How to Make a PocketMod Book - 50+ Pages




About: I love to see how creative everyone is. Hopefully some of that rubs off on me. =)

I love my iPod touch to death. Literally, I kill my battery almost everyday. I check just about everything on it: email, blog, bank balances, etc. I don’t get to read ebooks on it often for that reason.

I am in the middle of studying a few languages, and I want to read my ebooks in my free time without having to worry about killing my battery, or missing out on reading BECAUSE my iPod battery is dead.

Just recently I discovered a few weeks ago and I love them!  I do not need PocketMod as a personal organizer, so I thought I would use it to help me with my language study. More specifically, create PocketMod books to read in other languages.

It’s awesome. I don’t have to print a whole book, I only print 1/8 the number of pages and have a mini book to read at any time, anywhere.

Step 1: Materials

- PDF files of the book of your choice.
- PDF to Pocket Mod converting software
- Printer and Printer Paper (to print PocketMod sheets)

- Material for cover (I used an old planner cover)
- 1 Roll of kite string (cheap 50 cent type you get with the kiddie kites)
- Pair of scissors
- tape, any kind will do
- ruler
- pencil

Step 2: Find a Book to Download (PDF)

Download the PDF file of the book you want to create. Save it on your desktop

Non-copyrighted books or Public Domain books can be found on various websites.
I will suggest a few:    Books on PDF booklist (portuguese)   Other books in French, Italian, Spanish, English

Or you can use whatever PDF file you want to turn into a book.

By "book" I mean 50+ pages. If you want to make a book for something that is 1-40 pages continue this Instructable up to when you print out the sheets then go to my other Instructable to create a cover.

The book I make here is 108 pages.

Step 3: Download & Install PDF-to-PocketMod

Download the PDF to PocketMod Converter from onto your computer.

Step 4: Convert PDF to PocketMod

Open and run the PDF-to-PocketMod application on your computer.

Upload the PDF and Convert the file to PocketMod pages.

Step 5: Print and Assemble Pages

Print all of your PocketMod pages. Make sure they are printed only on one side. The Coverting program doesn't allow for double-sided printing.

NOTE: I would test print one page to see if you are satisfied with the size of the text.

After you have printed....
Assemble/Fold all the pages according to the PocketMod folding instructions and set them aside when you are finished.

This is the longest process of the whole project. My book turned out to be about 14 pages, all that folding gets trite, but it's worth it when you are finished.

NOTE : The weight of the paper will effect how thick the book turns out to be. This book was printed on paper I thought was thicker than the normal printer paper you use for home use.

Step 6: Measure for the Spine


Determine the width of the spine by holding all the booklets together up to your ruler.
This book is about 1 3/8 inches wide. I simply rounded up to 1 1/2 inches.

Done. Moving on...

Note: It would probably be best to keep the spine dimension to a factor a 2/8. You will see why in the next step.

Step 7: Measure Out Cover and Cut

On the material you have chosen for your cover......
Measure out a rectangle with a height of 4 5/8 inches with your pencil and ruler. I like to include one of the original sides from my old planner so I know at least one side is straight.

The length of the rectangle should be 6 1/8 inches PLUS the width you measured for your spine in the last step .

that is 6 1/8 inches + 1 1/2 Inches(for this book).

Double check your dimensions individualy. The front and back covers should measure 3 1/16 inches in width.

Then cut.

Step 8: Fold Cover

Fold on the lines you measured out for the spine. Place your PockMod booklets inside to make sure they will fit alright.

Step 9: Measure & Cut Slits on Spine

Now, the spine needs some slits.

Measure and mark a short line every 2/8 inch across the bottom and top of the spine. You can see where this is in the photo.

Using the scissors, cut a 3/16 inch deep  slits at those 2/8 inch marks you just made.

To make the lines uniform I measured out a line straight across, to know how deep you'll cut: 3/16 inch deep.

Step 10: Tie a Knot

Unravel the kite string from its apparatus. DO NOT CUT THE STRING , let there be a free end and an end that is still attached to the apparatus.

Tie a knot at the free end of the kite string. I usually tie a knot and another at the same spot, one knot doesn’t seem enough for me.
The number of knots will depend on how thick your string is.

Step 11: Slip String Into Slit

Slip the free end of the string (with the knot) into the first slit you cut at the top of your cover.

Make sure the knot catches on the inside.

Run the string along the outer spine of the cover and into the slit you cut at the opposite end.

NOTE : You can move onto the next step, but I usually go ahead and wrap the string around one more time, then let it rest at the bottom slit.

Step 12: Add the First Booklet

Now, get the first of the booklets you set aside earlier and open it to the center with two flap on you left and right. Wrap the string up the center of that booklet and have the string slip into the slits at the top and bottom again.

Wrap the string until it rests at the bottom slit again.

Note : I suppose you could be alright with one wrap of the string to hold the booklet in, but I like wrapping the booklet twice for stability.

Step 13: Add the Next Few Booklets

For the next booklet,

Turn all pages of the previously wrapped booklet to the left, with the string dangling at the bottom slit.

Cradle the second booklet between the back page of your first booklet and the back cover. Make sure the second booklet is open at the center and wrap the string up the center like you wrapped the first booklet.

Repeat for the next 1 or 2 booklets, and stay in the same slit. We will transition to the next slit in the next step.

