Introduction: How to Bind Your Own Hardback Book - My Results!!

Picture of How to Bind Your Own Hardback Book - My Results!!

Here are my results of going through the How to bind your own Hardback Book instructable. I'm surprised at how well it turned out!

This instructable is simply a way for me to note the differences between what the original instructable suggested and what I actually did. Also, I hope it will show that their instructable does really turn out very nice..

Step 1: I Used Single Sheets Folded Over

Picture of I Used Single Sheets Folded Over

I don't have a long arm stapler so I chose to use single sheets of paper folded once. That way I didn't need to staple any sheets together and I didn't need to trim any excess or misaligned folio edges (as in their step 6) because there isn't a sizing issue when folding only one sheet.

Step 2: Gluing the Pages Together

Picture of Gluing the Pages Together

I didn't like the idea of using weak little paper clips to hold my pages together, so I got out one of my woodworking clamps. Also, I thought it would be much easier to glue the pages together - then after it dried, glue them to the spine fabric (their step 5).

Step 3: Trimming Excess Glue From Spine Fabric

Picture of Trimming Excess Glue From Spine Fabric

Here I glued the newly bound pages to the piece of spine fabric. I used my XACTO knife to trim off the excess hot glue. I got a bit of paper in a few places.

Step 4: Creating Cover Boards

Picture of Creating Cover Boards

I found some Elmer's Display Boards at the store. I chose the smallest one, because it has thinner cardboard but still felt strong enough.

Step 5: Finishing Cover Boards and Spine

Picture of Finishing Cover Boards and Spine

Here I'm sizing up the cover fabric and gluing the cover and spine boards into place.

Make sure the glue is VERY thin. Notice the first picture of the completed cover? See the glue streaks that seeped through. After seeing that, I made sure I used much less glue on the other side.

Step 6: Gluing the Pages and Lining Onto the Cover

Picture of Gluing the Pages and Lining Onto the Cover

Here I'm gluing the pages onto the cover and gluing on the lining. I redid the top and bottom edges several times (adding lots more glue) because of the stress those spots were getting (compared to the rest of it).

I used standard construction paper for the lining. I cut it to size and folded it in half. I glued one side onto the paper first. When that dried, I glued the other side to the cover board.

I inserted four blank sheets of paper into the book before and after the first and last pages just in case any glue seeped through. Then, I let it sit under a nice stack of books for an hour or so to make sure the lining and spine fabric glue sets really well.

Step 7: Completed Book

Picture of Completed Book

Here are a couple of shots of the completed book.

I also uploaded a video to YouTube that shows the completed book. It is located here.


adelekejackson made it! (author)2015-06-02

Mystery Girl

This is the best easiest way to bind your own book. Thanks for showing me how i can bind my own.

jrh065 (author)2012-02-11

Finished a journal for my fiancee last night. She loved it! I think we're going to end up making our own guest book for the wedding now. Thanks!

kodybrown (author)jrh0652012-02-24

that is awesome! it looks great! thank you for posting a picture!

jenmariemolloy (author)kodybrown2015-01-28

How did you glue the pages together?

andym707 (author)2012-02-10

I use a 'gel' type fabric glue for cloth, it's less wet, containing less water and found it doen't create steaks. that's before I switched to permanent spray glue, which turned out to be perfect. No need to spread it as long as you evenly spray it. The version made by 3M worked best.

sourkats (author)2009-12-11

 How do you decide how much space to put between the cardboard pieces?  This looks really nice! I look forward to trying it myself!

AdamVanMeter (author)sourkats2011-10-13

A good rule of thumb is this - make the gaps about twice as wide as the thickness of your boards.

I know it's been a couple years since you asked, but maybe someone will get some help from my answer anyhow.

kodybrown (author)sourkats2009-12-26

I pretty much guessed!! I held it together and folded it up trying to figure out the best spot.. not too close, not too far apart..

ricecakeh (author)2010-12-02

How long did it take you to make this?

kodybrown (author)ricecakeh2010-12-03

It's been a while, but I think it was around a few hours. A lot of time was waiting for the glue to dry etc.

NikkiCola (author)2009-01-24

nice tutorial! I am definantly going to use this, but I have a question. the size of my book will be 8.5" x 11" and I have no intentions of folding the pages. how can I create a spine without folding the pages?

mbear (author)NikkiCola2010-09-03

I don't know if you still want to do this, but the "official" term for what you're looking to do is perfect binding. Basically you glue the book block (the pages) into the cover. It's mostly used with paperback books.

lveith (author)NikkiCola2009-03-03

Glue: clamp the pages together so that the edges are even and brush glue onto the edge that you want glued (the usual suggestion for glue in bookbinding is PVA because it's flexible and strong). For added stability--once the glue dries, chose two cover sheets and fold a piece of paper over the binding and the coversheets. Glue and let dry.
hope it's helpful--for more complete instructions I would try Bookcraft by Heather Weston

DAVEDIY (author)2009-11-23

How do binders get that crease in the front and back covers near the spine where it bends? Is that something that just wears in automatically or is it something that has to be pressed in or seemed - I don't know? In some thick books the crease is apparent when new? Also, can anyone recommend a good sight to build some basic home shop tools to clamp signatures and sew spines etc? I'm pretty handy and want to make them with scrap wood.

EmmettO (author)DAVEDIY2010-07-10

From what I've read, some use a bonefolder to make the crease others put the book in a vise while the glue is drying and when the pages spring back that makes the crease. Maybe some do both.

