Picture of Make a leather spined hardbound book
This instructable will show how to make a good looking hard cover book that you will have no problems displaying on you shelf or giving as a gift. The process has been derived from the process of making a proper professionally bound book.

I am a big fan of great looking books and sometimes I like to bind computer printouts so they look good on my shelf. Obviously simple changes can be made to embellish your book, however this is up to you (I'll explain a few that may be useful to you).

This particular process requires:

4 x A5 sketch pads
2mm thick grey card
about 0.5mm white card for the spine structure
leather (or similar) for the spine on the outside
A strip of cotton to help bind the pages
Masking tape (18mm wide)
Glue (PVA) is usually the best as when it dries it remains flexible
Contact adhesive for glueing the leather
and nice paper for the cover.
(Also other stuff if you want to make it extra cool)

Some tools that may also help will be:

clamps of various sizes
a staple gun to staple pages together
a craft knife
a pencil
a steel ruler
and I use a heap of old encyclopedias to press all of the newly glued stuff.
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Step 1: Cut and form the card covers

Picture of Cut and form the card covers
1. Get the 2mm grey card (or whatever thickness card you have) and line up the spines of the sketch pads to one edge, measure around the A5 sketch pads and add about 8 - 9mm to top and lower side, 15mm to the front of the book. In this example I have doubled up the card (I reckon it feels nicer to have a thick cover - glue together to make 4mm each, if this is the case)

2. To make the leather spine sit flush with the finished product, we need to "chisel out" the areas of the cover that will have a spine. I have decided to have a 50mm spine of leather on the cover. Score along a line 50mm from the spine edge. With the cover on edge score a line about 1-2mm into the grey card (this will differ depending on the thickness of the leather you have).

3. Chisel out this volume of card on the cover and sides also.

4. When the leather folds over to the underside of the cover, you will need to recess these places also. Cut about 10mm into these underside areas.

add a step... Sand the sides of the card, rounded or chamfered, so they are smooth and nicer to hold.
yhung13 years ago
so beautiful! thank you for the tutorial.
wenpherd5 years ago
where do you find those patterns? oh and this awesomely amazingly superb
jamieicecream (author)  wenpherd5 years ago
 The cover paper was found at a local craft shop. I think it may have been in the wedding section?
TorinMiasma5 years ago
This is a wonderful instructable. I only wish that the photos had some information in them as well. I'm starting on binding some of my old sketchbooks as of today. How long did it take you to do this?
jamieicecream (author)  TorinMiasma5 years ago
 I do agree with you regarding the comments on the pictures. I reckon I'll do this soon. The process from start to finish took 4 days part time. But if you were doing this full time, including drying time of glue could be about 1.5 - 2 days. Good idea to bind sketch books together. If their spines are already glued or fixed together, this process will be shorter and you'll get a crisp edged product at the end of it! good luck. 
This is fabulous. I have lots of readers who are interested in book making, I'll be linking to this.
lemonie5 years ago
A good book-bind is always nice to see. L
John Smith5 years ago