The art of book binding is an ancient craft, but actually it is not very difficult to do and with almost no practice you can get really awesome results. If you are on the lookout for fun craft projects or quick ways of making nice presents and gifts, then this could be the project for you.

I know that there are other Instructables on the art of book binding but this project is meant to be a simple quick project that will give a very acceptable finish, and a book that looks like it has been professionally made, yet without the need for any special equipment.

All you will need is:

Some paper
Minimum really is about 32 A4 or US Letter sized sheets, to make a half A4 (half US Letter sized book), although smaller books can be made as can ones with more pages. You can use tracing paper, thick or thin paper and of course colored or even preprinted or written on paper.

Some glue
You will need PVA (Elmer's White glue) or a rubber fabric adhesive (in the UK that is called Copydex, perhaps someone could tell me what it's called in the US), (a glue gun if you have it, would help with one of the stages, but is not mandatory).

Some stiff cardboard or corrugated (fluted) cardboard

Some fabric or leather
Any old stuff will do for the cover. I have used the fabric from some old pairs of trousers that were being thrown out (actually nothing gets thrown out in my house, just put to one side for later use). But you could use a bit of leather, some old curtains, cushion covers...etc etc, I'm sure you get the idea.

Step 1: Stack your paper neatly in (at least 4) piles of 8 sheets

You are going to be binding your paper in eight sheet folios. Of course you could do more or less. I have found eight sheets to be a good number. because you are folding it in half each sheet is going to make four pages of your book, so this eight sheet stack is going to make 32 pages.

Your book should have at least four of these eight sheet folios which will therefore make 128 pages. (Apologies to all the maths wizards out there).

You can use just plain paper or paper upon which you have already printed a header and footer (remember to get this the right way round and remember that there will be 4 headers and four footers per sheet of paper.