There are some instructions here

ne of the pictures (in step 8) seems to indicate it has something to do with a piece of fabric and how it is laid in the spine.

greenbeanmusicmachine (author)2009-05-11

looks great.


budlix (author)2009-12-23

good job dude!!!!
I´m looking forward to my try... :-)

kodybrown (author)budlix2009-12-26


JamesRPatrick (author)2009-08-09

I used your Instructable on my final exam project in English and it saved my grade. Thanks a lot!

kodybrown (author)JamesRPatrick2009-10-01

That's cool! Did you write a paper then bind it or something? I'd love to see it!

JamesRPatrick (author)kodybrown2009-10-01

I wrote a field guide identifying racial stereotypes in America. I wrote it as a satire against racists, but most people just thought I was racist. Then my teacher was like, "This is awesome!" so he kept it for his future classes and I didn't get a picture of it. Oh, and at the end I used Gorilla tape on the spine.

Mazrocon (author)2009-04-20

Cool instructable, i'm trying to bind and sell my own book in small local book stores. Using this tutorial, do you think it would be a professional and efficient of way of binding and selling the book? Cause I don't want it to look like it's homemade...

kodybrown (author)Mazrocon2009-10-01

I think it could look very cool! Mine does have a home-made style, but if you chose the right material for the cover (such as a microfiber or thin leather) and something nice for the inside cover it could be made to look very old-style and 'hand-made' as opposed to home-made..

kp77angel (author)2009-10-01

What glue did you use or would just about any glue/pva do? The result looks terrific though, well done. I'll try mine now!

kodybrown (author)kp77angel2009-10-01

I used Elmer's glue, but any PVA-type would be fine, I think!

rpjamess1 (author)2008-11-22

From the look of the book (compared to your hand) you created a 5.5x8.5 book. That would explain folding the pages. However, do you know what would be the effect of not using folded pages? Printing companies actually trim away the fold before roughing the ends for gluing. Wouldn't the same process work with an at-home binding method?

kodybrown (author)rpjamess12009-10-01

I think so.. I don't know how strong they will hold compared to folded sheets; it could be better or worse!?

stephenniall (author)2009-01-29

I think im gonna use the first few steps and Make the internals but im gonna make the hardback out of a notebook !

meshelluh (author)2008-12-28

what kind of glue?

froscull (author)meshelluh2009-01-29

i used glue from the gluestick that you put in gluegun

munchman (author)2008-11-26

This is awesome. Looks like a bought one. I will have to use this to make a notebook or something.

thythy (author)2008-11-22

why is there white and brown cardboards? are those two different things? or is that just one display board?

rpjamess1 (author)thythy2008-11-22

My guess would be that the brown is the back side of the white display board. I've never used it, but that would make sense.

kodybrown (author)rpjamess12008-11-24

Yup, that's correct. 8)

thythy (author)rpjamess12008-11-23


theRIAA (author)2007-09-03

i dont know how hot glue will hold up, i would have used wood glue or something... you could have even sanded that edge with a high grit machine and it would have held up forever. I do think that book binding companies use hot glue, BUT, that is in a big, superheated vat, and it's much more liquidy than from a glue gun. let us see a picture of the book opened, and you bending the spine all around, eh? it looks awesome though.

kodybrown (author)theRIAA2007-09-07

You're right! The hot glue didn't hold very well. I gave the book to my 9 year old daughter to start using as a journal and after the first day, the first two pages started coming off. To be honest, I'm really surprised how well, the Elmer's glue is holding in the other parts.. I have some more pictures bending the spine, etc. I'll see if I can add them to the instructable..

Jonny Katana (author)kodybrown2008-06-04

What I did was to glue together the folded edges with Elmer's (using something like the pictured clamp rig). Once this was dry, I took the spine cloth and hot-glued it onto the spine with a zig-zag of hot glue. Once the whole thing had cooled, I slowly took the (still hot) side of the glue gun's conical point and ran it down the spine cloth. This re-melted the glue, which then flowed all through the fibers of the fabric and left a shiny, strong glue joint visible on the outside of the spine cloth. PVA might hold up better, but this is just an option for more effectively using hot glue.

rpjamess1 (author)Jonny Katana2008-11-22

This seems like a very effective method. Another way to reheat the glue, to avoid getting any glue on the outside of the fabric, would be to use a soldering iron with a flat plate tip. It would melt the glue and provide and even, flat heat to allow the glue to flow and spread more evenly.

abadfart (author)kodybrown2008-10-03

Elmer's glue is close to what binding company's use

thythy (author)2008-11-22

difference please....:D

VRS (author)2008-05-23

The best glue to use is SOBO

patricksanford (author)VRS2008-05-23

what's "SOBO"?

It's a craft glue you can find at wal-mart with the other craft adhesives. It's one of the few glues that truly dries clear, is flexible, and easy to clean up before it dries. Excellent stuff.

Lithium Rain (author)2008-05-23

This is nice, but I would suggest merging it with your earlier instructable. Great job though, it looks very impressive, very professional!

vixenfinder (author)2007-12-22

Can you use any kind of fabric? What is "spine fabric?"

kodybrown (author)vixenfinder2008-02-19

(sorry I wasn't notified of this post) I used the same fabric for the outside and spine. I just picked some generic inexpensive material from the local fabric store. I don't even know what type it is! I would just pick something not too thin that you like the pattern!

Scammah (author)2008-02-14

This has to be one of the best so far. I have done one book so far and used a cut up filing folder as the cover. Anyways I find that the Clear tacky glue has held up very well to constant uses on my book and i use it a lot in my shop.

Thrillpool (author)2008-01-05

I used cardboard that was a little to thick and I found that it screwed up the measuring of the spine. So I would make sure to use something fairly thin like this display board.

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