Introduction: Copper Guest Book & Photo Album

About: I can't help myself, when I come up with a creative idea I have to act!

I wanted my wedding guest book to be awesome. As such I spent months crafting each page individually.

When I was done my book was bulging at the seams. I needed to rebind it, and I wanted this to be special.

Step 1: Tools

I've popped some photos of some of the tools I used up there. Sorry if I don't know their correct names!

Here's a list of what I used:


Point punch,

Dremmel drill with brass buffing attachment,

Pillar Drill,

Weird chisel pointy ended thing,

Line cutter,

Glass edge sticky stuff smoother,

Rulers - long ones, short ones, all metal,

Set Square,

Mini Pizza cutter that's actually sharp,

Haberdashery punch,

Some other stuff that I've probably forgotten to write down and will show up in the step by steps, sorry!

Step 2: Materials

As well as your pages, you will need:

Copper - four pieces of A3 sized 3mm thick copper for this project. It cost £90+ which is a big spend, but it's beautiful and will last a long, long time.

Copper Glass edging tape - I used about 4 strips of short A4 side length. Don't know the cost, had it already.

Paper - this is thick, good quality craft paper with a pattern on it. Set me back £3ish for a roll from Hobbycraft.

Screw Posts - Brass, set me back under £10 for both and then some extra for the extensions I required.

Hinges - Brass again, not sure on cost, sorry.

Screws - Brass, to cap the holes in the hinges.

Bolts & nuts - Brass, £8, to bolt the hinges through the cover of the book.

Book Board - I used 2 x A3 sized pieces of good quality 4mm book board. I'd estimate it cost me less than £5.

Random bits of wood for jig making and hammering.

Screws, self tapping.

Work bench.

Step 3: Punching Holes for Your Screw Posts.

I used a punch generally found in the haberdashery section of a good store.

You need to decide how far apart you want your screw posts to be. Typically I didn't like a standard hole punch's distance apart, so I had to do them all individually.

Set up a jig using pieces of wood to make a frame and use screws to give marks on the card as to where to punch. This way the holes were in (mostly) the same position every time. Photo of jig to follow.

Step 4: Cutting and Folding Your Copper

At first I used tin shears to cut the smaller portions of the copper. Eventually though it became apparent this project would need something bigger. The bigger cuts were made using a table top circle saw with a multi use blade.

I then cut the book board to size using the pizza cutter like device (remember, measure twice, cut once).

Using a ruler and the pointy chisel tool pictured I scored along the size of the board on the copper.

Using a workbench for our grip the copper was first bent to a 90 degree angle on the marked lines. Once this angle was achieved the book board was placed into the copper.

A piece of wood and a hammer were then used to gently bend the copper into shape without marking it. You place the wood on the copper and then hammer the wood. This also ensures the whole piece of copper bends.

Step 5: Buffing and Punching and Making Pretty

This step is purely for the aesthetics of the piece. If you want a different finish to your copper, this is when you should do it.

I didn't really want to become obsessed with a mirror finish to the copper. With the tools I had it would have been a steep challenge and I had other things in mind.

First I put a brass wire buffing tool into the copper and, after a few practice runs on off cuts, decided on a circular pattern all over it. This was just done by hand so it's not a perfect pattern, but I still like the effect it gives.

I then used the hammer and punch tool to nearly punch through the copper at half inch intervals all around the copper. This will help it stay put on the board as well as looking awesome and pretty industrial.

Finally I covered the inside of the board, where the copper edges were visible, with the paper and PVA glue. The paper's metallic effect blended in really nicely with the copper of the cover.

Step 6: Hinges

The hinges were already prepped by soldering the brass screws into the holes. The plan was to then solder and use araldite to glue them into place on the cover.

Wrong! Turns out the cover was too heavy for the araldite to hold the hinges on while they still functioned. Bolts were purchased to be used instead.

Holes were carefully drilled (using the pillar drill) into the cover (with the board in it) and then pushed the bolts through the cover, putting the nuts on the back. Because of the nature of screw post binding it didn't matter that the nuts took a little bit of extra space.

Using the trusty Dremmel the ends of the bolts were trimmed to meet the edges of the nuts.

Step 7: Add Your Extensions and Pages

Here we go guys, the last leg of the task!

I did this with a little help from my Dad (he has all the tools I needed!) in about 2 solid days work. We took breaks and stretched it over 4.

You'll need to drill the holes, using that pillar drill again, through the copper and boards for your front and back cover. Make sure your drill bit is the same size, or slightly larger, than the posts you've chosen.

Slide your posts through the holes and then screw in the extension pieces to the height you need. I needed a BIG post, so I used 10 extension pieces in total.

Start adding your pages, one by one I'm afraid. Keeps it neat. Press down your pages completely before moving on to the next. When you reach the top put the cover on and screw in the caps of the posts.

Voila! Your book is complete. At the same time I also made a little photo album to match. I've got a few decorations to add to it, but I've not picked them up from the shop yet. (Brass corner pieces normally used on photo frames)