Instructables

Binding The Whole Ream Cardboard Covered Sketchbook

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Step 1: Materials List

Cardboard for the cover. Acrylic paints, one ream (500 sheets of paper), one book spine made of wood (see step 5), a specialty glue called padding adhesive, needle and thread, polyurethane varnish.

Step 2: Tools Needed

Picture of Tools Needed
Various paper and cardboard working tools: cutters, rulers, scissors, craft knife, clamps, weights, stencil brush, etc.

Step 3: Cut Cover To Size

I made the cover out of one piece of cardboard and it is just large enough to cover the ream of paper, including the spine area.

Step 4: Glue Paper Together

I clamped the ream of paper to immobilize the sheets,and made sure the paper lined up exactly. Then padding adhesive is liberally applied to edge and allowed to dry.

Step 5: Cut Spine From Wood and Drill To Accept Thread

Pine is used, but you could use hardwood, certainly. After cutting to the size needed, about 8in x 1/4in x 1 and 1/8th inch, holes are drilled in the edges, all the way through. this will be attached to the book with thread and needle.

Step 8: Paint Cover For A Leather Look

Picture of Paint Cover For A Leather Look
To get a leather look, I used acrylic paint, picking the colors of burnt sienna, asphaltum, parchment, and black. The water based paint may cause the book to curl a little, so I put a weight on top of the book and let it dry that way. It came out pretty straight.

Step 9: Line Inside of Cover With Cardstock

I chose to line my book with black cardstock, but of course any color will do. To avoid any shrinkage or "crinkling" of paper, I used spray adhesive.
 
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I like it. I can't recall ever seeing a binding style quite like this! A bit out of reach for me, without a drill press, though.

So, how has the book held up, after a few years?
bruno130695 years ago
Get some tractor feed, zig-zag fold printer paper. Tear off the perforated strip on one edge, separate the zig-zag into individual sheets, and then stitch it together using the holes on the other side. This would make a book that you could easily remove pages as needed. Nice I-ble!
Creativeman (author)  bruno130695 years ago
That's a great idea bruno! thanks. Cman
I have about 2,000 pages of the stuff in a box in my home office from an Apple Dot Matrix Printer. I might make myself a scrapbook sometime. ;-)
I'm working on a sketchbook made from that Apple D.M.P. paper. The tractor feed strip has 22 holes. I don't want to stitch through every single hole, but I want it evenly spaced with both end holes stitched. I subtracted 1 to get 21, which gives me a spacing of 3 - stitch one and skip 2. Both end holes are stitched. And it keeps the box of paper from going into straight into the garbage. :-D Thanks for the inspiration, Cman!
So, when and how do drill the edge holes in the paper?
Creativeman (author)  realgenius655 years ago
Anytime after the glue dries....drill press my man. Cman
Very nice finish!!!
Perhaps step 6 should have been added to step 3. Alot of folks maybe confused with the process otherwise.
stephNY5 years ago
Fantastic Instructable! I'm going to remove the pages from an old book that was headed for the trash and turn it into a sketchbook, and this is the best instruction on basic binding for a thick book. I would suggest using something other than corrugated cardboard for the cover, though. I carry my sketchbooks in a backpack, and stuff I've made from corrugated always winds up flattening up and fraying. Gift Box cardboard or premade pad cardboard would be a good choice. Heck, a trip to the dollar store will provide a lot of cardboard choices and some great cheap glues, too! Many Thanks!
Creativeman (author)  stephNY5 years ago
Thank you. Cman
BTW, I finished my new sketchbook, inspired by your 'ible. I have no idea what "Padding Adhesive" is, so I used "Liquid Nails", and it seems a very sturdy bind! Without a drill press, my drill holes were a bit off, too, but everything hides under thick end papers and a little glue. Many thanks, I wouldn't have done it without your inspiration, and I've done like, a dozen drawings in the 2 or 3 days since I made "MY OWN" sketchbook!
Creativeman (author)  stephNY5 years ago
Way to go steph! Would love to see a picture....got any? you can post them right here if you do. Cman
j-orr5 years ago
Alternatively you can use two strips of Davey board from the back of a legal pad or notebook. There is no drilling into the side for the spine. The Davey board is a little lighter and just as sturdy as the pine. I'm going to try this project as I can always use a new blank book.
Creativeman (author)  j-orr5 years ago
j-orr: what is D-board? Cman
Davey board is a solid, or non-corrugated, piece of cardboard that is used in modern bookbinding. Consider the back of a spiral notebook; that is Davey board. It is used because it's a sturdy material for bookbinding.

Here is an example of Davey board: http://www.johnnealbooks.com/prod_detail_list/69
Scammah5 years ago
Stupid question but how do you vote on stuff or am I too late?
Creativeman (author)  Scammah5 years ago
Actually, you're too early....voting hasn't opened yet. See rules of contest for answers. Cman. Thanks.
JohnMac5 years ago
You sir are very talented.
Scammah5 years ago
Just amazing I love it.
Awesome!!!! Im voting for you and +5.0!
Ninzerbean5 years ago
It's hard to believe the lettering is not 3D - really well done!
Creativeman (author)  Ninzerbean5 years ago
Thanks NB...Cman
wenpherd5 years ago
cardboard rocks and book binding does to.
DebH575 years ago
HOO! HOO! Congrats on the feature!
DaveNJ5 years ago
C'man - These are so great you have to slow down. I will never be able to try them all! Only kidding. Your ideas and procedures are top notch. It is a pleasure to read through them. I really like this idea, but I probably will make a 100 page sketchbook rather than a whole ream.
Creativeman (author)  DaveNJ5 years ago
Thanks Dave: I probably will slow down....sometimes it seems the well runs dry which means I have to do something else! take care. Cman
DebH575 years ago
Oh I like this one CMan. I have been looking for a way of putting together my recipes to hand out little cookbooks to family and friends. 5.
Creativeman (author)  DebH575 years ago
Thank you Deb! It would work on a smaller scale. Cman