NOTE : You are progessively adding booklets to the back, not adding booklets on top of one another.

Unravel the kite string as needed.

Step 14: Transitions Between Slits

After you have added the last of you set for the first slit, you'll need to transition to the second slit with the next set of booklets.

In the example, I use three booklets per slit.

After the third booklet (wrapping it normally top to bottom) ....add the next booklet (my fourth) and when I wrap it I lay the string in the SECOND SLIT at the top and continue to the Second bottom slit and rewrap the string one more time for stability.

A NOTE ABOUT THE SPINE: If this is done correctly the string on the spine should never be transverse or appear to cross over. They should all be parallel.

Step 15: Repeat Until Finished

Repeat the adding booklet and wrapping and transitioning until you have added all of your booklets.

Remember, the number of booklets per slit will be determined by the weight (thickness) of your paper.

Step 16: Last Wrap & Secure String

When you have added all your booklets, I would recommend wrapping the string around again 2-4 times (after the last page) just in case you want to add pages for notes, etc.

To secure the string , simply tape it to the back cover with some tape so it won’t unravel.

Lastly, cut the string .

The booklets won’t come free if the string was wrapped tightly enough.

Step 17: Fin. You Got a PocketMod Book.

You're done. Easy right.

As with the PocketMod Cover Instructable , there can be some variation with cover material type.

Let me know if you have questions or need clarification for this Instructable.

Happy Reading.



    • Warm and Fuzzy Contest

      Warm and Fuzzy Contest
    • Paper Contest

      Paper Contest
    • Sweet Treats Challenge

      Sweet Treats Challenge

    18 Discussions


    11 months ago

    Thanks for the great instruction. Do you - or anyone else - know any tool for converting from pdf file to the minibook format that runs on linux?


    2 years ago

    @icspots Back when you posted, I didn't notice. Now that i'm revisiting this Instructable, I notice your books are in Portuguese lol :D


    4 years ago

    Made it and love it. Has 2 month long planner and blank page followed by lined. Use it everywhere, keep it bound with a thick rubber band. :)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Maybe this whole thing would work a teeny bit nicer if the outer slits were closer to the edge of the binding side. I noticed that there's a bit of a gap from the folded edge of binding and the closest sheet of paper.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice instructable
    I don't want to be a grammar nazi but I'm assuming you used literally incorrectly:
    Literally, I kill my battery almost everyday.

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    That depends on if you're being a stickler and saying that a battery that runs out of juice isn't 'dead'. But, since that's a highly accepted term, she technically used it correctly. Unless she was lying :)


    5 years ago

    I love it, I showed my kids and they just love it, thanks. I have a problem. Could you explain more how you go from the first three booklets in the first slot to the second slot starting to hold number four and not crossing the lines at the back if the spine please. I just don't get it. Many thanks in advance.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Your instructable seems like a lot of good fun however I have a problem with your approach of using pocket mod to make your pages. For each face of a page that has writing or something on it there is a blank face on the other side which means that there is twice as many sheets as there should be.

    The print feature in Adobe reader has a print booklet option that will allow you to do the same thing only printing on each side of every page making it like a true booklet.

    It even lets you print several consecutive booklets if your pages are more than one booklet will hold.

    I used it to make a couple of mini magazines and even a mini-book for a friend.

    Your cover binding? Love it! Great job!

    6 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I'm interested in making booklets like the ones you describe. Do you know of an instructable or other online resource I could look at?


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    the instructable found here:
    is a good instructable that creates similar booklets to what I was talking about. What I do differently is that I use the print function in Adobe Reader X to format and print the booklet. When you press [File], [Print] the print window that pops up gives you all the choices you have. Under “Page Sizing & Handling” you should find the “Booklet” option. Choose the options you want as suggested in the instructable above and print your booklet. Follow the duplex instructions for your printer. Then instead of sewing the book together with thread, apply a very thin line of paper glue at the fold of each sheet and glue the pages together at the fold line. You can true up the edges with a sharp utility knife and a straight edge. If you would rather I make an instructable, let me know.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    FYI: I don't know what those black question marks are, but they were supposed to be quotation marks. I don't know what happened. I typed out the comment in MS word and copy and pasted in to the comment box. I'll have to be more careful next time.



    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, I agree. So far I believe there is nothing to print double-sided pages with PocketMod; at least for books like this. It's good if you are recycling the paper. Making booklets the way you suggested is something I did think about, but haven't yet tried with this binding method. I will make one in the near future. Thanks for the reminder.

    I'm glad you liked the binding. :)


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    You're right! I hadn't thought of that. Any sheets printed on one side would do for this. And even any junk mail you get with single side printing sheets would work with this. So you have a no cost resource to draw from. This way you get "full" use of a sheet of paper before you throw it away. Forget the "I have a problem" part of my comment. I take it back.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    You could print two books, one on each side. When you finish with one just unwrap, fold the opposite way, and re-wrap. I do this on business trips so details for the trip out are on one side and the trip back are on the other.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I wonder if you could just print blank pages to make a mini sketch book? Does pocket mod do that?

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    The genius of the PocketMod is in the folding. You don't have to print out blank sheets, just follow the same folding pattern as if you printed the folding lines. Try making a PocketMod that is printed, then attempt one with a blank price of paper. It would make an awesome sketchbook.