NANO NOTEBOOK With ELASTIC CLOSURE

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Introduction: NANO NOTEBOOK With ELASTIC CLOSURE

About: When I was a kid I had the good fortune to have parents that let me build a fort under the stairs & paint murals on my bedroom walls. I get a kick out of making stuff with other stuff. And it usually ends…

Wow! I had a lot of fun binding this nano-sized notebook. This is absolutely the smallest book I've ever bound, for sure. It's as close to Traditional Bookbinding as I get, with sewn sections and binding cloth.

As it usually happens when I make something for the first time, I had to do a little improvising along the way. One of those improvisations was that I sewed 6 sections, but felt it was too thick, so I removed 2 sections, leaving 4 sections, which ended up being the sweet spot.

The next challenge I found was the elastic closure. When I inserted the elastic through the back cover I realized it was way to thick to simply pastedown, so I ended up carving a little channel on the inside of the cover board for the cords to fit in.

If there are some tools you don't have, there is often a replacement found around the house. Instead of an awl, you can use a sewing needle. Instead of a brush, you can use your finger. If you don't have book board, use the board on the back of a notepad (as I did) or even simply glue 2 pieces of cereal box packaging together.

And there are some materials, like Bees Wax that aren't essential.

Also, I separated the steps into small chunks because I find it easier when I'm reading directions, so perhaps it will help you, too?

So let's get into it and bind a Nano Notebook with and Elastic Closure...

Supplies

MATERIALS:

  • Bees Wax (Not essential, but it helps if you have it)
  • Binding Cloth or Binding Tape or Hinging Tape (3/4” x 1 1/2”)
  • Cover Board (Book Board or board from the back of paper pads 1/16” thick or thinner) (3/4” x 1”) X 2
  • Cover Paper (1” x 1 1/2”) X 2
  • Elastic (2” long)
  • End Paper (1 1/4” x 2”) X 2
  • Patience
  • Ribbon (1/8” x 1 1/2”) (Optional, but I didn't end up using it!)
  • Sewing Thread (Thin & Preferably Linen) (12” long)
  • Wax paper (2” x 2”) X 2
  • Text Paper (8 1/2” x 11”)

TOOLS:

  • Awl
  • Binder Clips 2 small and 1 medium (Not Shown)
  • Bone Folder
  • Craft Knife
  • Cutting Mat
  • Paper Clip
  • Paint Brush (Not shown. Something thin and narrow)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Needle
  • Utility Knife

Step 1: Prepare the Covers

I repurposed the thick book board from the back of a notepad for the cover boards.

The cover paper is a piece of handmade paper and it was a little thick and stiff, so when I glue it together I had to press it quite firmly. Also, it increased the height by about 1/16" and the width by 1/32." Not much, but something to note when you go to cut your book to the same size.

When choosing your cover paper, take into consideration that the design or image will be covered about 1/8” in from the spine by the spine cloth/tape.

  1. Cut 2 pieces of book board 3/4” x 1”
    1. Find the Grain Direction of the Cover Board:
      1. Although it won't make much of a difference (if any) for this tiny book, it is best practice to find the grain direction of the cover board and make that the edge that runs parallel to the spine. The grain direction can be found by slightly bending the board in one direction and then the other. Whichever direction bends the easiest, is the one that runs along the grain.
  2. Cut 2 pieces of cover paper 1” x 1 1/2”
    1. Draw on the back of the cover paper a 1/4" border on both the top and bottom edges and on the foredge (the edge that you will open when the book is complete)
  3. Place the cover papers face down with the spine side of the paper towards the center.
  4. Add adhesive to the cover boards. (I don't know why I used my finger instead of a brush here? Haha)
  5. Place the cover boards on the back of the cover paper, lining up the board with the spine side edges of the cover paper.
  6. Put something heavy on the boards and let dry.
    1. I like to let the covers dry before I fold the paper over the edges, especially when the cover paper is a little stiff like this hand made paper.
  7. While your cover boards dry, it’s time to prepare the book block...

