My friend Cathy loves Civil War history. When I found a
facsimile of Lincoln’s Devotional* at Wonder Book, it seemed a perfect gift if
only I could make a special cover for it. However, I would be seeing her the
next day at her home near the Gettysburg battlefield, so I couldn’t do a
traditional binding. (I’m no good at all-nighters.) Then I envisioned a battle-weary
soldier reading his Bible or devotional book by firelight, the book protected with
a rustic scrap of leather. My leather stash had a piece with an untrimmed edge.
After refining my design with a paper template, I cut the leather and adhered a
paper liner with wheat paste. I wrapped the book first with plastic wrap to
prevent moisture migration, then in the slightly-damp leather, and swaddled the
whole thing with an elastic bandage overnight. The next morning, the leather
had dried and fitted itself to the book. The book’s back cover slips under an
inside paper strip and the natural flap slides through two parallel lines cut
into the front. The simple binding complements her Civil War re-enactments, and
the pages contain the same spiritual truths that Lincoln found.
Daily Treasure, London: The Religious Tract Society, 1852