Build a Commonplace Book and Learn Modern Lettering and Color Pigments

Have you ever wondered how sheets of paper become a book? In this two-part virtual Print & Paper series recorded last May, participants made and decorated a Commonplace Book.  Watch these two videos to create your own book by folding a signature (a set of blank pages), bind it and letter a beautiful word or saying. You’ll have a Commonplace book to keep or give as a gift.  The first session walks you through creating the book using basic materials. The second session focuses on modern lettering and a talk on the history of the color blue and how pigments are made.

Print & Paper from Home: Build a Common Place Book | 05/17/2021 |

Supplies needed to make your book:

  • 4 sheets paper 81/2” x 11” (printer paper is fine)
  • 1 piece card stock or wrapping paper for cover—17” x 11” This will make a two-layer cover with leftovers.
  • scissors
  • a straight edge
  • a pencil
  • glue (optional)
  • a needle and 18” of thread or embroidery floss
  • wax for your thread (a candle works)


Print & Paper from Home: Hand Lettering and Making Pigments | 5/17/21 |

To add modern lettering to your book, you will need:

  • your completed book (or paper to write on)
  • a straight edge
  • a pencil
  • 2-3 colored pens, in shades of blue or your favorite color (dual brush markers, Tombo’s or Zigzag work best) sold as singles or sets at Target, Michael’s, Paper Source and Plaza Fine Art


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