Step 2: Fold & Cut Sections:

Fold the Sections:

  1. Find the Grain Direction of the text paper.
    1. On the sheet of paper I chose, the grain runs parallel to the long edge(11" edge)
  2. Fold in half along the grain direction so that the 8 1/2” x 11” drawing paper is now 4 1/4" x 11”
    1. To flatten the fold, press firmly along the fold with a bone folder. A fingernail or handle end of a butter knife works, too.
  3. Fold in half along the grain direction so that the 4 1/4 x 11” is now 2 1/8” x 11
    1. Flatten the fold with a bone folder
  4. Fold in half along the grain direction so that the 2 1/8” x 11" is now 1 1/16” x 11"
    1. Flatten the fold with a bone folder

Measure & Cut 6 Sections

  1. Measure *4 increments of 1 1/2” along both sides of the long edges across from each other and join those markings.
  2. Cut along each marking
  3. This will result in *4 sections of 1 1/16” width x 1 1/2” height

*I had set out to make a book block with 6 sections, but in the end, I felt it would be too thick for this book and removed 2 sections. This is why some photos might not exactly match the instructions. Oops!

Step 3: Prepare Sections for Sewing

Mark and make the Sewing Holes in Each Section

Your sections should have one edge that is closed. There are 2 good reasons for this. 1 it helps you find the center of the section and 2, the section stays together during the measuring, poking holes and sewing. If all the pages were separate, there is more chance of pages shifting. And because the head, tail, and foredge will all be trimmed after the book block is sewn and glued, there is no need for the closed fold to be cut at this point.

  1. Open a folded section to the middle in front of you with the closed edge on the top.
  2. Place the ruler along the inner fold,
  3. Find the center
  4. With the *awl, poke a hole 1/8” to the left and another 1/4” to the left again.
  5. Poke a hole 1/8” to the right of center and another 1/4” to the right again.
  6. You should have 4 holes made 1/4” apart.
  7. Repeat this process for all 4 sections

*If you don't have an awl, just use a sewing needle

Step 4: Prepare the Thread for Sewing

Preparing the Thread

  1. Cut a length of thread 12”
  2. If you have beeswax, apply it to the thread by running the thread between your thumb and the wax a few times.
  3. Thread the needle
  4. Flatten the thread an inch from the end and poke the needle through the middle of the fibers.
  5. Pull this end towards the threaded end of the needle
  6. Pull both ends taught and the thread should lock! (I get bonus points for rhyming)
    1. This locks the thread at the eye and saves you the headache of the thread slipping out and having to re-insert the thread.

Now we're ready to sew the book block!

Step 5: Sewing the Book Block

1st Section:

Place the 4 sections in front of you with the all the closed edges on top

  1. Take the 1st section and insert the needle through the first hole on one end from the outside, leaving 2” of thread sticking out.
  2. Push the needle out the next hole and pull it taught.
  3. Enter the 3rd hole and
  4. Exit the 4th hole.
  5. The needle should be on the outside of the section.

2nd Section:

  1. Add the next section by aligning the spines and placing a paper clip or small clothespin over the entire first section and 1/2 of the next section, leaving you access to the middle of the 2nd section
  2. Enter the closest hole of this 2nd section.
  3. Exit and enter the holes in the same fashion as you did in the first section.
  4. Once the thread has exited the last hole, pull the 2 loose ends from both sections taught, parallel to the spine.
  5. Tie the 2 ends in a square knot

3rd Section:

  1. Repeat the 3rd section as you sewed the first 2.
  2. After exiting the last hole, loop the needle from the outer edge under the joining stitch between the 1st and 2nd sections.
  3. As you pull the needle up, thread it under itself and up and into the 4th section (This is a kettle stitch)

4th Section:

  1. Repeat this for the 4th section.
  2. Once the needle has exited the last hole of the 4th section, loop the thread under the thread joining the 3rd and 4th signatures and tie off.
  3. Tie this off with a square knot and pull the knot out of the hole.
  4. Cut the thread, leaving 1/2” of thread.