If you want to mix in different papers then remember that they will appear further into the book as well. (don't worry, this all becomes obvious as we go through the project).
<p>Nice Instructable. Fun to make!</p>
How would you bind 8.5x11 size pages into a full size journal? Could you staple them together in folios then bind the according to the instructions or would you need to use paper that when folded is the equivalent to that size?. I want to make my own planner but prefer full sizes.
<p>You would need to use 11x17 paper to make a book that's 8.5x11. Yes...this is my second attempt to comment on this. I did math wrong the first time! :)</p>
<p>hi, ok so i'd like to make already printed on paper into a book for my friend, but i'm not sure how to make it so the pages are in order so if you could tell me any way to do that i'd greatly appreciate it :)</p>
<p>Aileen,</p><p>There are a few ways! I used this program to do it: <a href="http://www.quantumelephant.co.uk/bookbinder/bookbinder.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.quantumelephant.co.uk/bookbinder/bookbi...</a></p><p>The term to describe it is imposition, and there are a lot of programs and ways to do it. Look around and see what works!</p>
<p>I took a bookmaking class a few years ago and we made a &quot;rough draft&quot;--a miniature version with all of the folios simulated in small, unbound paper. Then you can number the draft pages and unfold them to see what order they go in.</p>
This is a great question. I won't have this problem since I will be doing a poetry book and it's one per page. I have a few long poems but it's not very aesthetically pleasing to split them up so they will go on pages 8-9 where I know the center fold is :) this won't help with stories though. I think you can use Microsoft publisher for your purposes. It does bifold printing I'm sure it goes to 8 pages. Not sure! I used to print church programs and the easter one is long. Publisher I would say!
Thanks so much!
<p>Or you could put together loose sheets into a perfect bound book.</p>
Microsoft Word has a function that lets you paginate properly for binding. I described it further up in the comments, so have a quick trawl back through them and I'm sure you'll find it.
<p>I really appreciated the tutorial, i sped through it to feel the process and figure out what works and what doesn't . Thanks.</p>
What exactly is the stiff card that you're using for the cover because I haven't been able to find the right material for it. I've looked everywhere.
You are looking for mounting board. Any art shop should be able to supply it, or even a picture framing shop might be able to let you have some. I used the stiff board that was a backing for a sketch pad
It's called rubber cement in the US. You can get it from any craft store anywhere in almost any size you want. I even have a travel size one for my desk.
Amazing! Thank you so much for this! :D
<p>Lovely instructable!</p>
<p>Thanks for this instructable !</p>
Finished my first book this evening! Thanks for the tutorial!
Just printed out my signatures for 96 page book. Fingers crossed it comes out alright! Thanks for the tutorial. It's one of the best I've found for creating a hardcover book!
Nice and thanks for the kind words. Hope it all goes well!
I want to be the cover to be something that I've drawn. Is there any kind of special paper or something that anyone would recommend for this?
nice notebook!
<p>About the spine-cover distance, how big of one should there be?</p>
<p>thanks for all the info! so here's my question. Do you think it would work to simply glue 24 sheets of 300 lb paper along one edge and then follow your instructions for covers, binder, etc.? I have 24 small paintings (already done) that I would like to make into a book. Thanks!</p>
<p>It would work, yes, but the finished book would be more fragile than the book produced by following the instructions here. When you bound each folio with staples as shown here, you're basically ensuring that no single page can fall out unless the entire folio falls out--and since the folded edge of the folio is quite wide, there's more surface area for the glue to adhere to. But the folio folding and stapling is just to reinforce the finished product. You certainly can bind single sheets. Just make sure the edges are lined up well (clamp them) when you apply the spine.</p>
Can you use something other than fabric/leather for the cover? Like wrapping paper or wallpaper or is it best just to use fabric?
<p>perhaps </p>
I think you can use anything because the body of the book is held to the cover by the fabric glued from the spine to the hard covers. Wall paper is a great idea, but make sure you wet it out&nbsp; with water and even watered down white glue becuase it can be quite stiff / thick. You could even use embossed paper then if you sprayed the cover and treated it with gold rubbing paste it could look a bit like this: http://www.dadcando.com/default_MAKING.asp?project=SecretBoxBook&amp;catagory=TheDragonry&amp;lhs=TheDragonry which is another project of mine on dadcando.<br />
hey kapitan scarlet im kinda new so mabey you could give me some pointers on making instructables cuz urs look AWESOME! i was also wondering like faint said but could you use tacky paper??? that is readily availible to me but I dont know if it will work.
This is how I make my instructables: I use a vector drawing package and I explain the process here: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-illustrate-your-own-Instructable/ <br> <br>It's not difficult, but it does take time. <br> <br>I don't think you could use tacky paper, but you could try perfect binding if you don't want to fold the pages. Perfect binding is when you get all the paper together in a neat stack and then glue one edge of it. This is how nearly all novels are bound when they are in paperback form.
Thanks Kapitan! I have a friend that's really into mideival stuff, so I'm gonna make one of these for him using red felt for the cover, and &quot;inlay&quot; it with &quot;jewls&quot; (aka flat marbles) and some silky material for a strap that keeps it from coming open by acident. Might not be done anytime soon, though. I'm working on something big for school.
&nbsp;WEll i guess thats why you can experiment and tll us! but i guess if it wasnt just amazingly thin you could work it. If nothing else tape the wrappingpaper to another sheet of paper. then glue it on.
<p>To answer the Irish boy just divide the measurements </p>
<p>Brilliantly explained and humorous! </p>
<p>Is there a way to make this book but smaller?</p>
<p>Use pages of appropriate size. No other way I see.</p>
<p>Yes! It's pretty simple. What I've done is taken regular printer paper, and then I cut in in half. I then used those halves to make the folios of my book. Basically, reduce the overall size of the paper that you're using. I hope that's not too complicated/hard to understand (I'm bad at explaining things) :)</p>
<p>Technically, there is 126 use-able pages since the first one and the last one will be glued to the lining paper. (Sorry I'm a bit of a Math Nazi)</p>
<p>I hope this works out. I have an excel program that I based on 10 sheets. first signature is 39 pages and the rest are 40. </p><p>For printing from Word I set up my margins to mirrored. Landscape orientation. 8 1/2 X 14 (legal) page size. </p><p>From the print page, I have the page setup for two pages per sheet. print one side. Then I choose the custom range. print page 39 first, than going my the list select 38,1 for odd pages first. then 2,37 for the even page. </p><p>By doing the pages that way for printing it keeps them aligned correctly.</p>
This is a fabulous resource! For those of you who would like to do a printed book, here's the line up for the first 8 page folio. I did this mathmatically, so theoretically the other 3 folios should line up the same way but I'll online the first: <br>I designated each of the 8 pages A-H and number each side before folding 1-4 in the upper corner of the page (1&amp;2 on first side, 3&amp;4 on backside). Then folded, the order came out as predicted so I think this works: <br>A2, A3, B2, B3, C2, C3, D2, D3, E2, E3, F2, F3, G2, G3, H2, H3, H4, H1, G4, G1, F4, F1, E4, E1, D4, D1, C4, C1, B4, B1, A4, A1 <br> <br>I've been unsuccessful locating any templates out there so far, so my plan is to set things up in landscape (2 columns) with margins enough to accomodate the spine and trimming and save the blank file as a template. Write the book (I'm writing down childhood memories for my sister for christmas) and make sure I don't go over the allotted pages including a title page and forward. Then copy the pages individually in the above order leaving a blank spot at the bottom for page numbers (remember even letters the page number should be on the right and odd numbered letters on the left). <br> <br>Then print it all out front and back. It's a lot of work, so if anyone has an easier method, please let me know!!
<p>I use this software to do it. Very quick n efficient :)</p><p><em><a href="http://www.quantumelephant.co.uk/bookbinder/bookbinder.html" rel="nofollow">www.quantumelephant.co.uk/<strong>bookbinder</strong>/<strong>bookbinder</strong>.html</a></em></p>
<p>I made this for a journal during winter break and absolutely love it! It was so easy to follow the steps and all of the materials were easy to find. Great instructable! </p>
I love this! We r gonna have some of our friends come over and do it as a group project! Thanks for sharing!
<p>I had an old Catholic Bible that was originally a hardcover one, and I decided to make it a leather covered one instead. I sued a premium leather that I had since I already do leatherwork, and cut the corners so as to prevent any extra bulk and to make it lay easier. I also used some wood and big pieces of marble as weights, but am getting ready to make an actual screw press type bookbinding press now. Thanks for the great Instructable!</p>
My friend thought I bought it
brilliant... top job!

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Bio: Eldest of five, son of two doctors, 10 years in Graphic Design and marketing, then retrained as a Biomedical Materials Engineer, don't ask me ... More »
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