Do it Yourself Bookbinding


With a few simple tools, amateur, do it yourself bookbinding can be done at home. Most of the supplies that are mentioned in the bookbinding process can be purchased from bookbinding suppliers or from school supply stores. Bookbinding experts recommend that the DIY bookbinder request samples of supplies before they are bought in large quantities.

Do it Yourself Bookbinding
(Kate Van Vleck/Demand Media)

For creating a stiff outer cover/foundation, you will need a heavy-weight news board. News board is sold in 50 lb. bundles that have a differing amount of paper, depending on how thick the paper is. Book covers are made out of No. 30 news board, but for DIY and first-time bookbinders, No. 50 news board is the best to start with. For the lining inside of the cover, any fairly lightweight, of the bookbinders choice, colored or marble paper will do.

The paper that is used inside of the book depends on what the bookbinder prefers. A lightweight, light colored paper is the norm. The bookbinder will also need linen thread for stitching the binding.

The bookbinder will also need the following tools: a metal ruler, a straight edge, scissors, a drawing pencil, a medium tapestry needle, a high-quality glue stick, and a compass.

Kate Van Vleck/Demand Media

The size of the booklet should be decided ahead of time depending on what it is going to be used for. This is entirely up to the individual doing the bookbinding. To prepare for the creation of the booklet, a draft of the folio (a piece of paper folded in half, resulting in two full pages). Using a ruler and pencil, cut out one folio. Then draw a plan for the cover. The cover should extend about one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch from the page.

Cut one folio for the lining of the cover. After cutting out the material for the cover, use the glue stick to glue the liner to the cover. Once the glue has dried, thread the linen thread through the bottom of the booklet, starting from the inside of the folio. Using ½ inch stitches, stitch to the right, around the edge of the booklet, go down through the middle, and then around to the left, finishing at the top middle of the folio.

To create the page portion of the booklet, lay out the first cut page folio. Lay it over and cut as many pages as you would like to create in the booklet (40-50 folios is the norm for a booklet). With the folios laid flat, use the straight edge to determine where the middle of the page lies. Using the needle and thread, go directly through the middle of the page, from the inside of the folio. Poke another hole at the top of the page, string the thread through, go through the middle again and proceed to duplicate this process toward the bottom of the page. This is to keep the inside leaves (pages) together. Using the same process that was used on the cover, sew ½ inch stitches up the length of the middle of the folio.

Kate Van Vleck/Demand Media

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