemera that held personal significance, and saying, “Here you go!  I’m sure I’ll love whatever you come up with!”  I mean, what if she HATED what I came up with?!  So of course I went a little (a lot) overboard.  You’ll see what I mean:


This is what came in the mail.  No way I could just slap on a cover and be done with it, half the threads were dust and some of the pages were loose.  So I stared at it for a week and then took completely apart.

prayer book-binding 006

TADA!!  I used this cool transparent tissue tape to repair all the signatures- all fifty feet of it:

prayer book-binding 010

Then I hand dyed, decorated, and cut Japanese rice paper to back all the signatures:

prayer book-binding 008 prayer book-binding 014

Aren’t they purty!!  Plus, I added a couple of pockets:

prayer book-binding 022 prayer book-binding 025

And then I made the cover!  Yup, every single piece of it:

book cover 001 book cover 003

Only by this point, it was too thick to fit in the custom box I made for it!

altered cigar box 001 altered cigar box 003

So I made little packages to hold all her ephemera, and put that in the box instead!

book, house 009

Again, I say:  TADA!

book, house 004 altered cigar box 010

book, house 002

I’m one proud mama:)  And I’m working on my second commission now!    At this rate, I’ll be able to quit my day job in about thirty years.  But hey, when have I ever done anything just for the money?

Next up- why I love Picassa…


18 thoughts on “Someone Paid Me to Make Them Something!!

  1. Wow! I am so impressed with this. I think at the point that it was taken completely apart, I would have lost it (if I was the one trying to fix it)

    It is sure to be treasured even more than it was in the first place.


    • I was concerned with getting the pages out of order when I put it all back together, but that’s just typical paranoia (sp?)! All I can say about that is research and practice pay off in the end… Thanks so much!

    • Thanks! To answer your question- If you look at the spine of, say, a hardback book, you can see the sections where they fold the pages in half and sew them together- I added an extra piece of paper to the outside of each section so that the more fragile pages would be sewn with a stronger reinforcement. Basically, it helps keep the pages from tearing. Does that make sense?? (My husband frequently tells me that he has no idea what I’m talking about!)

  2. No wonder you feel like you invented the wheel or sliced bread with peanut butter on it! You went beyond the commission call of duty with this lovely project…how could the woman NOT love it. This is worthy of an award! Do they have such a thing in bookdom? (Is that EVEN a word?)

    I hope you took lots of photos.

  3. Thank you all so much! Basking in the love:) I really appreciate everyone who drops in to see what I’m doing (or ranting about); thank you for all your supportive words. 🙂

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