Assembling your Alphabet Book

So, you’ve received your “alphabet book” in the mail. But it doesn’t really look like a book yet, does it! Here’s what you need to do.

You’ll need the following tools:

  • An Xacto or similar knife.
  • A surface for cutting on; one of those green mats would be ideal, but a piece of cardboard will do.
  • A ruler or other straight edge.

Unfold the print as you received it, and then make cuts along the lines shown in red in this photo:

You want to make sure that you DON’T cut through the areas not marked in red. In other wordsstart cutting across between A and J and continue across through the border between D and G. But then STOP and leave the border between E and F uncut.

When you are done, you should have something that looks like this:

Scored, Folded and Cut Mockup

From here it’s easy: just start at A and B: fold them together so they face each other. Do the same with C and D, E and F (which you’ll fold together horizontally), and so on.

When you’re done your folding you should have a “book” of two-page spreads.

If you leave things here you’ll be fine, except that you won’t be able to open the pages where you folded letters together horizontally. You could make cuts along these borders, but then your book would no longer be “joined together” (sorry for my lack of book terminology here).

To solve this I recommend that you bind the spine of the book before proceeding and further; an excellent guide for the various ways that you can do this can be found in Hamish MacDonald’s DIY Book podcast where you can learn about all sorts of ways of binding that are cheap and easy, running from simply gluing with regular white glue all the way up to sewing.

If you go this route, you might want to do a few experimental bindings on other test books before you try your luck on the alphabet book. Once you’ve bound the spine of the alphabet book you can slice through those horizontal boundaries between letters like E and F and you’ll have a real, fully-operational book.

Please email me photos of the final result!