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Miniature Theater Bilderbuch - Christmas Scene Only

  1. Theater Bilderbuch Der Weihnachsabend (Christmas Eve)
  2. 12th scale or not 12th scale ? This miniature book is 12th scale in relation to the original (late 1880s) edition that I have seen. It is larger than 12th scale - when compared to the modern editions that I have seen. NOTE It is not an exact copy of either, as there is only one scene and I have had to re-work the mechanism in order to make it function with (relatively) thin paper.
  3. In order to have a mechanism that works reliably, it is important to make it out of a suitable material. The antique Theater Bilderbuch were made from very thick cardboard – and are constructed to use this to advantage. The modern editions use much thinner card – and are constructed to use this to advantage. My miniature version is designed to be made from paper – and I usually use the smoothest 100gsm paper that I can find, but today I am going to experiment.
  4. I used - • • • • • • • • • a very sharp knife a blunt knife a metal ruler Evo-stick wood glue, and a small paint brush my Canon pixma home printer 90 gsm “proofing paper” (I recommend using the smoothest 100 gsm paper you can find) very fine tissue paper 200 gsm paper (for the covers) 100 gsm red paper (for the covers)
  5. Step 1 Print Score crease lines Fold crease lines Cut out pieces
  6. I have marked the score lines (neatly) on the pdf. I hope they will be easy to identify once you have watched the slideshow. There are two orchestras. This is so that you can choose whether to have the (original) large orchestra, or the smaller (roughly modern-sized) orchestra.
  7. Fold the creases into place before cutting out any of the pieces. Cut out the interior parts first and remember to cut away from the corners. I worked from one end of the strip to the other. The paper surrounding the small pieces made them easier to handle.
  8. Do not forget to cut out the tiny VITAL slot that is just below the prompter’s box I find it best to make the short cuts first.
  9. Here is everything cut out and ready to be assembled. Note – Non-slip tea towel to stop bits shifting about Stage Cover Page
  10. Step 2 Assemble the stage
  11. Without applying any glue – insert the tab of the scene, showing the father and the children, into the rear slot of the stage If you need to adjust the fit of the tab in the slot, resize the tab and not the slit in the stage. Front of stage
  12. Check that the scene sits squarely and is central It is important to check that this piece is central. The other scenes, and the front of the theatre, are going to be lined up with this piece.
  13. Hold the two pieces together, and apply a small amount of glue between the tab and the stage. The tabs all face towards the front of the stage
  14. I use a “small” paintbrush for applying the water-based glue – use what works best for you. This sort of size paintbrush
  15. After gluing, check that the scene is still square and in the right place.
  16. Now repeat the process with the other two scenes - This is the wrong scene. Note neat spacing and edges – The neater these are the better the end result will be. This is the wrong scene.
  17. The mother, daughter and dog should be on top.
  18. When all the scenes are glued into place, attach the front of the theatre. Glue tabs in place Insert tab through slot
  19. To do this – fold back the tabs and apply some glue to them,
  20. Then slot the front of the theatre into place.
  21. And then press it flat.
  22. This is optional Cut a piece of fine tissue paper to size and glue it over the back of the stage and the back of the tabs for the scenes. Note – This is not always necessary – the paper I was using was very thin, and I wanted to reinforce it.
  23. Check that the scenes, and the front of the theatre still move, by (carefully) folding them forwards.
  24. Success !
  25. Step 3 Assemble the page
  26. There is only one page in this book. I cut two slits in the page first. Then I cut out the page and then I folded it in half.
  27. The top of the theatre looks like this. There is a tab folded under this edge. This edge has to flex. It has to be straight.
  28. Check that it is the same width as the front of the theatre - I cut an extra long tab ! There is no need for this tab to be narrow.
  29. Insert the tab into the slit on the page and check that they were exactly the same width, and fit neatly together. Make any adjustments now ! It is so much easier to cut things before they are glued into place.
