Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Easy Cutter Books

Now let me just say that I am not a Easy Cutter representative nor do I work for them.  I also don't know anyone who does, but if I did, I would be begging them to hook a sister up!  With that disclaimer in place, in this and my next post, I'm going to wax poetic on why the Easy Cutter is my favorite doll tool.

I love books.  Ergo, my dolls love books.

This is how I used to make books. I would fold a magazine page into as many halves as it would make and stick it inside a precut piece of folded cardstock.  Then, using the cardstock as a guide I would scissor cut the magazine along the bottom and side edge.  I would staple the two together and then wrap the cardstock with cover art and tape it to the inside of the stock.

This looks okay as long as you are looking at the spine of the book, but as you can see, I didn't much try to do anything about the front or back of it.

But now, *cue announcer voice* with the handy dandy Easy Cutter, you too can have precision cut books for your dollies!  Pick old magazines or catalogues that are bound by glue (not stapled).  Use scissors or a paper cutter to trim them into manageable strips (the Easy Cutter can't cut anything wider than 2.5 inches).  Then design your cover art and you will have dolly books that look like this!:


How Awesome! Spine view.


Oh My! Front view.


Shazaam! Back view.

There are many ways to design your cover art.  You could do all this on the computer and just print out your design.  My theory is why waste that ink when magazines have already printed out junk for you?  Besides, tape and glue are much cheaper than printer ink.  So, here's my way:

Let the spine artwork determine the size of your book.  Cut out the book, sit it over the spine wording and pencil around it.  Pick your front and back art and cut them out using the book as a width guide, but leave some excess.

Place glue above and below your spine pencil marks (front and back) and paste down the two covers.  Cut out notches on the spine where you pencil marked where the width of the book should be.  Roll back a section of transparent tape the length of your artwork, and let it rest backward on the tape roller.  Center your artwork over the tape, good side down, and lay it on the tape.

Fold the spine and then poke the book in the cover.  Even though you have notched out the width of the book in the spine, still trace around the bottom of it to help you get a perfect fit.  Put glue on the bottom and spine of the book and place it in the cover.  Once it's nice and straight, then glue the top of the book and smooth down the cover.

Next you have a choice.  You can either fold the cover art over and secure it with tape to the inside of the book flaps and then trim the top and bottom edges, or, my favorite, cut it all off, using the edges of the book as a guide.

As always, we have a model to demonstrate the scale of items.  You can make these exact books if you have the Spring, 2012 issue of Barbie Collector.

Of course there are multiple ways to make books and mine is by no means the simplest.  If you don't have a Easy Cutter, you could clamp down a metal ruler and use an exacto knife to get precision cuts.  If you have a large scale paper cutter you could use that instead (mine only cuts 12 pages).  But for minimum effort, the Easy Cutter cut through hard glue and 150 pages like it was nothing.

A word of advice.  If you have problems with hand strength (arthritis, RA, etc.), brace the cutter against your thigh and press downward from the top of your hand instead of not bracing and pulling upward from your fingers.

Happy Bookmaking!

44 comments:

  1. Cool books ps plz trade any doll anything

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    1. Thanks Anon, but say what? You want to trade dolls or you want to trade my books for your dolls?

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    2. Muff it's me anon trade doll items Ps your thrift store boxes any Barbie sized Ones plz clothes

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    3. Ah, okay, Anon, I understand you now, but I'm going to pass on trading those items.

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  2. I need to buy the tools and try this!

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    1. Ebony, I used 50% off coupons and got mine from Joanns for $12.50.

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  3. I've made the most creepy&crappy 1/6 scale bed ever seen, so this creative and cute post make me feel dumb

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    1. Aww, Sergio. I want to see this creepy bed. 0.o If it's creepy, surely a creepy doll will like it.

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  4. Awesome! I need some of these books and this freaking tool! Thanks Muff for this posting. Btw, I don't have a Joann's , any other places I can pick ths up? Also willing to trade something for some of your books that you already made:) Another thing, I'm still looking for that blasted wine stopper thing! I'm staking out my Marshall's and every other related store! You enabler you! I love it hee hee! Thanks again:)

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    1. Chynadoll, they also have the EC at Michael's. I usually only get 40% off coupons from them, so I got it at Joanns instead. They may have them at the wood section at Hobby Lobby, but I'm not as familiar with that store or their pricing.

      I haven't found the additional versions of the stopper either. I think they have been wiped out by the doll community.

