How To: Make a Hardcover Book


So you're an author, artist, teacher or crafter and want to bind your own hardcover book. You can make hardcover books using basic materials you probably already have on hand. Use your books as journals, photo albums or for scrapbooking projects. You can make your books with as many pages as you like. Personalize the covers and you can give your handmade books as gifts.

Things You'll Need

  • 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • Cardboard
  • Craft knife
  • Paper cutter
  • Rubber cement
  • School glue
  • Spatula
  • Take up to eight standard printer paper pages and fold in half widthwise. Unfold. Use the crease as a guide and stitch paper together along the crease using a sewing machine. If you want more pages, do not stitch 50 pages together -- stitch several small (6 to 8 pages) sections together. Your book will thus consist of several small "booklets" inserted into one binding.

  • Cut out two strips of a canvas-like fabric for the spine of your book. Cut these pieces to be about 2 inches wide and as tall as your book. Blackout fabric used in window treatments ideal, as it does not fray and has a slick side to it.

  • Stitch the two spine strips together lengthwise close to the center. Stitch a parallel line next to the first seam. For a thicker book, stitch the two seams further apart.

  • Cut two pieces of cardboard that will serve as your covers. Use something a little sturdier than cereal box cardboard. Use a ruler to make sure the covers are the same size as your book. Use a paper cutter for a cleaner edge.

  • Coat 1 inch on one edge of each cardboard cover with rubber cement on the side that will go into the spine. Be sure to coat an inch on the inside and on the outside. Open one side of your "spine" and coat it with rubber cement. Be sure to hold it open so it does not glue itself together. Allow to dry for several minutes.

  • Holding the spine open, place your book cover snug up against the seam in the fabric that will be the spine. Press the fabric to both sides of the cardboard. Repeat with the other cardboard book cover.

  • Use a fancy wrapping paper or fabric to cover your book cover. Coat both the cardboard and the decorative paper or fabric with rubber cement, allow to dry and press together. This will give you a clean look. You now have a hard cover for your book.

  • Open your book cover and draw a line of regular school glue on the center of the spine.

  • Place the sewn pages of your book up against the spine and press in firmly with a spatula. Repeat with all the "sections" of your book. Put finished book under a pile of heavy books until dry.


  • Photo Credit Dynamic Graphics/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images
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