Sunday 10 October 2010

Pumpkins and Pears: MBA Design Team October Challenge

Thank you all for hanging on since my sneak peek last week. I can now bring you the full feature... drum roll please...
My Pumpkins and Pears project for the Mini Book Anonymous design team comes with a tutorial (below) and a video (I made a video!), as well as a dashing of versatility in the actual structure of the mini (you can use it for recipe cards, a stationery set, an address book, a card gift set...).

Pumpkins and Pears

Materials Needed:
  • 2 x smaller* cardboard rectangles (for centre 'spine'), glued together for strength
  • 4 x larger* cardboard rectangles (for front and back covers) - stick 2 together to give 2 covers
  • enough fabric to cover
  • 6 x sheets of plain card
  • 1 x sheet of patterned card
  • embellishments of your choice, including other patterned paper/card
  • a 1 metre cord or ribbon
  • supplies: glue, ruler, scissors, sewing machine, etc
* My measurements were 2 x 5cm x 21cm (i.e. a strip the width of an A4 sheet) and 4 x 14.85cm x 21cm (i.e. an A5 sheet). All subsequent measurements shown are to fit a book this size.

I made the entire structure from scratch. So first up, I'll show you some pictures of that:

1) Line up the cardboard rectangles on the fabric and cut fabric to size. Leave enough room to create a hem all the way around.
2) Cover the spine with fabric, using glue or double-sided tape, and stitch to finish.
3) Line up rectangles again, then pin, press and hem edges of fabric.

4) Fold and press edges over the cardboard. Stick down with glue or double-sided tape. Fold in corners and stick down.

Now for decorating your book:

5) Cut the patterned card to size so that it covers the inside (bare) cardboard.
6) Make two trays (click on the first image to enlarge for measurements), line them up on the inside of your book so that they don't come into contact with each other when the book closes, and stick down with glue or double-sided tape.
7) Cut the plain card to size so that it fits into the trays, and decorate one side with your choice of patterned paper.

8) Now you're free to embellish as you please! 

The pumpkin and pear embellishments are so cute and so fun to make. Today, though, I've run out of time, so I'll settle for a few photos now, and then I'll come back on Tuesday with a more in-depth tutorial on how to make these fun little shapes:

9) Once you've got your shapes...
...fix them to the cord or ribbon. Then double up your cord so the two shapes, at each end, meet, and loop it around the spine of the book. Fit the two shapes through the loop at the top and pull tight. This is a lanyard hitch (the type you use to fix labels to luggage).

I hope you've enjoyed seeing the creative process behind this mini. Go check out my video, and do come back here and let me know what you think. I know there's some improvement to be made (sound levels in particular) but it was only my first attempt....any feedback is most welcome! I also really recommend hopping over to Mini Book Anonymous to check out the other DT members' projects - they're amazingly creative, and each one is very different, providing LOTS of inspiration.


  1. Hey babe, you did an amazing job on the video on youtube! I love it... wonderful, wonderful job on the steps + pictures too... :)

  2. Thanks for all the precise instructions. Great album, I love the colours and the little pear and pumkin, so cute. Great video as well.

  3. I'm just loving what you've done :) ... you are so talented.

  4. Love the cover and binding you did for this!! Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Love it! and I am going to try these little fruits/vegetables very soon ;)