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Author Topic: Book binding tutorial (the simple way)  (Read 9329 times)
Dorian Ambrose
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« on: December 26, 2009, 08:06:49 pm »

As promised, I have put together a short tutorial on how to bind a simple book.
In order to make this easy for beginners, I have done this the in one of the simplest ways, instead of the "correct" way.

You will need:

Paper.
Needle.
Thread. I used black for this one, so it would be easier to see. But it looks better, if the thread matches the pages.
Heavy construction paper (I used 240 g/m3)
Glue.
Scissors.
Small piece of fabric.
Leather, fabric or whatever you want for the cover.

You start by folding each sheet of paper in half, along it's "long side".
Then use a needle to punch a line of holes along the "spine" of each folded sheet. The holes should be evenly spaced, starting about 5-10 mm. from the ends.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Now take the sheets 2 by 2 (one on top of the other, unfolded), and "sew" though the holes, with a basic "up/down" stitch.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

When you have done this on all you sheets of paper, you need to place them in a "book block" or "binding clamp". As I am sure most people don't have one of these, I instead did it in a simple improvised way.
Take two of anything that is straight and that will not bend and place all your pages between them, so that the stitched sides are flat on the top. I used two VHS tapes which I taped together, for this.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

You now need to tie your pages together. Start by tying the loose threads in one end together. Nr. 1 with nr. 2. Nr 2 with nr 3 and so on.
Repeat this on the other side.

When you have done the ends, it is time to sew the middle part together. Start at one side and work your way to the other. I used a "loop stitch" for this, but to keep it simple, feel free to use whatever stitch you feel like. As long as it holds it together.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Now you should have something resembling a book. At least it should all hold together, when you take it out of the clamp.
You now need to ad a backing for the spine. I used linen for this, but you can use any light fabric, that will not stretch.
Apply a thin layer of glue to one side of the fabric and lay it over the spine.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Now all that remains, is to put the cover on.
Cut out a piece of you cover material, so that it will cover the entire book. Remember to ad the books thickness to the length of it. There should be about 5-10 mm. of "extra" material on all sides.
I used thin goat hide for the cover.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Cut two pieces of the construction paper, to the same size as your pages.
Apply glue to one side of it and glue it to the cover. Do this with both pieces and make sure to leave room between them, for the spine of the book.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Cut the corners of the cover and fold the over hanging parts, glueing them to the construction paper.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

It is now time to attach the cover to the pages.
This is done by simply glueing the first page to the inside of the cover.
It should cover most of it, leaving a thin border around the edge.
Do NOT glue the spine of your book, to the cover. If you do, it will not be able to open flat.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Now you should be done and have something that looks like this:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

As I said, this is a simple way to do it. To keep it as simple as possible, I have not done it the "correct" way. It is intended to be a easy to follow guide for the beginner, that will leave you with a book that works, will last for years and looks good.

If there are any questions, or anything that I forgot to mention, please feel free to ask.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2009, 08:16:08 pm by Dorian Ambrose » Logged
stockton_joans
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2010, 04:37:11 pm »

that may well be the clearest and simplest book binding tutorial i have seen, and i have seen a few as this something i have been investigating for a while now.

thank you for the detailed pictures as well.
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Stockton Joans:
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Dorian Ambrose
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2010, 11:42:11 pm »

Thank you.
I hope it can be of some help to those who want to have a go at book binding.

If there are any other aspects of book binding, you would like a guide for, let me know, and I will have a look at it  Smiley
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sebastian Inkerman
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2010, 02:23:37 am »

I have been binding boks for a number of years (mainly books of shadows for friends and clients). I have to say that this has to be one of the simplest and easiest to follow tutorials that I have found. I wish I had something like this when I was starting out. It has to be said however, that if you are doing something with more leaves than a notebook, you'll need more pages per folio (each bundle of pages that you sew together) and the more pages that you sew together in each folio will increase the necessity to send it out for professional trimming (printers will normally do this in small quantities free of charge if you employ the puppy dog eyes at them) to prevent the sawtooth profile on the outer edge of the book.

