Making the Slipcase For Another Travel Journal

I made some photos this morning when I made the slipcase for another travel journal. I plan to write up a tutorial for making these sturdy slipcases. It will be put up in the downloads and tutorials section once it is finished – you can see the tab at the top of the page.
Here are some of the photos with a much abbreviated explanation. The tutorial in its written form will contain more details and all the measures.

choosing and cutting lining paper

choosing and cutting lining paper

...then it's glued to cardboard. - Mind the grain directions, they should run parallel to the book's spine.

...then it's glued to cardboard. - Mind the grain directions, they should run parallel to the book's spine.

square up a corner

square up a corner


make the first vertical cut though about half of the board, the sides of the slipcase are as long as the book is wide.

I usually only mark the width at several point, put on the guide and cut. No pencil line in a first step – this only makes the cut less precise.

second vertical cut - the case's spine is approximately the width of the book's spine

second vertical cut, again through about half the board

The last vertical cut is through the whole board. Take take to make sure both sides of the case have equal width so that the spine will come out square.


head cuts

The head and tail sections are more complicated to cut. This time I put down a pencil line the width of the book from the top (the headpiece is as long as the book is wide). Then between the vertical cuts, I cut half way through the board at the pencil line. Then on the sides I mark the board’s thickness and then do my cut there, off the pencil line. You can see this step in the picture. This is because the tabs are going to lay over the headpiece on the outside, and to have the head square and flat, the side have to be just a little taller than the spine.

at the sides that will become the taps, half of the board is pushed off

at the sides that will become the tabs, half of the board is pushed off

the taps are trimmed ideally they are so wide that they close over the head and tailpieces without seam. Cutting them to half the width of the spine of the case plus half the board width usually does the trick.

the tabs are trimmed ideally they are so wide that they close over the head and tailpieces without seam. Cutting them to half the width of the spine of the case plus half the board width usually does the trick.

I use straight PVA to glue the head and tailpieces to the sides, taking care to have smooth and square front edges. It holds together also without the taps.

I use straight PVA to glue the head and tail pieces to the sides, taking care to have smooth and square front edges. It holds together also without the tabs.

then the taps are glued on. here I have a little gap at one of the ends, ...

then the tabs are glued on. here I have a little gap at one of the ends, ...

... it gets filled

... it gets filled

when the box has dried a little, I start covering it.

when the box has dryed a little, I start covering it.

I made a series of pictures of how I do the corners, but they are all completely out of focus, sorry.

the covered slipcase

the covered slipcase

I don’t fill in the sides, but you have to fill the front edge, otherwise the covering paper will tear.

This is let to dry for some hours, then the last piece of decoration is added – a piece of leather for easier retrieval of the book from the case, with a bead attached to its end. – Picture of the finished case with book will follow tomorrow.

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3 Responses to Making the Slipcase For Another Travel Journal

  1. Liesan says:

    I should try some time to cut the board half way, I always cut out all the pieces and glue them together again but this seems much simpler :) I like the paper too!

    • buechertiger says:

      I am happy that you apparently like the construction :-)

      It is not really easier, though: For one you have to keep the depth steady, so that the edge won’t become wonky and it requires some training to really cut a the right depth so that it holds together well but also bends well enough. Also the calculations for the width of your case is effected by how deep you cut: on the inside it will be smaller than your marking on the outside not by the board’s thickness, but by the amount of board that is left uncut.

      But if you do all this correctly you are rewarded by a much sturdier case than if the pieces would be disconnected.

  2. buechertiger says:

    Somehow I have again and again difficulties seeing this page correctly. Maybe it has too many images for the software to handle, or my server is having difficulties at this time. I still hope that it’s only me. If not so, please apologize the inconvenience, and just wait for the printout version that should be there soon.