Bookbinding the Necronomicon – part 6

Now we’re into the home stretch!

Before I begin, I want to congratulate Mark Fukae and The Unearthly for getting the web series pilot fully funded via Kickstarter!

Check out The Unearthly website here:

Now, back to the Necronomicon book prop!…

First off, I was asked to create a sigil on the cover (engraved into the red leather) for the creature Yog-Sothoth:


First I pencilled in the symbol and after that I used my awl to carve it into the leather.  I wanted it fairly deep and a bit rough to add texture to it.  I figured that a clean cut with a scalpel would be too pretty for this.  (You can also see how the opening on the cover leather turned out as well as the spine leather.  Again, my apologies for neglecting to photograph those steps):


I then used a nice brush pen to ink over the grooves I had carved.  While doing so I would smudge it to add a bit more dimension as I went along:


Something you can notice here in this picture is that the squared border of the red leather is visible underneath the sheep skin.  I went back and forth with Mark Fukae on what sort of design he might like me to add to cover it up without screwing up the look of the book.  Mark came up with the idea of using more of the snake skin printed leather  (like on the spine).  I agreed that this would really work well with the overall design.  That snake skin printed cow hide takes some real pressure to fold over on itself and glue, but the end result is really nice.  This is the picture that I sent back to Mark to get his opinion on the idea:


My next step was to punch holes into the cover to sew the folded leather to it.  This took some doing.  I also tested if I should make the holes vertical from one another or diagonal.  The diagonal worked and looked better:


Gluing and folding the leather:


Cutting the strips so they fit together snuggly like a frame:


Checking on how they will fit together.  I did have to pry up the spine leather – which I then glued back down afterward:


Initially I thought that I might need to glue the frame down as well, but it turned out that sewing them down worked great!:


I don’t know the sewing term for this, but I would go back on each stitch to keep all the thread secured and tight:


This was really tough to get the thread through.  It’s leather waxed thread.  I had to use a needle-nose pliers to yank it though each hole:


I have to say, it turned out pretty darn good if I do say so myself:


The final step was to glue on interior pages to cover up all the book binding construction work.  It’s not going to be seen on screen, so it was more practical than pretty.  I did go back and stain it a little as it did peek out and look a little bright white compared to the rest of the pages when the book was closed:


And there we go.  All finished:


Another shot:

nec_border3And that is how I cut my teeth on bookbinding – Creating the Necronomicon!  Quite a prop to work on and I really loved doing it.  I’m certain that this will not be my only foray into bookbinding.  I think I would really enjoy making more as art journals or gifts or maybe even to sell.  Who knows.

Once again, I want to congratulate Mark Fukae on The Unearthly being fully funded!  Can’t wait to see the book onscreen!


Go to Part 5

1 comment

  1. Fantastic web site. A lot of useful info here. I am sending it to some buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks in your sweat!


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