Introduction: Bookbinding

I love Books. The paradise should be like a library.

And I write diary, so I need Books with empty pages.

Let’s make a Book!

Step 1: Material

  • Paper DIN A4 (29,7cm x 21cm)
  • Bone folder (Optional)
  • Needles
  • Pins
  • Sewing thread
  • Nail polish or glue (optional
  • clamps
  • kitchen roll
  • Scissors
  • Cutter
  • Lineal
  • Pencil
  • Gauze bandage
  • Wood glue
  • Brush
  • Cardboard (3mm)
  • Colored Paper
  • A lot of time and more coffee ;-)

Step 2: Fold the Paper

The paper is foldet in half. As a result, the DIN A4 format becomes DIN A5 (21cm x 14,8cm).

There are always 5 foldet pages. This creates thin booklets, with 20 pages each.

There shouldn’d be more pages in the booklet.

Depending on how thick the book should be or how many pages it should have, booklets are made.

I have a total of 7 booklets, so 140 pages.

Step 3: Punching Holes

Open a booklet. Make sure that the pages are exactly one inside each other.

I made a small template to see the distance (3,5cm) between the holes. Take the pins and stick them exactly into the fold. It’s important, that the pins passes exactly through all pages. You can carefully correct this if it goes wrong. But also it can happen that a new booklet has to be folded.

My holes are 3,5cm apart. The more holes you make, the thighter you can connect the booklets (next step). With me it had to go fast (birthday gift), therefore 5 holes.

Step 4:

Step 5: Sew Booklets

Take the sewing needle and thread the yarn. The length of the yarn I never do so exactly. Here I took 3,5x the height of the sides, so 73,5cm.

Pull out one of the outer pins and carry the thread through the booklet from outside to inside. Then remove the next pin and sew from inside out. Just keep it that way until you have also remove the last pin. Then sew back to the beginning. That’s were you knot the threads.

It’s important that you don’t sew too loosely, but also not too tightly. It is best to pull the thread up briefly at one point, if it jumps back immediately or does not make small cracks in the paper, it is right.

I then take nail polish, which I apply to the knots so that nothing comes off.

Do not cut the threads.

Step 6: Sew Booklets Together

When you have sewn the individual booklets, they must be tight together.

Place the booklets exactly on top of each other and fix them with the staples. To prevent these from leaving marks in the paper, a folded kitchen roll is placed between the the paper and the clips.

Take one of the threads you sewed the booklet with and knot the individual threads together one by one. It can be a little bit tricky. Sew the thread from side to side. Then sew back in the second part. Fix it with nail polish.

It is important, that the booklets are as close to each other as possible. This way you avoid unattractive caps in the finished book.

Step 7: Clue the Gauze

The book block is now ready. So that it can be attached to the cover later, put a piece of gauze (or an other thin fabric) on the back of the book block where you have sewn. The fabric should last about 3-4cm.

Take the brush and glue to stick the fabric on. The wood glue bonds better with the paper than normal crafts glue. Make sure that only the back of the book is really glue.

Step 8: The Cover (part 1)

While the gauze is drying, the cover is made.

For this you use thicker cardboard (I take 3mm). The book is 21cm x 14,7cm, the cardboard must be slightly larger. You also have to measure the thickneth of the book block, because you still need a strip of cardboard for the back of the book.

For the DIN A5 format, which my paper has, I count 1cm in high (0,5cm above and below) an 0,5cm in width. Than the strip is 1cm in size. You can see that on the sketch.

Cut out the parts carefully.

Step 9: The Cover (part 2)

Now you need fabric for the cover. You can also use leather or paper.

I took an old pair of jeans an put the cardboard on it. You have to make sure that there is about 1mm-2mm of space between the front/back and the piece for the back. This make it easy to open the book later.

The fabric must be larger than the cardboard. I’ve taken roughly 2cm on all sides here. Cut and re-apply the cardboard. With wood glue the parts are now glued.

I place the cover between two wooden panels which I attach with clamps.

It than has to dry properly for several hours.

(If you want to go faster, you can use an iron. The heat quickly sticks the fabric with the glue to the cardboard. You have to iron both sides because otherwise the cardboard will bent).

Step 10: The Cover (part 3)

If the fabric is firmly attached to the cardboard, it must be glued inwards.

Reverse the fabric on one side of the book and fix it again with wood glue. I didn’t cut of the corners at an angle, but you can do it. It’s usually easier. I started with the two long sides and than glued the short sides.

Step 11: Hang Up the Book Block

When everything is well dried, take the book block and shorten the gauze at the ends so that it doesn’t stick out.

Place the book block on one side of the cover and fold the other side on it. Pay attention to distances between the edges so that they are even.

If the paper is right, attach it on one side with the clamps. Now glue the gauze that protrudes onto the cover. You do the same with the other side.

Caution, the back of the book must not be glued!

Step 12: Endpaper

Take another paper in DIN A4 format. This may have a different colour.

Fold it in the middle and place it on the first side. Keep a distance of about 2mm from the back of the book. There’ll be some wood glue again. Than place the paper exactly on the book block and briefly press the whole cover on it. Than you paint the paper with wood glue and enclose the book. Open it again and gently correct the position of the paper if it isn’t accurate. You have to do this fast. When this is dried, you do the same with the other side.

When everything is dry, you will have a finished book in your hands.

Step 13: That's It

Now it's time to be proud.

Let's drink a cup of coffe

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