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Isabella Bellatrieze
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2010, 01:05:31 pm »

Thank you! I've long been looking for a nice, simple bookbinding tutorial for a while now. This one is perfect. Cheesy
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)


And... Robin Hood: Men in Tights? That film is awesome.
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malgrimace
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2010, 10:29:41 pm »

Nice one mate! Kudos to you
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Miss Groves
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2010, 01:01:36 pm »

easy to follow and look fantastic and expensive too.
You could use linen tape or something instead of sewing all the leaves together which would leave the edge ridged like older more arcane books...
Lots to think about
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LukeHogbin
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2010, 04:00:59 am »

Not bad, not bad at all. Smiley A few things that bother me, but I write them off as professional deformation Tongue
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2010, 08:40:46 pm »

I've been experimenting with book binding for a number of years and my favorite binding methods do not require any type of adhesive. They are generally called "coptic" bindings and leave the spine entirely open. The advantage of this style is that the book will lie perfectly flat when open to any page. Also the visible spine is inherently quite beautiful and can be accentuated with different sewing styles.

You do need boards for the covers – such as paper wrapped boards – though you can also use wood or metal with holes drilled though so you can attach your signatures.

As far as book binding resources, I'd greatly recommend anything by Keith Smith. For example Book Binding for Book Artists (which has a great section on making wheat paste) and Non-Adhesive Binding: Books without Paste or Glue (Vol 1). Mr. Smith has a great writing style and has numerous diagrams.
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Miss Groves
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2010, 09:39:16 pm »

Emmaline Richards II do you prefer coptic binding to japanese styles?
just curious
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Emmaline Richards II
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2010, 09:48:06 pm »

Miss Groves,

You can call me Em (or Emma) for short if you'd like. Smiley

If you mean Japanese stab bindings, yes I do prefer coptic to Japanese style. Mostly because the finished book lays perfectly flat when opened. And also because thicker stab bound books become unwieldy. I guess my third reason would be that in most instances I prefer books with hard covers over soft covers, though you can do a stab bound book with a hard cover, it just takes a bit more work.

The advantage of stab bindings is that you can take loose papers and bind them without folding them, and the sewing patterns can be quite pretty.
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Augustus Longeye
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2010, 12:35:35 am »

This is very interesting, and a lot simpler than I thought it would be... I might tempt myself to have a go, but how would you get markings on the leather in a simple household setting (my apologies for being very new with this) with rather limited acess to tools?
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Dorian Ambrose
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« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2010, 12:42:42 pm »

This is very interesting, and a lot simpler than I thought it would be... I might tempt myself to have a go, but how would you get markings on the leather in a simple household setting (my apologies for being very new with this) with rather limited acess to tools?

It all depends on what kind of leather you have and what kind of effect you are looking for.
There are a number of very simple ways to go about it. If you tell me what you have and want, I shall see what I can do about guiding  Smiley
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Augustus Longeye
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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2010, 11:38:53 pm »

Thank you for your kind help sir! I shall post more information as I get a more solid idea of what I actually want... the perils of over ambition...
Thank you again!
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sallyinwales
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« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2011, 04:52:07 pm »

Just bumping this thread back up to the top in the hope of stimulating some more discussions about bookbinding. I tend to use a simple sewn binding with board and leather covers, and have recently been experimenting with wooden cover boards. Am hoping to do some more exotic books with brass bindings before too long, and would love to see what bookbinding projects other people have been working on.
Here's the last batch of books I did, not terribly Steampunk specific, but they give and idea of what I usually do when binding; these are in 130gsm artists cartridge paper with mulberry paper endpapers
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Dove
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2011, 01:13:18 am »

Thank you so much for explaining in an easy way bookbinding! I've had a desire to give my hand at it, but wasn't sure where to start. What sort of paper do you recommend? I'd prefer something that would look old/worn while still being sturdy. Ultimatly what in thinking of making a "field book" for noting and sketching on (like a jungle botanist!)
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Mahogany
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« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2011, 05:28:42 am »

What kind of thread would be best to use?  What if I use thicker pages, like home-made/natural papers?
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Xenos
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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2011, 10:12:12 am »

I'm inspired to have a go at this...  Seems to me to be simple enough, and I should be able to aquire the paper, thread, and indeed, leather without too much a dent to my pocket book! 