Step 6: Prepare Endpapers

Measure, Cut and Fold Endpapers:

  1. Find the grain direction of the endpaper
  2. Measure 2 pieces of paper 2" width by 1 1/2" height, with the grain running along the height measurement
  3. Cut pieces and
  4. Fold both in half
  5. Smooth fold with a bone folder
  6. You should have 2 endpapers both measuring 1" x 1 1/2

Glue Endpapers to Sewn Book Block:

  1. Place the endpaper with the folded edge away from you on a scrap piece of paper
  2. Take another piece of scrap paper that has a straight edge and line it up parallel to the folded edge but out 1/8”
  3. Apply glue to this 1/8” exposed area along the folded edge of the endpaper.
  4. Place the endpaper onto the book block, aligning the endpaper's folded edge with the book block's folded edge.
  5. Repeat this with the 2nd endpaper on the other side of the book block

Step 7: Glue Book Block Spine

  1. Squeeze the book block by either placing a weight over it or by adding binder clips to the head and tail
  2. Place book block with the spine edge over the lip of the cutting mat or something else with a sharp edge
  3. Place a weight on top of the book block
  4. Apply glue to the spine, getting the glue into the creases and covering the threads
  5. Let dry overnight

Step 8: ​Finish Gluing the Cover Paper

  1. Cut all 4 corners of cover paper at a 45-degree angle, about 1/8” from the book board corner.
  2. Apply glue to the head and tail of the exposed cover paper.
  3. Fold over and press.
  4. When the glue is dry enough to hold on its own, smooth down the paper and push in the overhang at both corners
  5. Apply glue to the foredge of the cover
  6. Fold over and smooth the cover paper down
  7. Add weight to this cover, while you repeat this step with the 2nd cover
  8. Place the 2 covers between wax paper and press overnight

Step 9: ​Add Elastic Closure

  1. With an awl, poke 2 holes in the back cover board 1/8” in from both edges
  2. Remove the material that gets pushed through on the inside of the cover
  3. Cut a channel in the inside of the cover the width of the elastic slightly inward from both holes
  4. Wrap a piece of thin tape around the end of the elastic to create a shoelace type end
    1. This should make the next step easier
  5. Insert the end of elastic through the hole from the inside
  6. Insert the elastic through the 2nd hole from the outside
  7. Remove tape
  8. Apply glue to the elastic end and in the channel
  9. Push the elastic end into the channel
  10. Press for a few hours until the glue has set
  11. Do not cut or glue the other end yet. You'll need to finish the cover to correctly measure the length of elastic needed

Step 10: Measure and Trim the Book Block

Measure the Cut Lines

  1. Using the cover board, measure the height and width of are to cut on book block.
  2. Center cover board along the spine and make 2 marks at the top and bottom of the book block just slightly to the inside of the ends of the board
  3. The goal is to make the book block flush with the cover boards, but erring on the side of smaller than wider
  4. Cutting the edges can be tricky with such a small book block
  5. It can help to add something level to beside your book block to place your ruler over when cutting. I added a stack of paper
  6. Make sure you use a sharp craft knife, keeping the blade perpendicular to the bootblack for the straightest cut possible
  7. Cut without pressing too hard. You’ll have a cleaner cut if you cut many times. Slicing through 1 or 2 pages at a time.
  8. At about halfway through the cut, you won’t need the ruler anymore. You can use the edge of the cut bootblack as your guide

Trim the Book Block:

  1. It can help to add something level to beside your book block to place your ruler over when cutting. I added a stack of paper
  2. Make sure you use a sharp craft knife, keeping the blade perpendicular to the bootblack for the straightest cut possible
  3. Cut without pressing too hard. You’ll have a cleaner cut if you cut many times. Slicing through 1 or 2 pages at a time.
  4. At about halfway through the cut, you won’t need the ruler anymore. You can use the edge of the cut bootblack as your guide

