binding the fairies

Binding the Fairies

My latest project is a miniature edition of Folger ms Xd 234, also known as “a spell to bind the seven sisters of the fairies to you for ever” which you can see in its original glory here on the Folger website. It’s actually four spells to bind seven fairies, and cheekily to bind one in particular to your bed (to which those of us acquainted with fairyland and all of its inhabitants say good luck!). In any case, there are seven named fairies so I’m making seven books. They measure approximately 3 inches high by 2 inches wide, and they are tricky little devils to bind, which is as it should be.

The first step was sewing the signatures, although each of my signatures is actually only a folio. The book only has twenty-four pages but I was determined to give it a traditional binding so onto the sewing frame it went. And then, because these are fairies we’re talking about, the endpapers I had chosen to use simply vanished. I had them in my hand one day and the next day they were gone. Clearly the fairies had other ideas, and I was pretty sure I knew what they wanted.

Jemma Lewis Stormont

What they wanted was a one-of-a-kind endpaper marbled by the esteemed Jemma Lewis. I choose one of her Stormont designs and have photographed the paper, but of course a photo doesn’t do it justice. Her work is magnificent. I was right, too. The paper arrived in the post, and stayed where I put it until I was ready to use it.

beautiful endpapers

Once the endpapers were on it was time to give the text block a final trim. I had a good laugh when I put the tiny book in the plough and saw how ridiculous that idea was. You have to try, though, right? In the end I used a scalpel.


Next, the endbands.

sewing endbands

Then lacing on the boards.

lacing on boards

Please ignore that tragic example of an Oxford hollow. This was my test copy so I was trying a few different things as I went. Once I sorted that out I put on the cover, and then finished off the head and tail.

the groove

All in all, this little test copy took a beating, but it came out all right in the end.

tiny book

I’m still debating whether to do an inlay or a gold stamp on the cover, and the final edition will have ribbons onto which a magnifying glass will be tied. For now I just have to find the time to finish the seven, which are all sewn and mostly ready to be covered and pressed.

making a mess

One of these days I should probably tidy up, too, or I might lose one of the books in the mess.


  • George Sulea

    25th January 2017

    I would love to get one of these; could you please advise if/when you are selling?

    • Erzebet

      26th January 2017

      Yes, of course. I’ll send you an email when they are ready to sell.

  • Barbara Uglow

    26th January 2017

    Please also email me with prices/ details when you are ready to sell! The little book(s) look wonderful.

    • Erzebet

      26th January 2017

      Hello Barbara, I sure will. Thank you!

  • Jill Applegate

    26th January 2017

    I, too, would love to know pricing/shipping when you are selling. I’m in awe!!

    • Erzebet

      26th January 2017

      Thank you! I will send an email when they are finished and ready to sell.

  • Albert Klaassen

    30th January 2017

    I like to know the price and when available

    • Erzebet

      30th January 2017

      Hello Albert, I will email you the information as soon as I know it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Keecia

    30th January 2017

    One day, I need to visit your studio. That is so rad.

    • Erzebet

      31st January 2017

      I hope that can happen!

  • Toni

    1st February 2017

    Please include me, as well. What a marvelously tedious task. Im in awe of your work and would love an opportunity to purchase, if available. Thank you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Erzebet

      1st February 2017

      I sure will. Thank you!

  • Nidge Kendrick

    18th February 2017

    Should there be a copy left…I would be most interested in purchasing it

  • Mani C. Price

    23rd March 2017

    I’m interested in grabbing a copy!

  • Jessie Bennett

    7th April 2017

    I went nanas when I missed purchasing this book. Please let me know about your next book.

    • Erzebet

      8th April 2017

      I sure will. Thank you!

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