Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mom Gothic Arch - Base Materials & Binding Suggestions


There has been quite a positive response to the Mom Gothic Arch Book so far.  Lots and lots of interest which is great!

Many people have been asking about what materials to use for the foundation of the arches as well as ways to bind them when we're finished.   Today instead of the project I had planned I thought I'd talk about these two aspects and try to answer some of your questions.

Foundation Materials ~

There are so many questions people have about their chipboard so let me tell you what I'm thinking technique wise and then I'll answer more specific questions a bit later.

I haven't quite worked out all of the techniques I want to share with you so it's still in flux but what I do know is that some of the techniques will be made using plain cardstock while others will be paired with chipboard.  I'm not going to use any exotic foundation materials (sticky back canvas, grunge board, etc.) because not everyone has it.  You're more than welcome to use it for your books if you'd like but it's not going to be something vital to the techniques we'll be using.

I want to tell you what I have planned as far as foundations then you can determine better what you want to do or what you need to save in the way of containers.  

If a technique calls for a cardstock or similar foundation material after I complete the technique I am going to mount it on a piece of chipboard with a combination of ATG tape with a bead of Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue around the edges. I have found that this combo works great together and forms a great bond.  

If a technique calls for chipboard I am going to be using some sort of recycled container ~ cereal box or something similar.  I will be using the plain chipboard side for the technique and leaving the written side as is.

After I have completed my arch I am going to mat that arch onto a slightly larger version of my original arch.  A Mat Arch if you will.   This mat arch is going to be 1/4" larger on all sides and I am going to paint the exposed 1/4" areas black using a plain acrylic paint.  This will give added stability to the finished arches and make the book more user friendly as far as handling goes.  Each Mat Arch will hold two completed on the front and one on the back so I am going to initially cut 5 of these mat arches plus two extras which will later become the front and back covers.

You don't have to work with the mat arches but for some of the techniques you may need to reinforce your arch after completion if you don't.

Now as far as what type/how thick chipboard you can I mentioned above I am going to use recycled boxes...cereal, snack cake, microwave popcorn boxes, boxed cake mixes, etc.  Whatever items I have saved up or happen to be using in my kitchen at the time.

Grunge board is optional.  Personally I don't like to use it for things like this because it tends to curl when you work with lots of wet mediums or glues.  Totally up to you.  If you have it and want to use it ~ go for it :)


I would suggest you decide what type of binding you will be using before we begin.  This information will be vital when you are making each arch.  You will want to be sure to leave a space free of important information/images where your binding will be.

Common Types of Binding ~

Bind It All (or similar binding machine) ~ I think at this point this is how I will be binding my arches together.  If you don't have one, there are tons of other ways to bind your arches so no worries ;)

Accordion Style Binding ~ Several people asked if this might be an all means YES!!  There are several ways you could create the accordion binding. 

     *Create a long sheet of folded cardstock which you can glue each arch to ~ either all 10 facing the front or double sided so there are 5 arches on one side and 5 on the back. 

     *Affix each arch to a length of wide ribbon and use it for a combined binding and closure if desired. 

     *Punch holes in each side of your arch; add an eyelet to the holes and connect each arch with jump rings.

Book Rings ~ this is a nice binding option that is easy on the pocket book since you only need a hole punch and 2-3 book rings which can be found for $ .25 - .75 a piece.   Just punch the holes, insert the book rings and close.  7 Gypsies has some fancier book rings out right now that are very pretty but a bit more costly.

Ribbon, Fiber, Leather, Fabric Strips ~ These are all great inexpensive options for book binding as well.  Again all you need is the hole punch and your choice of ribbons or fiber.  After all of your arches have been completed, punch the holes and thread your material through each hole and tie to bind.

Tab Style Binding ~ This is an interesting type of binding that consists of a small strip of accordion folded piece of heavy reinforced cardstock which you glue each arch to one of the folds.  I know it sounds confusing but it really is kind of cool...I'll make up a small example of this binding this weekend if I have time to help better explain it.

Stitched Binding ~ of course if you're feeling adventurous you can always stitch your arches together.  I've only make simple books this way but I know there are lots of great stitching patterns out there that look great once completed.

Other Questions ~

There have been several other questions asked that I thought I'd answer now as well...

Q - can I use different quotes?

A - Of's your book :)  I only posted the 45 Life Lessons because I thought they were great uplifting little tidbits of advice.  Even Mom's need encouraging words every now and then.

Q - How many pages are we going to be making each week?

A - Well I had planned on working on one a week but Judith reminded me that Mother's Day comes in April over in UK so I'm going to try to work on at least 2-3 per week.  If we only get to 2 a week that will be 8 by the end of March leaving 2 plus binding and the covers for the beginning of April which I think is doable if we all stick with it.  If you don't think you can keep up with that many techniques a week ~ no worries...the techniques will be here on the blog for you to go back and work on as you have time. 

Q - How big are these books going to be?

A - That's up to can size your arch templates to whatever size you would like.  I am going to work with something around 5x7 size but you can make them larger or smaller as desired.

Q - Will you be doing step by step photos or explain each technique?  Will you hold my hand?

A - Yes, I post these techniques just like I do almost all of the techniques I post here...step by step + Photos.  Some techniques might take 2 days to complete with dry times and all but I'll show each step along the way.

Oh...and I will virtually hold your hand too  if you'd like ;)  Remember, I'm always willing to answer any questions you have so please feel free to either post your question in the comment section or e-mail me if you'd rather.


  1. Oh sigh! You are the best. I think I can do this if you hold my hand!! Can't wait!!

  2. Thanks for all this information! It really helps to have it!

  3. fabulous introduction Roni, it's going to be fun! Thanks for the special mention!! Judith xx

  4. Hi Roni -

    Thanks for the info. I was sitting in my office today working on reports when out of the blue the chipboard question popped into my head. Well, chipboard IS more interesting than reports! So now I know that I need to start saving boxes, etc.

    Elaine Allen

  5. I have missed your blog for a couple of days. You know how life throws the odd curve ball at you. But was I happy to read all about this project. Thanks for doing it, I can't wait to get started. Now to go pick my sayings.
    Thanks Roni for sharing, you are very special.

  6. Oh, Thank Goodness.You answered all my questions and am very excited to start.

  7. I'm excited about starting this project!

  8. I just love your blog. Just so you know! :)

  9. As always, you take quick action to solve our questions!! There are may of us that really do still need "HELP"!! :) I can't wait to start.


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!