Los Angeles Renegade Craft Fair This Weekend

July 18th, 2013

If you are in the area this weekend, stop by our booth at the LA Renegade Craft Fair. You will see a few new handmade book designs and can get a sneak peek of my newly published book! Look for us at booth #143.

Studios Magazine Feature

June 25th, 2012

After four years of sharing a one-room studio with my husband, our many tools and supplies slowly multiplied until they were stacked in piles around the room. I’m not sure how long I moved cardboard boxes full of stuff from the table, to the shelf, to the floor, and back to the table, before deciding to do a major overhaul. I’m so glad that we did.

The current issue of Studios Magazine, published by Cloth Paper Scissors, includes photos and an article describing our upgraded studio space. The magazine features a variety of different studios, with great ideas for just about anyone’s space.


Our main storage problem was solved with open shelving from Ikea and a selection of bins and boxes from the Container Store. The open shelving and clear bins are helpful when I am in the middle of a project and looking for a particular tool. Not only do we store our tools and supplies here, but we also stock our Etsy shops and store all of our shipping supplies here as well.

The opposite wall of the studio is where do all of our computer work. The shelves above our work spaces are great for storing books, files, and extra computer equipment. We hung cork boards on the bathroom door to make better use of the space.


If you get the chance, check out the Summer 2012 issue of Studios Magazine online or at your local bookstore!

Thanks to Ben Schlitter for taking all of these great photos.

Butterfly Scales

February 15th, 2012


Do you know that butterfly wings are covered in microscopic scales? This inspired the combination of materials above: pretty butterfly-patterned paper with pewter fish leather at the spine. The leather has a wonderful scale texture.

Take a look at Kellie’s Fine Leathers Etsy shop to see her selection of fish and eel leathers. They are great for a variety of projects.

2012 Planner – Better Late than Never!

February 13th, 2012


I’m usually a bit behind the times. In this case, I just put together a planner for the year. It combines two different bindings and various materials, including printed kozu paper, twill tape and a vintage index card divider. The inside pages are printed from our Droplet planner pdf. Now I can start to get some things done!

Experimenting with Japanese Stab Binding

February 10th, 2012


I was recently inspired to push my current knowledge of Japanese binding to a new level. This type of binding moves past the boundaries of function and more in the direction of form. There is so much potential here! I’m excited to try more.

The cover of this book is cut from a UCLAx poster.

Find excellent examples of decorative Japanese stab binding patterns at Becca Making Faces.

Bookbinding Class at UCLA Extension

January 8th, 2012


I will return to UCLA Extension to teach Handmade Book Structures on Tuesday evenings for the Winter Quarter (January 10 to March 27, 2012). I would love for you to join me!

This class is loaded with demonstrations and hands-on projects. You will learn the basic techniques of book binding, including how to create stab, pamphlet, and multi-section bindings. You will also explore conceptual book structures and contemporary applications of book binding. The class is open to anyone interested (it is not required to be a certificate seeking student).

If you have any questions at all about the course, feel free to email me at studio@erinzam.com.

For more details and to enroll, please see UCLA Extension’s website.

1010 Westwood Center, Room 214
Tuesday 7-10pm
January 10-March 27
12 meetings total

Holiday Wrap #1

December 16th, 2011


This is the last Holiday Wrap post of the series. Thanks for tagging along!

Wrapped with: Magazine pages
Tied with: Twill tape
Topped with: Origami Star of David and a manila tag

Select magazine pages for their colors and themes.

Look for twill tape at your local fabric store. It will often be available in white, natural and black. If you look at a specialty store or online, you will find a large selection of colors, widths, and thicknesses. I ordered mine here.

Origami makes a great package-topper. In this case, I folded a magazine page that matches the wrap. I learned how to fold this star here. This particular project was tricky, but there are many great origami tutorials in books and online that are much simpler. The manila tag pictured here is available at most office supply stores.

See all twelve wrap ideas for 2011 here.

Holiday Wrap #2

December 15th, 2011


Wrapped with: Brown packing paper
Tied with: Crochet doily
Topped with: Embroidered fabric

Around the holidays, as online orders start arriving at your doorstep, you may begin to accumulate the brown packing paper that often accompanies these packages. Since the paper is already wrinkled, go ahead and crumple it up even more and then smooth it out. Its surface will be covered with a nice wrinkly texture.

This crochet doily is simply attached at the back of the package with double-sided tape. You can use paper doilies in the same way.

I used two scraps of fabric as the “tag” on this package. I had no idea how to embroider, but found some simple stitches online. You can do it too! Attach the tag to the doily with a safety pin.

See all twelve wrap ideas for 2011 here.

Holiday Wrap #3

December 14th, 2011


Wrapped with: Freezer paper
Tied with: Washi tape
Topped with: Paper and washi tape bow

Freezer paper, also known as butcher paper, is available next to the plastic bags in most grocery stores.

Have you discovered washi tape yet? The idea for this great crafting material is imported from Japan. CB2′s website shows several ways to use it to decorate packages. I used three different tapes to outline the edges of this box.

I remember my Mom showing me how to make a bow like this years ago. It’s simple and fun! I used strips of green graph paper. To add more color, I attached matching washi tape to some of the paper strips. You can see a step-by-step tutorial here and here.

See all twelve wrap ideas for 2011 here.

Holiday Wrap #4

December 13th, 2011


Wrapped with: Hand printed paper
Tied with: Felt
Topped with: Button badges

Printing your own paper is an entire subject in and of itself. There are hundreds of possibilities! This clever idea is from Christine Schmidt’s book: Print Workshop. It’s created by wrapping string around a block of wood and stamping. To design your own wrapping paper, consider printing with stamps, attaching stickers, or printing designs from your computer.

Cut strips of felt to use as a ribbon. You can stitch the strips end-to-end to lengthen, or use double-sided tape.

Pin button badges to the felt ribbon to decorate. Try Vis a Vis wet erase markers to write a personal note on one of the buttons. The marker can be removed from a plastic surface with a damp cloth. I made the larger button myself with a tool from Badge-A-Minit. I acquired the two smaller buttons at an Etsy meetup.

See all twelve wrap ideas for 2011 here.