Introduction: Quick Miniature Books

This is a short instructable for making simple miniature bindings. Although I've used blank paper for the text block in the models for these instructions, these miniatures look great if you use some coloured paper (especially something naturally dyed) for the insides. Papers with some colour gradiations or random patterns can look very different and often fabulous when you cut it down so that you are just looking at a small area of it per page.

These can be incorporated into jewelry as well. They can make great earrings or broaches.

Step 1: Make Your Text Block and Ready It for Sewing

3 or 4 signatures of 4 sheets is about right.

To be lazy, pick widths and heights that match some available ruler widths, something like:

  • ¾” high by 1” wide (folded pages will be ¾ x ½
  • 1 ½ “ by 2 “ (folded pages will be 1 ½ x 1

Use a small plastic clamp to hold the signatures together and use a mat knife to mark holes. You just need two. You can use your needle to make sure the slit/hole goes through all the pages.

Step 2: Sew Your Signature and Glue Up Your Spine

Sew using a thin thread (e.g. 35 or 40).

With the sewn text block held in a clamp, put a layer of PVA on the spine. Let it set for 5 minutes or so (taking this opportunity to start another text block!).

Step 3: Making a Quick Cover

Cut another piece of paper (maybe thickerish), measure it by wrapping around the textblock, leave a generous edge. Paste the cover paper using a glue stick applied to the other pages of the text block. Wrap the cover around your text block. Let it dry and enjoy! You can trim the cover to taste after it is dry.

Step 4: Or Making a Fancier Cover

Round and back the text block. A plough makes a good backing press. For these small books you can round and back with a bone folder. Add a spine liner of Japanese paper with glue stick or paste.

Do a case binding. Use 1 ply matte board for cover boards. Use card stock for a spine stiffener. Measure everything against your text block.

Use paste to assemble the cover. You can let it dry for a minute or two before attaching it to the text block. Use glue stick to attach the book to the cover to minimize moisture content in the text block.