  30. Glue the tab into place. It faces downwards – towards the crease in the middle of the page.
  31. Then check that the flap moves freely.
  32. There is now a choice. There are two orchestras. antique modern
  33. The orchestra sits on the thin white line here
  34. There are two ways fix the orchestra in place. ONE - fold over the very small tab on the orchestra and glue it into place, along the thin white line. TWO – Cut a slot to fit the tab on the orchestra. They both work – I think that cutting a slit makes a more robust book.
  35. If you cut a slot, you will need to cut a larger tab than is indicated in the pdf
  36. The stage is the last piece to be inserted into the page.
  37. Position the tab for the stage and make sure that the sides of the stage are aligned with the side of the page. The arrows show the direction of the tabs. Make sure there is a little bit of stage showing here
  38. Fold up the theatre and check that the edges were straight and that a tiny strip of the front of the theatre shows here
  39. When you are happy with the fit, glue the tab into place.
  40. Next the top of the stage is glued into place. The scenes fold back flat A little bit of glue on the flaps
  41. Fold the large top flap A down onto the gluey flaps B A B
  42. Then (very carefully) check that the stage folds up.
  43. Then apply glue along this flap. And fold the theatre up again. When it is opened up it should look like this.
  44. This flap keeps the front of the theatre straight and flat and allows it to be folded neatly.
  45. To glue the bottom of the theatre into place. Place a small amount of glue on the tabs (A and B) A B This is another book that I made. NOTE – there is no slot cut for the orchestra.
  46. Then fold the book up and press everything gently, but firmly, into place.
  47. Then open the book up again and let it dry.
  48. Step 4 Make the covers Bind the book (Press flat)
  49. When I make these, I cut the covers to fit each individual book – because they do vary fractionally. I will make up a blank cover that can be printed out. You may need to trim this in order to make it a neat fit for your own book.
  50. There are different ways to bind a book – some of what follows is not what you would usually be advised to do. I used 200 gsm paper for the book boards and in this photo I have glued one to the (100gsm) binding paper. The covers need to be a little bit wider than the page and a little bit shorter that the page. At this size, I usually cut the covers to be the same width as the book because the paper covering adds the little bit of extra width for me.
  51. Line the covers up on the edge of a ruler and glue the second cover into place, leaving a gap of 1/4 of an inch between the two covers.
  52. This gulley between the two covers will be the “right” width for books made with paper of up to 100gsm in weight. If you use thicker paper, you will probably need to make this gulley wider. You will need to increase the width of the additional strip I am about to cut too.
  53. Cut another strip of card. This is 1/16th of an inch (about 2.5mm) wide and the same length as the width of the covers. Glue this strip EXACTLY in the middle, in-between the two covers. It is not essential to have this thin strip. It makes a nice looking binding, but it is not essential.
  54. Trim the surrounding paper so that there is a border of about 1/8th of an inch (3 mm) around the boards. This is not the “proper” way to cut paper for binding a full – size book. I do it this way in miniature because I find the “proper” way usually makes the corners too thick an lumpy.
  55. Glue the paper on the long sides into place first, and made sure that it is securely pressed into the indentations.
  56. When all the edges are glued down and dry, begin to fold the creases into place.
  57. The cover looks like this when it is completed – I find using a blunt knife to score along the crease lines makes it easier to get nice crisp lines and folds.
  58. Now glue the page inside the covers. NOTE – The folded edge of the interior of the book needs to overlap the board of the cover at the base very slightly.
  59. It is easier to see in this full-size version where the cover boards stop in relation to the pages.
  60. Then glue the illustrations onto the cover. (You may need to trim these to fit your cover)
  61. All done
  62. Now press the book flat between two pieces of (ph neutral) card for at least 24 hours.
  63. Afterword I am not going to pretend that these books are easy to make. The main stages in putting them together break down to look like this – 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Print, score, fold, cut Assemble Stage Assemble Page Cut and Assemble Covers Fit interior into covers Finish with cover illustrations (Press flat) It looks like a simple process when it is reduced to a list, and in some ways it is a simple process. I think, however, that it is a little bit like running a cross country race – there are uneven levels of difficulty and unexpected pitfalls. If you have never done anything like this before, I would recommend pacing yourself. Do a little bit, have a break and then do a little bit more.