Introduction: Cardboard Book Binding

About: Currently splitting time between college, work, Army, and my own studio. My interests range the full spectrum, but is always willing to help.

Binding books with cardboard? You bet!

Made entirely of recycled materials, this versatile project is pretty simple!

Cardboard scraps + old t-shirt + glue = Book

This can be used for scrapbooking, drawing, and even coin collections!

Step 1: Scrap to Pages

A pile of left-over cardboard scraps turned into symmetrical pages for a book

List of Supplies

  • Carpenters Square
  • Utility knife with fresh razor
  • Cork backed ruler
  • Weldbond Adhesive
  • Template (I used 3 index cards stacked so 9x5" total)
  • Scissors or small craft knife
  • Hobby cutting mat
  • Old t-shirt to cut up
  • CARDBOARD!! or any paper media

Step 2: Trim Fabric and Sandwich Pages

After the pages are made, we have to create "male" and "female" pages

Two stripes of fabric, roughly 8"x1.5", are sandwiched between two rectangles to create one "male" page

After gluing and centering, apply pressure

Step 3: Combine "male" and "female' Pages

The number of "male" pages minus one is the total number of "female" pages (with each "page" comprised of two cardboard rectangles)

A "female" page is split and each side glued to a "male" before being glued together

The start and end of the book has to be a "male" page to properly glue together

After gluing and centering, apply pressure

Step 4: Finish Text Block and Reinforce Spine

After all the glue has dried and it opens and closes the way you want it, we gotta reinforce the spine

The stiffer the material used, the stiffer the book will be and harder to open.

If the spine isn't reinforced, then the book will sag and flop around

I did this with a scrap of brown paper torn from left-over cardboard

Make sure to glue thoroughly and apply pressure

Step 5: Indent and Fold

To better open and close the book without it staying open, cardboard has to be removed from the cover

A 1/4" was sliced out for the fold, then another inch to sandwich the text block between

All of this was glued with pressure applied

If you wonder why I say to glue and apply pressure so much, it's because I've forgotten to do this and have it end up terribly.

The glue would dry and create weakness and space between the pages.. not good!

Step 6: Hide Those Crevices and Add Embellishments

To conceal the unsightly edges on the inside, two stripes were cut from a paper bag, and glued together

The recycle symbol was also taken from the paper bag, but it fits perfectly

And there you have it!

It's purpose?

Anything from holding recipes to scrapbooking. You can even cut out slots for coins or bottle caps!

If you liked this or found it inspiring, please vote or comment below!


Edit: I've added a video guide for anyone who was confused. Hope this helps!

Cardboard Contest 2017

Participated in the
Cardboard Contest 2017