After drinking tea and cordial, eating jellies and faerie cakes and little sandwiches at the birthday tea party, we settled into a bit of bookbinding.

bookbinding © elisa rathje 2011

My children are very fond of bookmaking and often appear at my elbow with a stack of papers. I thought it would be lovely to try sewing several signatures together in a traditional way. The roomful of children was a cacophony of threading needles and punching holes, the elder ones helping the younger.

bookbinding © elisa rathje 2011

We kept the cover very basic and simply glued some heavy patterned paper to the outer pages, and then sliced three sides to open the folded pages and clean up the whole book nicely. We’d punched some placecards for the table, using calligraphy to write everyone’s names; many of the children pasted theirs somewhere in or on their books. They turned out very well! Wonderful to see how everyone set to embellishing their book, filling it with drawings or stories, collage, deciding immediately what they’d use it for. Their effortless creativity is astonishing to witness.

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