Introduction: How to Make a Notebook and Emboss It

About: Designer, Maker, CNC Enthusiast, Audio Lover

I really wanted to make a personalised notebook... so... well... I made one!

Step 1: Gather Materials/equipment

Items needed:

1. Bulldog clips or strong paper clips

2. Thick thread

3. Sewing needle (ideally one designed for leather with a large eye)

4. Something to make holes in thick card, something sharp and strong

5. Thick card (needs to be slightly bigger than the paper you use)

6. Heavy paper, sketchbook paper is perfect

7. not shown: a knife, ruler, pencil and general craft things (cutting mat))

Step 2: Prepare Notebook for Binding

First gather up the paper and put the piece of thicker card at the back of it. Align everything to one corner and clamp with clip as shon in the photo. find the middle of the pieces of paper and draw a faint line down the centre. Add dots at even itervals but you need to end up with an odd number of dots.

Step 3: Punch the Holes for Binding

Take your sharp pointed thing, I used an oversized safety pin but you can get awls which are what you are supposed to use. They are essentially screwdrivers with a sharp point instead of a driver end.

punch through the notebook where you made the dots in the previous step.

make sure the holes are big enough for the needle to pass through easily.

Step 4: Binding

Now I would recomend that you watch the video for this part as it will be easier to follow but I will give an outline of the process:

Thread the thread/string you are using onto the needle and then feed it through the centre hole from the inside to out.

Stitch the spine up to the top of the notebook and then at the top hole stitch back down the same holes to the very bottom of the notebook.

Then stitch back up to the centre and tie off as shown in the video.

Step 5: Fold the Notebook

Take a straight edge and align with the stitching you have just done and bend the notebook in half.

Run the straight edge along the spine to flatten it. You can also use another heavy book to flatten the notebook but you may have to leave the heavy load on it over night to have a decent effect.

Step 6: Trimming

If it doesn't quite line up correctly when folding the notebook you can just trim any excess with a craft knife or stanley knife. the sharper the knife the better as it will leave a nice clean edge.

Step 7: That Completes the Notebook Making, Next Steps Are Optional...

Step 8: Embossing the Notebook

Take the CNC'd plaque that you have made if you are attempting this step. I recommend only attempting this step if you have a cnc as it is very time consuming to hand carve a mould and it may not have a clean finish.

When CNCing the mould make sure that you have flipped the artwork or text before machining so you have a reverse mould as shown in the picture. make the depth of the mould about 1.5-2 mm.

get a piece of fairly dense foam of a foam cloth like i used and put that between the notebook cover and the mould.

If you are doing an embossing stamp like I am then you want to have the outside of the notebook cover facing the stamp and the foam, if you are using a stamp you should have the stamp facing the inside of the notebook cover and the stamp should be not flipped like it would be for embossing as i said earlier (see the video) (sorry if that sounds confusing!!)

Use thick pieces of wood as backing plates to distribute the pressure of the vice evenly and clamp the whole sandwich in the vice or a press if you have one (but if you have a press, then you probably don't need this tutorial!)

Use g clamps to help apply force to all parts of the emobssing as shown in the pictures and videos.

Leave it clamped for 10-20 minutes and then it should be done!

Step 9: Voila!

You are done!!