Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Book Binding Tutorial

As you may have read on an earlier post I mentioned my new craft Book Binding. I made this fabric covered book as a gift for a friend.

I was trying to find a tutorial for it but I couldn't really find anything close to how I made this one, so I have written my own. This is my first Tutorial so I hope I cover everything clearly.

A5 thick card i.e. grey board / mount board, I used Tim Holtz grunge board.
Fabric, if the fabric is thin I would interface it, and ensure you have about a cm all round to glue inside for neat edges.
Inside cover paper or card
Thread, ordinary thread is fine just check you can pull it without it snapping or if wrapped round a finger it will cut of the blood supply, which means it will be strong enough.
Glue, Fabric & PVA.
Pencil & Eraser
Sharp Knife
Bone / Paper folder

How to make the book.

First you will need to cut the spine and the covers from the A5 thick card. The spine I cut measured  2.5 cm wide x 12.5 cm tall, measure this onto the card with a pencil and then cut with the sharp knife. You can then cut the rest of the card in half for the covers or measure and cut. My covers when cut measured 9 cm wide x 12.5 cm tall.

Next spread fabric glue onto the card and place onto the fabric I left a small gap of a few mm between the spine card and covers. If the fabric is thin the glue may come through the fabric it can be gently sponged off when dry but interfacing the fabric may prevent this and also give some strength to the cover. Spread glue on the inside edges of the card and fold the fabric onto the inside, you could cut the corners at a diagonal to get neat corners or glue in on the diagonal first. Turn over to ensure the cover of the book is smooth, if not turn back over and lift up the glued fabric and pull to smooth out the front. Leave to dry.

While the cover is drying it is time to cut the inside cover paper and the paper for the individual booklets. To get the measurement needed I measured the width of the book and the whole length, I then adjusted this to show the fabric around the edges. 
Cut the paper for the inside cover, mine measured 12 wide/ tall x 20 cm in length.
Next get the paper for the booklets and decided how many pages you will need and how many booklets.  I cut 10 sheets for each booklet so when folded that would give 20 sheets per booklet and had a total of 6 booklets.
Measure out on the paper the width / height of the booklet, I kept the same as the inside cover which was 12 cm, and cut out. 
After cutting all the sheets you need for each booklet fold then in half using the bone / paper folder to give a sharp fold. 
Now you will need to cut the booklets to fit in the cover, I leave this until they have been folded so that all the edges are the same length. Mine measured 8.5 cm.

Now you need to attach the ribbon to the cover, measure how far down and in you would like the ribbon, and make a mark. Measure the width of the ribbon and draw a pencil line on the mark the width of the ribbon. Now cut the mark with the sharp knife through the card, turn the card over and neaten the cut through the fabric. Push the ribbon through the hole, it might need a push through, and attach it to the inside with glue, I also use some tape to cover the ribbon to be more secure. Cut the ribbon to the length you require.
Now cover the inside cover paper with glue and place on the card, to complete the cover and leave to dry.

Nearly there. You will need to measure the holes for sewing in the booklets, I made about 4 holes, you can make more or less. Mark this on the spine and them mark holes for all you booklets. Use an off cut of paper the size of your booklets and mark on to this the hole marks. Then use this as a template to mark the holes in the centre pages of the booklets.
Use the awl and make holes in the spine, and through the booklets. 
Thread the needle with an length of thread and sew through the booklet and spine (leave a tail of thread for knotting later). Sew through as may times as you want, I did it twice. Knot the thread together, I used a surgeons knot and cut the thread neat. If you can hide the knot in the holes. Sew in the other booklets in the same way. 
If you find the corners of the cover have curled a bit but the completed book under a heavy weight if needed.

And there you have a completed book.


  1. That's brilliant thank you :)x

  2. So clever, you are! You should decorate the front with elves - cut the bodies in 2 so they are flat :)