How to Bind Your Own Hardback Book - My Results!!




Here are my results of going through the How to bind your own Hardback Book instructable. I'm surprised at how well it turned out!

This instructable is simply a way for me to note the differences between what the original instructable suggested and what I actually did. Also, I hope it will show that their instructable does really turn out very nice..

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Step 1: I Used Single Sheets Folded Over

I don't have a long arm stapler so I chose to use single sheets of paper folded once. That way I didn't need to staple any sheets together and I didn't need to trim any excess or misaligned folio edges (as in their step 6) because there isn't a sizing issue when folding only one sheet.

Step 2: Gluing the Pages Together

I didn't like the idea of using weak little paper clips to hold my pages together, so I got out one of my woodworking clamps. Also, I thought it would be much easier to glue the pages together - then after it dried, glue them to the spine fabric (their step 5).

Step 3: Trimming Excess Glue From Spine Fabric

Here I glued the newly bound pages to the piece of spine fabric. I used my XACTO knife to trim off the excess hot glue. I got a bit of paper in a few places.

Step 4: Creating Cover Boards

I found some Elmer's Display Boards at the store. I chose the smallest one, because it has thinner cardboard but still felt strong enough.

Step 5: Finishing Cover Boards and Spine

Here I'm sizing up the cover fabric and gluing the cover and spine boards into place.

Make sure the glue is VERY thin. Notice the first picture of the completed cover? See the glue streaks that seeped through. After seeing that, I made sure I used much less glue on the other side.

Step 6: Gluing the Pages and Lining Onto the Cover

Here I'm gluing the pages onto the cover and gluing on the lining. I redid the top and bottom edges several times (adding lots more glue) because of the stress those spots were getting (compared to the rest of it).

I used standard construction paper for the lining. I cut it to size and folded it in half. I glued one side onto the paper first. When that dried, I glued the other side to the cover board.

I inserted four blank sheets of paper into the book before and after the first and last pages just in case any glue seeped through. Then, I let it sit under a nice stack of books for an hour or so to make sure the lining and spine fabric glue sets really well.

Step 7: Completed Book

Here are a couple of shots of the completed book.

I also uploaded a video to YouTube that shows the completed book. It is located here.

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55 Discussions


7 years ago on Introduction

Finished a journal for my fiancee last night. She loved it! I think we're going to end up making our own guest book for the wedding now. Thanks!

2 replies

7 years ago on Step 5

I use a 'gel' type fabric glue for cloth, it's less wet, containing less water and found it doen't create steaks. that's before I switched to permanent spray glue, which turned out to be perfect. No need to spread it as long as you evenly spray it. The version made by 3M worked best.


9 years ago on Step 5

 How do you decide how much space to put between the cardboard pieces?  This looks really nice! I look forward to trying it myself!

2 replies

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

A good rule of thumb is this - make the gaps about twice as wide as the thickness of your boards.

I know it's been a couple years since you asked, but maybe someone will get some help from my answer anyhow.


Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

I pretty much guessed!! I held it together and folded it up trying to figure out the best spot.. not too close, not too far apart..


Reply 8 years ago on Step 7

It's been a while, but I think it was around a few hours. A lot of time was waiting for the glue to dry etc.


10 years ago on Introduction

nice tutorial! I am definantly going to use this, but I have a question. the size of my book will be 8.5" x 11" and I have no intentions of folding the pages. how can I create a spine without folding the pages?

2 replies

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

I don't know if you still want to do this, but the "official" term for what you're looking to do is perfect binding. Basically you glue the book block (the pages) into the cover. It's mostly used with paperback books.


Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

Glue: clamp the pages together so that the edges are even and brush glue onto the edge that you want glued (the usual suggestion for glue in bookbinding is PVA because it's flexible and strong). For added stability--once the glue dries, chose two cover sheets and fold a piece of paper over the binding and the coversheets. Glue and let dry.
hope it's helpful--for more complete instructions I would try Bookcraft by Heather Weston


9 years ago on Step 5

How do binders get that crease in the front and back covers near the spine where it bends? Is that something that just wears in automatically or is it something that has to be pressed in or seemed - I don't know? In some thick books the crease is apparent when new? Also, can anyone recommend a good sight to build some basic home shop tools to clamp signatures and sew spines etc? I'm pretty handy and want to make them with scrap wood.

1 reply

Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

From what I've read, some use a bonefolder to make the crease others put the book in a vise while the glue is drying and when the pages spring back that makes the crease. Maybe some do both.

There are some instructions here

ne of the pictures (in step 8) seems to indicate it has something to do with a piece of fabric and how it is laid in the spine.