      I cant believe you guys want to trade for these books. There's nothing inside but catalog fluff. I could see if they were full of Barbie images (I'll have to figure out a way to do that). Still, they are kinda cute on the outside, huh, lol. If I had another version of that Barbie Collector issue I would make some more and trade. But I really love my tokidoki books and don't want to let those in particular go. Hmmm, I'll have to think about this.

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  5. They look absolutely awesome and your MH girls looks adorable (I had no idea she was a big reader!). Oodles of thanks for the demo.

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    1. Thanks, Roville. My Claudia Wolf doll is a Youtube style guru so Barbie books make good reference material for her. ^_^

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  6. Hello from Spain: I like the books you created. They look like real books. I have not the cutter ... I will try to buy one. Thanks for this tutorial show how to make the publications on the scale of the dolls. A great and beautiful work. Keep in touch.

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    1. Hi, Marta and you are welcome. If you find the cutter in your area, they really make some projects easier.

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  7. I like this idea. Thanks for sharing it.

    Can't make any of these at this time. But I have a perfect bookshelf unit that could house books like this. It's from a Barbie furniture set from the 1980s or 1990s.

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    1. You're welcome, D7ana. You don't need the EC to make the books. You can do the same with a hard ruler and a blade. I don't have a steady hand, lol, so the EC is so much easier for me.

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  8. Excellent tutorial Muff! Thanks so much! I love your books!! I can't wait to try it....now where is that catalog. Lol!

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    1. Thanks, Georgia Girl! Luckily, I have tons of glue bound catalogues. Now I just need more time to make the cover art.

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  9. Cool, Cool, Cool Muff you've don it again that is so awesome seriously ! I'm def getting on board with that

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    1. Hiya, Tinisha and thanks. They are a fun project that can turn out super cute.

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  10. Great tutorial, Muff, and your books look so good. I'm not going to buy an Easy Cutter though (that's if they're available in Australia) - this is what I have a husband for (well, one of the reasons). As for magazines, people might have magazines they are willing to give you so you don't have to cut up your treasured issues. I know I don't keep all my magazines (although I'm too far away to send them to you unfortunately).

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    1. Thanks a lot, Carrickters. But I'm just using old stuff and nothing that I particularly treasure. If I can repurpose them into something awesome, all the better. ^_^

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  11. Those are awesome books, Muff and a great tutorial! I have bookshelves that are waiting for books. I already have the EasyCutter. I will bookmark this so in 2014 when I get to that project, I will have these fabulous instructions. LOL! Maybe I will move it up on the list. I am a little tired of looking at these empty bookshelves. And now that the college crew is on board it would be wonderful for them to have beautiful school books.

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    1. Thanks, Vanessa and lol, my "Shazaam" voice over was ala Saturday morning cartoons versus Mr. "Well Golllllieee," Pyle.

      I think I'm doing it backwards. I'm making books before I build some bookshelves, but every one else seems to have their shelves but no books, lol.

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  12. Oh, I forgot to mention how much I enjoyed the sound effects. LOL! Shazaam! Have you been watching Gomer Pyle?

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  13. Hi Muff, I really enjoyed going through your blog-makes me want to play with barbie dolls again.

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    1. Hi Visionary and thanks so much for that wonderful compliment. Welcome to my blog and I'm following you back! ^_^

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  14. Hi Muff, thanks so much for this cool tutorial. I'm going to do this one day, so that all of my teen dolls will have something to put in their book bags. :)

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    1. Hey there, Roxanne! You are very welcome. \\( ^__^)// Books for all dollies! Yay!

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  15. Great idea! My dolls likes books very much, but they have only two :D I have to change it. Keep in touch :)

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    1. Thanks Elianka and thanks for stopping by! (^0^)//

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  16. Awesome!! They do look like real books, amazing!

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  17. I missed out on this because you don't show up on my reading list!:(! I have to get a cutter!

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    1. LOL, Ms. Leo. Blogger keeps messing with us!

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  18. Thank you so much for posting this tutorial :D

    I made my first one, and had a photo shoot with my Ghoulia :P

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    1. Hi, Kaitlyn and you're welcome. Glad my instructions made sense!

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  19. Using this tool to make books could only be thought by a lady.

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    1. That's because ladies are awesome.

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  20. Those books looks clawesome, I would totally buy those if I saw them in store (I know I can't make these myself)

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    1. LOL, Dailey, I enjoyed your "clawesome" comment! I told Clawdeen about it but she wasn't as amused as me. 0_o

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    2. Well, Clawdeen isn't the amsued type anyway xD
      She looks fangtastic though :D

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  21. Thank you to share it with us. I will try to make some books !

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    1. Hi, Shasarignis and you're welcome! ^__^

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