Little Things that Matter: Beauty
Recently, a few clients have reminded me about the importance of creating beauty for beauty’s sake. Most of us have too many obligations, feel stretched too thin, and wish things could slow down a bit. The art studio should be a refuge – a place where pacing is respected, and resting is seen as part of the journey. Sometimes the most therapeutic, humane, joyful, and real thing to be done is to create something beautiful.
My mini books are a reminder about the importance of beauty and presence. Making these tiny journals with natural materials, textured papers, and delicate strings helped me tie all the pieces together about what I’ve learned from my clients in the last few weeks. What are the little things that matter to you?
Mini Books: Make Your Own
The best way I know to get started is to first get inspired. Here’s a peek at my mini books and some tutorials.
For this mini book, I used leftover cardboard, some handmade papers, and an acorn on the outside cover. The inside cover has some tissue paper I got with a gift.
This book is a painted coffee sleeve with a square of handmade paper. I sewed in my pages and then wrapped a mini pine cone with the thread so that it dangles from the book. I love how the pinecone echoes the pattern in the paper on the front cover.
Here’s all four books I made. I had a great time doing it. I hope you do too!
How to Make a Mini Book:
For the Cover:
I made some covers from coffee sleeves and others from corrugated cardboard that I had lying around. I cut the cardboard into a long rectangle, folded it in half, and then painted or covered it in paper to make it beautiful. I suggest making a few books at once so that you can feel free to play around with different papers, colors, and combinations of materials.
For the Pages:
If you’re using a coffee sleeve or making a similar size book, you can get 2 mini books out of one 8 1/2 sheet of paper. Click here for the tutorial on folding an 8 page mini book. Even for me, who hates anything too precise in my art, I found this method very easy.
Once I had the pages folded, I used a needle and thread to sew the middle fold of the pages into the middle fold of the cover, just like a book. If you prefer, you can also glue your pages into your book.
Use different types of papers: tissue, handmade papers, card stock, magazine photos
Hand sew your edges or individual pages
Include beads, natural materials, or cloth
Add sparkle with glitter, metallic paint, or markers
I’ve included a link for a great website with lots of “little art” and some wonderful mini books, including a tutorial to help with more ideas and how to’s.
What are the small things that matter in your life and work? Have you ever thought about what therapists might learn from clients? What place do beauty and presence have in therapy?
Have you made mini books before? Tell me about it in the comments. Better yet, send a picture, I’d love to see!