I also liked the idea of an "open spine" (coptic, I believe they said?) book, and would like more info on that... 

Oh, this Christmas will be fun for my family indeed!
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« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2011, 01:27:06 pm »

This is so helpful. I have a book about book making, but the instructions are not nearly as simple and easy to read as this.
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Mahogany
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« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2011, 04:29:09 pm »

This is so helpful. I have a book about book making, but the instructions are not nearly as simple and easy to read as this.

XD  I just imagined a book about book making would be a bunch of loose paper, and the first chapter would be called, "Chapter One: Your First Project Is This Book."

Hey, it'd be good practice and you won't mind messing it up because you're not giving it away to anyone.
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Xenos
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« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2011, 05:20:51 pm »

This is so helpful. I have a book about book making, but the instructions are not nearly as simple and easy to read as this.

XD  I just imagined a book about book making would be a bunch of loose paper, and the first chapter would be called, "Chapter One: Your First Project Is This Book."

Hey, it'd be good practice and you won't mind messing it up because you're not giving it away to anyone.

Must.

Resist.

Urge.

To...

MARKET!

That, my friend, is a WONDERFUL idea-if you do not plan on using it, may I?  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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Micki
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« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2011, 12:16:41 am »

I have never bound a book, but after reading your tutorial I think I might have a go! Thank you!  Cheesy
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Mahogany
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« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2011, 06:45:01 am »

This is so helpful. I have a book about book making, but the instructions are not nearly as simple and easy to read as this.

XD  I just imagined a book about book making would be a bunch of loose paper, and the first chapter would be called, "Chapter One: Your First Project Is This Book."

Hey, it'd be good practice and you won't mind messing it up because you're not giving it away to anyone.

Must.

Resist.

Urge.

To...

MARKET!

That, my friend, is a WONDERFUL idea-if you do not plan on using it, may I?  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

lol.  You know, a part of me would say, “No!  Market it yourself!  You can make money off of it!”

But the more realistic side of me is saying, “Yeah, whenever are you going to do that?  Seriously, think about this.”

So, yeah, if you can work it out to sell it and get more people interested in book making, then go for it.  Smiley  I'd rather have that than have it just float away when the next random thought comes along.

But you've got to keep me informed with it!  Please?
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Xenos
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« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2011, 07:24:47 am »

This is so helpful. I have a book about book making, but the instructions are not nearly as simple and easy to read as this.

XD  I just imagined a book about book making would be a bunch of loose paper, and the first chapter would be called, "Chapter One: Your First Project Is This Book."

Hey, it'd be good practice and you won't mind messing it up because you're not giving it away to anyone.

Must.

Resist.

Urge.

To...

MARKET!

That, my friend, is a WONDERFUL idea-if you do not plan on using it, may I?  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

lol.  You know, a part of me would say, “No!  Market it yourself!  You can make money off of it!”

But the more realistic side of me is saying, “Yeah, whenever are you going to do that?  Seriously, think about this.”

So, yeah, if you can work it out to sell it and get more people interested in book making, then go for it.  Smiley  I'd rather have that than have it just float away when the next random thought comes along.

But you've got to keep me informed with it!  Please?

I will see what I can do!  *Scurries off to find startup capital, and to by a bloody printer...*

If I can manage to get this thing worked out, I'll be sure and send you a copy, and give full credit for the idea, as well (it's only right!)...  This gives me a reason to open an Etsy store! Cheesy
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Mahogany
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« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2011, 04:37:49 pm »


I will see what I can do!  *Scurries off to find startup capital, and to by a bloody printer...*

If I can manage to get this thing worked out, I'll be sure and send you a copy, and give full credit for the idea, as well (it's only right!)...  This gives me a reason to open an Etsy store! Cheesy

Yay!  Good luck with it! Cheesy
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