For this project, you will need these materials:
- Paper (60 - 80 pages of your choice)
- 2 sheets of cardstock
- Foamboard or Cardboard
- Fabric of your choice
- Fabric glue
- Heat Bond (for thinner fabric)
- Bamboo Skewers
- Waxed Thread
- 2 leather strips
- Decorative Tissue Paper
- An Iron
- Utility Knife
- Elmers Glue
- Plastic Dixie Cup
- Old Paint Brush
- And most importantly.... your patience
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Step 1: Signatures
Vocab word: signature- a packet/section of 10 pages that is folded like a book
Take your stack of paper, and separate them into groups of ten, and fold them horizontally to look like mini books. If you're using this book for engineering purposes I recommend having at least 20 pages (2 signatures) or graph paper.
Step 2: Measuring Your Spine
Take your ruler and measure 2cm on each side for every signature. Then you will alternate between measuring a 1.5cm gap and a 4cm margin.
The pattern will go 2cm, 1.5cm, 4cm, 1.5cm, 4cm, 1.5cm, 4cm, 2cm if you are using standard paper size.
Step 3: Binding Preperation
Now it's time to cut the triangles for your bamboo sticks to go through. These triangles will go where you made the 1.5cm gap on the pages. Going down the page vertically, make a guideline 2cm away from your measurements, where the tip of your triangles will meet. Group all the pages together using binder clips, so all your cuts are even.
Step 4: Cut the Bamboo Sticks
Take your bamboo sticks and cut them down to 24cm if you are using a standard paper size. If you have six signatures, you need 7 bamboo sticks.
Note: Make sure you cut off the sharp end so you don't have a lethal weapon ;)
Step 5: Binding Your Pages
Time to Weave!!!
For your first signature, put the stick through one end of the signature. DO NOT put the stick through the next opening. Then go through the center opening and skip the next one. Now go through the final opening and your weave for the first one is complete.
For the next signature, go through the first opening of the second signature, and then go through the previous signatures second opening that you skipped last step. Go through the middle opening of the second signature, and then go through the fourth opening of your previous signature. Then go through the last opening. Continue this for all of your signatures.
Note: For each signature, you will be skipping the second and fourth opening, then going through them on the next signature.
For the last bamboo stick, you will only be going through the second and forth opening that you skipped beforehand.
Step 6: Securing the Binding
For extra security, take a thick thread (I used wax thread), and weave it up and over every bamboo stick in each triangle (using a new thread for each triangle)
Leave a long string at the end after weaving through each triangle. This will be used in a later step to bind the book.
Step 7: Side One of the Cover
For my cover, I used a recycled plastic board, but you can use other materials, such as cardboard, foam board, or wood.
Take your completed signatures and line them up on the edge of the board. Then take a pen and mark 2cm away from the top bottom and right of the signature. This is extra space so the cover is protecting the pages. Then take your straight edge and connect these lines that you will then cut out with your utility knife.
Step 8: Side Two of the Cover
Take your cut out cover and lay it on top of your other board. Then clip them together to trace, and then cut it out with your utility knife.
You can trim the edges as needed.
Step 9: Making the Cover Pretty!!!!
For my cover, I chose an old scarf that my maker lab teacher was going to throw away.
The first thing you need to do is find a clear space where you can iron the fabric. Then, what I did was lay my cover on the ironed fabric, and left about a 2-3in margin on each side. (Since I wanted the tassels from the scarf, only three of the sides have the margin to be folded over)
Once it's all measured, cut one piece of fabric for each cover.
Step 10: Heat Bond the Fabric
If you have thin fabric, you'll want to take heat bond (my teacher got this at a local fabric store) and follow the directions to iron it on the inside of the fabric, to make it thicker.
Once it's ironed on, peel off the protective paper and iron on tissue paper of similar color to your fabric.
Step 11: Assembly
If the edge of your board is going to be exposed, take a scrap piece of fabric (about 4in wide and the height of the board), and glue half of the fabric on each side of the board. This will cover the exposed edge.
Step 12: Assembly Continued
Take your watered down glue and paintbrush, and paint the whole side of the board with it. Then line it up on the fabric how you wish and press down.
Now, glue the other side of the board and fold the excess edges over.
Note: You may have to trim some of the corners.
Step 13: Final Assembly
Cut 2 pieces of cardstock a little smaller than your actual cover. Then glue the back and press this on the inside cover to hide the folded over pieces.
Remember the extra long strands I had you leave when threading the bamboo sticks? They're baaaack!
Grab your leather strips (whatever thickness you like, but shorter than the height of the book) and pierce holes, in line with the triangles. Then thread the wax thread through a needle and loop it in the hole for every string. Loop it around the bamboo stick again and then tie it off. Then take your glue (I used fabric glue for this step after failing with Elmer's glue) and attach the leather strips to the front and back covers.
Step 14: You're Done!!!
Cut off the excess string and enjoy your notebook!!!!