Piano Hinge Book for Scrapbook Soup TV #405

Piano Hinge Book for Scrapbook Soup TV #4052017-12-27T11:24:00-04:00

Project Description

 This project appears in Scrapbook Soup TV Episode #405 – Books. Look for it on your local PBS station. It will be available on YouTube in 2016 (after the show runs live on TV).



Piano hinge
Noun: A long narrow hinge with a pin running the entire length of its joint. A long narrow hinge that runs the full length of the two surfaces to which its leaves are joined. Also called continuous hinge. Origin 1925-1930.

Supplies and Tools You’ll Need

  • 12″ x 12″ Cardstock
  • Bamboo skewers, dowel rods, pencils, twigs, etc. for the hinge pins – 7” or longer. Items with a point are easier to work with.
  • Waxed thread or cord
  • Charms or beads to embellish the cords
  • Bone folder
  • Scoring pad
  • Paper trimmer and/or scissors
  • Tape runner or Aleene’s Quick Dry “Tacky” Glue
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Pencil eraser
  • Cutting pliers

Piano Hing Book Binding Templates

You can download the templates Joe used in the show in several formats:

Instructions—Read These Through Before You Start

  1. Create your signatures
    1. Cut cardstock in to 12×6 pieces. You can use 1, 2 or 3 pieces for each signature and you can have as many signatures as you like. Most books have 5 signatures. You’ll need 1 piece for the front cover and one for the back cover. You’ll need a skewer or rod for each signature, plus two for each of the covers.
    2. Score each piece of paper at 5 ½”, 6” and 6 ½”, so you have three score lines.
    3. Bend the scores at 5 ½” and 6 ½” back and forth so they comfortable fold either way.
    4. Fold the pages in half on the 6” score.
    5. Put the front and back covers aside.
    6. If you are using multiple pages in each signature, nest the pages for each signature and trim the outer edge so they line up.
  2. Cut the hinge tabs
    1. Lightly mark every 1” on the 6” score line on each signature (with nested pages if you have them), on the front cover and on the back cover.
    2. Lightly mark every 1” on the fold of each signature and on the covers
    3. Lightly mark 1/8” on either side of the 1” mark on the fold and “connect the dots” so you have a small triangle with a ¼” base (on the fold) going up ½” to the score line.
    4. Cut out the triangles. Be sure to hold the signature tightly together while cutting if you have multiple sheets in a signature.
    5. Erase any remaining pencil marks.
  3. Fold the hinge tabs
    1. Starting with the top tab, fold every other tab forward. Repeat
  4. Creating the spine
    1. I like to start from the front, but you can start from either direction. Take 2 of your signatures and one skewer. Run the skewer through the first notch in the first signature and through the second notch in the second signature. Then through the third notch in the first signature and the fourth notch in the second signature, and so on until you are all the way down the spine. So you are going in every other notch on each signature. If you have multiple pages in a signature, be sure you are going inside all of them and not between pages.
    2. Connect the next signature to this assembly by starting a new skewer going through the first notch on the second signature and the second notch on the third signature.
    3. Continue adding signatures to this assembly until you have all the signatures connected.

Top View of Piano Hinge Book

  1. Create the covers
    1. Font cover: Look at what tabs you need to have to attach the front cover to the rest of the assembly. If you started from the front, you’ll likely need the even numbered tabs (i.e., 2, 4, etc.). Take the tabs you don’t need (i.e., 1, 3, etc.) and push those inside the book, between the folded cardstock. Glue the cardstock together, folded in half. Only the tabs you need should be sticking out.Piano Hinge Book Page View
    2. Attach the front cover to the assembly by sliding a skewer through the tabs of the cover and the tabs of the assembly, alternating as necessary.
    3. Repeat the process to create and attach the back cover.
  2. Sew around the skewers
    1. Using the wax thread/cord, sew around the signatures to keep them from sliding off the rods. You can do this on the top and bottom of the spine.
    2. Optionally, put some liquid glue on the thread to help keep it permanently in place. Dot the knots with glue as well.
    3. Optionally, leave log lengths of thread at the top of the book so you can add charms, beads and other embellishments.
      Piano Hinge Book Top View Many Pages
  3. Trim the skewers (optional)
    1. Trim the skewers with cutting pliers, tin snips, sharp scissors or a saw.

Take It Up A Notch!

  • Paint, ink or stain the skewers
  • Cut some the cardstock for the signatures taller than your book, fold the bottoms up and create pockets in some of the signatures.
  • Create a box to store your book. Have it slide down in to the box to really show off this intricate spine technique.
  • Use materials other than cardstock! Fabric, handmade paper, envelopes – anything where you can create tabs.
  • Try different rods for an interesting effect.

This project takes about 1 hour to complete.

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