Introduction: How to Recycle Office Paper Into Blank Books
Here I will give a simple bookbinding tutorial using a Japanese stab-binding technique for making blank books from paper that is printed on one side. These books are useful for all kinds of notes, and tell an interesting story about the place they came from. I work in the computer lab at my school, where a lot of printer paper is wasted. I go through the recycle bin to find my papers.
This is a great little book for phone numbers and other random notes. You can make it any size you like, and the paper never had to go to the processing plant! Using a string binding instead of glue is easier on the environment, too. Some of the books I've made are for sale at my Etsy shop.
Recycled paper (blank on one side)
Thicker recycled material (postcards, envelopes, cardboard, etc.) for covers
Twine, yarn, or other string
Awl, drill, or drill press
Large sewing needle or bookbinding needle
Paper cutter, scissors, or utility knife
Step 1: Cut and Fold Your Paper
Using a paper cutter, scissors, or a utility knife, cut your paper down to twice the desired size. Fold each sheet in half, and cut your cover material (one for front, one for back) down to the size of a folded sheet.
Step 2: Line Up, Clip, and Make Holes
Stack your cover material and pages together and line up all edges. Clip with the large binder clip to secure.
Mark 3/8" from both to-be-bound corners (the folded side of the sheets). Divide the space along the binding between these marks into thirds, and mark those locations. These are where we make the holes for the twine binding.
Make holes all the way through the book with an awl, drill, or drill press. If using a drill or drill press, make sure to clamp your papers tightly down to avoid any paper ruffling. Placing a piece of wood under the book helps make a clean cut in the back.
Step 3: Bind the Book
I used this tutorial this tutorial to learn to bind books this way. It's very thorough, so I won't repeat it's instructions, but basically you sew the binding in a particular way with the twine and needle. Make sure it's very tight and secure. That's it!
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