Now let me just say that I am not a Easy Cutter representative nor do I work for them. I also don't know anyone who does, but if I did, I would be begging them to hook a sister up! With that disclaimer in place, in this and my next post, I'm going to wax poetic on why the Easy Cutter is my favorite doll tool.
I love books. Ergo, my dolls love books.
This is how I used to make books. I would fold a magazine page into as many halves as it would make and stick it inside a precut piece of folded cardstock. Then, using the cardstock as a guide I would scissor cut the magazine along the bottom and side edge. I would staple the two together and then wrap the cardstock with cover art and tape it to the inside of the stock.
This looks okay as long as you are looking at the spine of the book, but as you can see, I didn't much try to do anything about the front or back of it.
But now, *cue announcer voice* with the handy dandy Easy Cutter, you too can have precision cut books for your dollies! Pick old magazines or catalogues that are bound by glue (not stapled). Use scissors or a paper cutter to trim them into manageable strips (the Easy Cutter can't cut anything wider than 2.5 inches). Then design your cover art and you will have dolly books that look like this!:
There are many ways to design your cover art. You could do all this on the computer and just print out your design. My theory is why waste that ink when magazines have already printed out junk for you? Besides, tape and glue are much cheaper than printer ink. So, here's my way:
Let the spine artwork determine the size of your book. Cut out the book, sit it over the spine wording and pencil around it. Pick your front and back art and cut them out using the book as a width guide, but leave some excess.
Place glue above and below your spine pencil marks (front and back) and paste down the two covers. Cut out notches on the spine where you pencil marked where the width of the book should be. Roll back a section of transparent tape the length of your artwork, and let it rest backward on the tape roller. Center your artwork over the tape, good side down, and lay it on the tape.
Fold the spine and then poke the book in the cover. Even though you have notched out the width of the book in the spine, still trace around the bottom of it to help you get a perfect fit. Put glue on the bottom and spine of the book and place it in the cover. Once it's nice and straight, then glue the top of the book and smooth down the cover.
Next you have a choice. You can either fold the cover art over and secure it with tape to the inside of the book flaps and then trim the top and bottom edges, or, my favorite, cut it all off, using the edges of the book as a guide.
As always, we have a model to demonstrate the scale of items. You can make these exact books if you have the Spring, 2012 issue of Barbie Collector.
Of course there are multiple ways to make books and mine is by no means the simplest. If you don't have a Easy Cutter, you could clamp down a metal ruler and use an exacto knife to get precision cuts. If you have a large scale paper cutter you could use that instead (mine only cuts 12 pages). But for minimum effort, the Easy Cutter cut through hard glue and 150 pages like it was nothing.
A word of advice. If you have problems with hand strength (arthritis, RA, etc.), brace the cutter against your thigh and press downward from the top of your hand instead of not bracing and pulling upward from your fingers.