Corners have always been a challenge for me. I think it’s one of those skills you’re either really good at, or you’re always trying to get it just right. When I do get a perfect corner it is a highly satisfying feeling.
For most of my bookbinding career I’ve always done the "45 degree cut a board thickness away" treatment (do the top turn-in, tuck in the little extra at the foredge, and then do the side turn-in). But, when I was at Paper and Book Intensive a few years ago taking a class with Gabrielle Fox (my first teacher when I was in college) she showed me a slight variation.
First: make the 45 degree cut one board's thickness away from the corner.
After making your 45 degree cut, make another cut parallel to the top edge of the board.
After you turn-in the top, fold the little tab down along the edge of the board (much like a box corner).
Then you do your side turn-in. The result is a much cleaner and sharper corner. It just goes to show you how you can always learn from your teachers, even after you become a teacher yourself!
Another useful corner, which sometimes goes unappreciated, is the Library Corner, sturdy and straightforward, with no cutting involved.
Glue down the corner of your cloth centered evenly along the board. Crease the cloth along the edges to make sure it is well adhered.
Then, simply turn-in the sides. A little shaping and pressing make this a handsome, workhorse corner.
Written by Deborah Howe.