Introduction: How to Print and Bind a Booklet

About: Retired techie in love with crafts, cooking, and all things creative.

As a new premium member, I was excited to choose the Glue Class as my first Instructables class. Since I was going to be traveling, I wanted to read the text from the class on my plane flight. My preference was to read from printed pages instead of a digital format, so I set out to download and print the PDF that came with the class. Unfortunately the pdf was 83 pages. That's a lot of printing and a lot of pages to carry. So... I printed the PDF as a booklet. This reduced the number of pages by half. I then used a bookbinding stitch called the pamphlet stitch to hold the pages together. The solution worked perfectly.

By the way, the class was amazing and I learned a lot.

This instructable will review the two very cool techniques that I used.

  1. Printing a pdf as a booklet
  2. Binding a booklet together using the pamphlet stitch.

If you’re like me, you will find these techniques handy for a variety of print projects.

Step 1: Prepare Your Materials

This project requires the following.

  • Scissors
  • Awl or needle tool
  • 36 inches of string (embroidery floss, waxed linen thread, or nylon thread)
  • Needle with eye big enough for the string
  • Ability to print two-sided

Step 2: Print

When you print your PDF, select "Booklet" in the Page Size & Handling dialog box. When it prints, it will print landscape with 2 pages per sheet side by side in the proper order for folding in half. Due to the way it prints, a two sided printer is required for this to work.

This is a pretty slick feature that I use for most of my print projects. It saves a lot of paper, but be warned that the print will be smaller than a full sized sheet.

For this 83 page PDF, I decided to make two booklets (pages 1-41 and 42-83).

Step 3: Fold in Half

Fold the booklet in half.

Step 4: Prepare Hole Template and Poke Holes

Prepare your template.

  1. Cut a piece of scratch paper 3 x 8.5 inches
  2. Mark the middle
  3. Mark 1 inch from the top
  4. Mark 1 inch from the bottom

Use the template and your awl or needle tool to poke small holes through the layers of paper. This may require you to divide the pages into smaller sections to make it easier to go through the layers. The number of holes required for the pamphlet stitch varies. For our simple needs, we will be doing a 3 hole stitch (top, middle, bottom).

Note: There is a nice Instructable for an alternative Pamphlet stitch. Check it out below.

Step 5: Stitch

Don't let the number of pictures scare you. The pamphlet stitch is really quite simple and fast. Here's the process.

  1. Starting from the inside, sew through the middle hole to the outside. Pull through leaving a small tail (about 5 inches).
  2. From the outside, sew through the top hole. Pull through.
  3. From the inside, sew through the bottom hole. Pull through.
  4. From the outside, sew through the middle hole. Pull through. This leaves the ending tail. It should lay opposite the beginning tail.
  5. Check to make sure the string is taut. Adjust if needed.
  6. Tie an overhand knot.
  7. Trim.

Step 6: Enjoy

You now have a nifty bound "unplugged" booklet that you can read on an airplane while munching on peanuts.