Bookbinding is a surprisingly useful tool in an age of instruction manuals not being supplied.or if you want to make a sketchbook or diary with your favorite paper, they also make a wonderfully personal valentines gift.
The basic skills of bookbinding are as old as dirt. It does not have to be complicated , involve specialist tools , jigs or materials. especially with materials almost anything can be made into a book. I knew somebody who made a pebble-dashed book. The more you change it ,The more its yours.
All the stages in this 3x speed video and more are explained in the following steps. This book took about 3 hours to make.The last step features a shorter x3 video demonstrating how to make a miniature version of the same book in 1 hour
Step 1: Tools N Stuff.
- strong thread
- fabric off cuts
- boards to use with clamps(size of proposed book)
- bradawl (pointy thing)
- soft surface to use with bradawl
- piece of card to use with the bradawl
- sharp knife
- metal rule
- curved surface(i used a large screwdriver handle.)
you can think of something to make the cover look nice,(i used spray paint)
Step 2: Fold Paper Into Bunches.
Traditionally its all about the even numbers.
4 sheets folded makes an 8 page bunch.
100 sheets of paper is 25 bunches ,or choirs ,there is a lot of terminology that I'm going to avoid.
Step 3: Poke Some Holes
On a piece of folded card, same size as your paper.
Make four marks, it really helps if the left 2 mirror the right two .at an equal distance from the outside edge.Left and right on image,top and bottom of your book.
If a bunch gets flipped the holes of that bunch will still line up with the next bunch.
Id recommend keeping at least 4 or 5 cm away from the edges ,to make trimming or re-trimming stage safer.
Place the card in the center of a bunch,and use a bradawl to punch through all the layers onto a soft foam surface.
Step 4: Sewing Bit One
Use a needle and tread to go through the holes you just made, following the illustrated pattern, you want all the dangelly bits on the outside of the spine.
My top tip for tying it all of tight is to bend the bunch perpendicular to the spine, wedge it between a couple of heavy things, to make the thread ends your tying closer together, when it unfolds it gives the thread an extra tug to keep the pages tight together.
Step 5: Sewing Bit Two
Put all the bunches spine down on a flat surface,(line them up) clamp a board on back and front.As tight as possible!
Flip the whole thing over to reveal all your previous sewing work looking all neat and tidyish.
There are several special sewing techniques for this bit, if you check my video you'll see where Im going with this, the general idea is to use more thread to tie each bunch to the one next to it.
- Waxed thread is helpful as it makes knots easily.
- As long as its all tight it has not got to look pretty.
Do not release the clamp yet.
Step 6: Hide That Rats Nest
keep it clamped for now. if your making a thin book you might want to slide the spine up a bit,image 1.
Use plenty of PVA or wood glue rubbed into the stitching, as it begins to dry layer it with a mesh type fabric to reinforce it. Top it off with your spine material, don't fold the edges over yet, just pat it down to squidge all the glue in the gaps between the bunches.
Drying times vary depending on glue and its environment, i left mine overnight. Ideally unclamp it when its not squishy, but still a bit flexible.
Step 7: Front and Back.
I spray painted my card before putting it on, I had a specific look in
mind, hard cover with soft fabric spine. The order of events at this point is not so important.
If you've not got spray glue PVA is useable,if used thinly. Greaseproof paper or cling film between the first page and the body of the book to prevent moisture creeping in is an option.
or just use spray glue
Remember ,its your book.
Step 8: Trimming.
Depending on how your stitching went, the need to trim is negotiable. It can make or break the book,(literally) and often the first cut goes wrong so needs doing twice. Different papers behave differently, its an odd material.
- Trimming large amounts of paper is not complicated but its not easy either,without industrial equipment.
- A sharp knife with care and some practice gives the cleanest results. look at image 3
- Avoid cutting through the stitching,(image 1)
Paper cutting experiment results :-Saws are generally terrible,especially jigsaws. the jury is still out on the electric plane.
Step 9: Knocking Into Shape
Darn i thought i was going to avoid this terminology stuff.
- This step adds a nice curve to the spine, depending on how far the spine glue has set defines how permanent the curve will be.
- firmly holding a curved object (i used screwdriver handle) against the page ends bash the spine into a pleasing curve, without letting go. clamp it. (one hand clamps are useful here,or phone a friend) then do the other end. leave the thing clamped overnight and fingers crossed it more or less stays in shape.
Step 10: Problem With Last Bit of the Video.
Whilst I was recording the time-lapse video of the process, the phone ran out of memory ,and this messed up the video file. so i posted this cry for help.
These are pictures of downloaded camera manuals i made into books for my reference.also some sketch books from 97, and some close ups of this instructabled book.
Anyway thank you for reading this Instructable, hope you like my other ones.
Step 11: You Can Make a Minature on in About an Hour.
used quick setting epoxy instead of pva to speed up the process
Runner Up in the
Rainy Day Challenge