Mini Book Instructions

Last Updated 10/14/09


by DJ Pettitt


Iron-On Transfer Paper for use with ink jet printers. I used Epson brand.

Scanned design

Polymer clay. I used white Premo

Flexible Push Molds from Sculpey. I used Etruscan Motifs and Sconce D?or

20 gauge wire

The Coiling Gizmo

Bone Folder

Liquid Sculpey

Lumiere paint

Dye-na-Flow paint

Walnut Ink

Stonehenge paper. I used warm white

Assorted beads

Pasta machine or rolling pin

**The Iron on transfer paper is very simple to use, if a bit finicky. It is extremely important to pull the paper off very slowly after the clay is cooled or you will get spots of missing ink. Once you apply the transfer, make sure that it doesn't move or pull up, or it won't adhere no matter how much you burnish.

Print out your design on the transfer paper and trim to the size of your book covers. Place it face down on a sheet (about a 2 on the pasta machine) of raw polymer clay measuring the same size that has been placed on sandwich paper or piece of cardstock. Burnish it well with a bone folder; burnish firmly, but not so firm that you distort or dent it.

Layer this with another sheet of sandwich paper on top and a tile on top of the entire thing to keep it flat while baking. Add 10 minutes to the baking time to account for the tile. After baking, remove from oven, leaving the sandwich paper on the clay and put a small weight on top while it cools. I use a rubber stamp that is larger than the clay piece, wood side to sandwich paper.

When cool, embellish the edges. You don't have to use the molds, but they are really fun. They are a soft flexible mold that needs no release agent. You can either squish the clay in and remove (they produce great detail) or, you can run the clay through the pasta machine to flatten and then place in the mold for a less dimensional look. I have done the latter on my books. Apply the pieces to the edge with Liquid Sculpey and bake again. You won't be able to put the weight on as you bake, but it should remain flat. When you take it out to cool, place something in the center to keep it from warping. Use anything that will fit in the center but off of the embellishments.

You can use anything to paint, but I love the combination of Lumiere and Dye-na-Flow paints. I have also used Walnut Ink in the crevices to give it an aged look. Paint the back cover to match. I added clay "hinges" to the back as well, and then sprayed it with an acrylic sealer.

The book pages are Stonehenge paper torn the size of your book. My books are 3 inches square, so I tore the paper 3 inches high, by 6 inches long. Fold in half and score. Make one piece 3 X 6 1/4 (or large enough to accommodate your pages; this measurement fits about 4 or 5 pages folded in half) for the spine. Score this one so that the extra space becomes the spine. I painted mine with a mixture of Walnut ink, Lumiere Brass, and Burnt Umber Dye-na-Flow wet on wet. Once dry, they can be stamped or collaged etc. Glue the spine to the cover and back piece of book and place the folded pages inside.

The binding is coiled wire. I coiled 20-gauge wire with The Coiling Gizmo to end up 3 inches long, leaving wire at each end. Lay the coil against the spine of the book and wrap one end of an end wire around and through the center page. Bring it up and back down through the coil. Now you have an end wire coming out of the center of the coil, and an end wire remaining at the other end of the coil. Wrap these around a skewer and add beads.

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