Step 11: Measure and Apply the Spine Tape

Measure the Spine Tape Width:
  1. Place the covers on either side of the book block and measure the width
    1. My spine = 3/8"
  2. Add 1/8” to this measurement for the spine to allow some curve to the spine tape
  3. Add 3/16” for both sides that overlap the covers
  4. My final width measurements are: 3/16” + 3/8” + 1/8” + 3/16” = 7/8"
  5. Mark these measurements on the book cloth/spine tape

Calculate the Spine Tape Height:

  1. Double the height of the cover. 1" + 1"
    1. I should have included the 1/8" cover thickness and the extra 1/16" the cove paper added
  2. The cover will be placed in the middle of the spine tape, so mark from the top and bottom 1/2 the cover height. Because I measured the cover as 1" I made my marks 1/2" from the top and bottom
  3. Mark the measurements on the back of the book tape

Glue the tape to the covers:

Because I'm using a tape with a removable backing paper, I followed this process:

  1. Crease the marked edges that will run along the cover edge
  2. This helps a little width alignment when you remove the backing paper
  3. Pull up one side of the backing paper and place the cover board face down along that edge
  4. Repeat with the other edge of book tape
  5. Pull remaining paper backing off
  6. Fold over the top and bottom edges of tape and press down and into the spine edge using your fingernail or a bone folder
  7. I added another piece of tape to the center to cover the entire spine inside with tape.
  8. Press down with bone folder

Step 12: Glue Book Block Onto Front Cover

  1. Place a scrap piece of paper between the endpaper
  2. Apply Glue to the endpaper
  3. Place Glued side of book block onto front cover
  4. Press for a few hours until dry

Step 13: Measure and Glue the Loose End of Elastic Closure to Book Board

  1. Close the book and wrap the elastic around the cover until it is a tightness that holds the cover without suffocating it
  2. Open the cover and snip off the excess elastic on the inside, leaving just enough to fill the remaining open channel
  3. Apply glue to the channel
  4. Push the elastic into glued channel and press until secure
    1. I found this elastic did not want to stay in the glued channel, so I had to hold it down for a while
  5. Let dry for a few hours

Step 14: ​Glue Back of Book Block to Back Cover

  1. Place a scrap piece of paper between the endpaper
  2. Apply Glue to the endpaper
  3. Place Glued side of book block onto the front cover
  4. Press for a few hours 'til good and dry!

Step 15: Place Your New Nano Notebook on Your Shelf and Take a Shelfie

Hey Fellow Crafters!

I hope you enjoyed this bookbinding tutorial. Such a jumbo-sized tutorial for a nano-sized notebook! It took me longer to write it than to make it! Haha.

Send me a message if you have any questions. And let me know if you try this tutorial. I would love to see your nano notebook.

Cheers,

Wade (Waydabbles)

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    12 Comments

    0
    Catfishy
    Catfishy

    1 year ago

    What??? No nano pencil to go with it???
    LOL! LOVE IT!

    0
    waydabbles
    waydabbles

    Reply 11 months ago

    Oops, missed this one. I love that idea!!

    0
    moltcraft
    moltcraft

    11 months ago

    I love the attention to detail!

    0
    waydabbles
    waydabbles

    Reply 11 months ago

    Hey! Thanks for the compliment! I appreciate it.

    1
    Matlek
    Matlek

    1 year ago

    Nicely done, very detailed!

    0
    waydabbles
    waydabbles

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks for the compliment and for checking out my instructable!
    I like your “Real Magic Wallet” tutorial!

    0
    TLBookbinder
    TLBookbinder

    1 year ago

    Wow as one who's done bookbinding it's really an impressive piece of work

    0
    waydabbles
    waydabbles

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks for the encouragement! It's much appreciated!

    0
    scotto
    scotto

    1 year ago

    Wow. It turned out great. The macro photography is so clear that I didn't really need the text. I didn't see it coming when you chopped down the book block. Very clever!

    0
    waydabbles
    waydabbles

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hey Scott!

    Thanks for the message. You’re the tiny tenor guitar maker! Great job! And nice touch having the wooden model playing it!

    0
    scotto
    scotto

    Reply 1 year ago

    thanks