Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Mini Mundus Books kit

Prompted by my recent acquisition of Ken Blythe's lovely books I decided to have a crack at the Mini Mundus kit which I bought.  Here's the safety warning:  These books will not be as lovely as Ken Blythe's but at under 26p per book and the 'fun' of doing them they are astonishingly good library shelf fillers.

In the kit you get two pages of semi-glossy very nicely printed book covers on a stiff good quality paper and seven pieces of balsa wood with a rounded edge.

thicker pieces

There are two strips narrower than the other five, making two thicknesses of books.  All the books are the same height but the instructions do say say, cut the covers and the wood smaller if you want to vary them.  I think that would be a shame as they are well printed and I wouldn't want to cut into the bindings.  I think your shelves could be varied with other books from elsewhere.  

Indeed, if you are filling a formal library - old books were in limited sizes as they seemed to work within the constraints of folio. quarto, sexto etc, so it is fine to have a lot of the same size books, just different thicknesses.

The thinner wood can be cut with a knife but the thicker balsa really needs a saw. Preferably one with finer teeth than mine.  Balsa is a pig for 'fluffy' edges.

sander of choice

You can knock these off though with a bit of buffing.

Next, you need to finish of the page edges.  Don't use a very white paint as I did here - much to bright - grey(ish) is better.  I am gold-edging with my most favourite gold leaf pen by Krylon.

white acrylic

gold leaf edges

Since taking all the photos I have improved the look by drawing oodles of pencil lines across these areas to denote pages.  Much better finish.

Cut out the book covers carefully.  Don't wobble and don't leave any small white edges of the surrounding paper - they will show.

careful cutting

After making the first one I realised how much better it would be to colour in the cut edge itself as it shows white against the cover.  As you are also cutting the pages slightly smaller than the cover (as books are) you also need to colour in just inside the edges of the cover.  As always with these things go look at a real object before you start - Did I do that? No, why would I, I know what a book looks like!!  Mmmmmm.....

colour in a band around the inside edge and colour the cut itself
Then it is just a case of choosing your favourite paper glue - the kit encloses a Pritt stick - and carefully wrapping the block.  Takes a bit of practice to get it centred properly in all directions if you are fussy.

Et voila! a book...

This is one where I coloured in the inside edges after the event, so its not spot on.

I am now even making a 'crease' where the book opens - really potty for a pile of books going in a bookcase.  Hey ho... what can you do with Crazy Woman?

5 down 84 to go

PS:  Being made by Mini Mundus the books are in German.  If you can't script in why this should be so then do as I am doing, ignore it!  You have to get up close and very personal to discover that.

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