400 N. Bowen #304, Arlington, Texas 76012

a basic easy method


I simply love being able to bind my pages into a finished book.  Whether it's photo pages, your diary notes, thoughts for the day,
sketches you have treasured,
you can put them into a complete hard bond book.  I've attached a "simple" way to bind. 
This is certainly not the only way but if you enjoy this you can develop your skills to a higher level. 
This technique also makes a great handcrafted gift for a friend who sketches or keeps a diary.
         BOOKBINDING INST..                STAINED GLASS INST.            FEATHER TECHNIQUES-INST         
   MOSAIC INST.                 TYE-DYE. INST.      WIRE WORK


How to frame
different art items
How to measure
art for framing

How to stretch



How to repair
torn canvas and 
damaged compo frames
- plus gold leafing
what is it

my wife wanted to go to an expensive place- I took her to the gas station


    1) Your pages- with extra  ½” on side to be bound (for your holes and stitches)

    2) Fabric or paper to cover your book usually ½ yard is more than enough. Fabric needs to be thick enough that glue will not soak through, but not so thick
         that it is hard to fold around corners.
    3) Spray glue (I like 3M77)*
    4) Bookbinders glue (I use Linco)I use this one more when I’m doing repairs to old books. (more control) You can use any white craft glue as they will
          all outlive you.  Sobo, Tacky, Elmer and many others.  You just need something that will dry clear and is easy to use.  I've never used the sticks but
          they may work fine.
    5) Scissors
    6) Paper:
         a) Paper for clean work surface (brown paper or white butcher paper, (newspaper can possible bleed ink onto      your fabric covering so check
              compatibility before using newspaper)
         b) paper or tracing paper or saran wrap. to place inside the book when adding pages to cover stock
    7) Heavy thread to stitch with (waxed linen or cotton)

    8) Ice pick, or hole puncher
    9) Possibly some ½ strips of paper to match your page paper or card stock strips to build up spine of book to march pages depth. Fig 1b (thick spacers
        can show, so watch the color you use.)
       Pages should be designed with at least ½ inch on the side where you are going to have the spine of the book.  Do not use that 1/2 inch for image or  the
        edge  may get covered when you bind the book.  This ½ inch will be where you put your holes to stitch up the book.


  1. Get your pages in order (check them well, once bound it is impossible to change unless you completely start over.  Add one to 3 extra
    papers to the front and back of your book.  These can be plain or colored.  The top and bottom ones will be glued to your final cover.
    So if you are using colored paper be sure the color faces in on the front and back sheets. Just the very outside sheets. These pages will be stitched
    together with your other
    pages. (fig 1)  BE SURE PAGES ARE EVEN ON THE LEADING EDGE OF THE BOOK.  The stitched
    edge is not as important to be even since it will be hidden in the binding process.

Illustrates that marlbled paper face into the book
        Fig 1
        This fig shows that the marbled paper on the outside faces into the book. The last page will face into the book.
        That way when these two outside pages are glued to the book cover the inside front and back of the book will
         have marbled paper


     NOTE 1: If you have added a lot of layers to your pages, you may need to add filler in the spine so that the spine
     does not crush down a lot lower than the thickness of the pages. Ideally you want the spine to be approximately the same thickness as the finished pages
     will be. Or your book might gape.  Cut some neutral or matching page paper in ½” strips to place to the spine edge to build up thickness of the spine. If
     you have added a lot of trims and layers to your pages you may need card stock thickness to add to the spine. Use your best judgment. Your goal here i
     s that when the spine is stitched it will be approximately same thickness as the pages. 
Fib 1b show that you may need to balance the spine if you have thick pages Fig 1b
    2.Punch holes in all your stacked pages on the side you intend to be the spine.  I have a punch, I bought used, that punches an entire row of holes. 

       But you could use an ice pick, hammer and nail or a hole punch.  Some printers will punch your holes for you if you have a printer near you, you might
       call and see. It will be a little harder to punch if you have glued on some extra thick spacer, see “Note 1” above.
       Holes should be about ½” to 1” spaced.  Closer is OK, but not further apart.

    3.Stitch your pages together (fig 2).  DO NOT GO AROUND THE OUTSIDE END
       of the pages.  When you get to the last hole reverse.  Make your tie away from the end. Be sure your string is strong and about 3 times length of book.
      Start in the middle of the string, in the middle of the book. Stitch out to the end reverse and meet back in the middle where you will tie off the ends. 
 DO NOT GO AROUND OUTSIDE OF THE PAGES.  Reverse when you get to the last hole. You want to tie ends snug.

     Fig 2
Sewing the spine, sew from the center out and back to the center for the tie, do not go around outside edge.NOTE 2:  The pages of your book will behave better if the grain of the paper runs parallel to the spine. 
                     To find the grain direction of the paper tear a sheet.  If it tears evenly that is direction of the grain.  It will want to tear
     ragged if that is not the direction of the grain. Try this tearing on a paper towel.  You will see clearly which way the paper grain is going. 
     A book will not lay open if the grain is going opposite of the spine. You can also find the grain by folding the paper it
    will fold evenly in the direction of the grain, it will fold rough across the grain. Not critical and you have no guarantee
    that the manufacturer of the paper cut it so that the grain all goes in the same direction.

   4. Cut 4 pieces of card stock, acid free is great, but this will outlive you even if you don't. I often use A/F mat board which is double thick. (I spray glue
   two pieces of regular A/F mat board together) All 4 pieces should be about 1/4 taller than you pages to allow 1/8 inches on top and bottom. The width
   will be determined by the size of the book. Large outside pieces sould be about where your pages begin on the inside edge and about 1/8 inches outside
   the left size f the page. The two strip should be 1/4 taller than your pages to allow for the 1/8" overlap on each top and bottom. Width is about the room
   to cover the stitched area. See fig 3.

    5.  Get your cover fabric laid out. Iron it if needed.  You will place your 4 cover pieces on the fabric like (fig 3). There should be approx 1/8 inch between
        the small strips and the main cover card stock.  There should be enough space between the 2 narrow strips to accommodate the thickness of your book.
    Place your stitched book into the space.  You want just a little more space that the book spine (1/8”) because the fabric will be wrapping around the spine.
   The book can also be made without the
    2 thin strips, but allow for their spacing. Large cover piece starts near the holes you stitched and should extend over the outside edge approximately 1/8 “
    so you will have more fabric between the 2 cover pieces.
  Fig 3
Make sure your spacing is good for the thickness of your book before glueing5. Using a clean paper work area,  apply glue to each section of your book cover card stock and place onto your fabric as you
laid it out above. Be sure
 to keep it straight, fig 3.   I will lay a ruler on my layout just to be sure I stay straight.

After all is glued....quickly check to be sure your book cover fits. Fold over the covers onto the book pages.  You
can adjust it while the glue is fresh.  Be sure there is no glue under the actual spine of the pages or it will never open and close
 correctly  Rub down the fabric incase there is a wrinkle.


   6. Lay your book pages aside in a safe place. Would also be good to place a piece of waxed paper over the book and put some heavy weight on it while
       it dries. (phone books work great)

   7.  Cut corners of fabric per (fig 4) so that when you fold you don’t have a lot of bulk.
   fig 4                                                  Fig 4b

trim fabric just off the corner of the hard cover

Glue in the squiggly line area for wrapping your cover stock

squiggle lines indicate the glue area when you fasten down your fabric. 
I USE 3M spray 77 and it has a directional spray and give a great even band
of glue. Be sure you spray in a area other than your work area. I set up a
glue area away from everything.

    8. Spay glue around the edges (fig 4b).  This is why I like 3M77.  It has a directional spray and doesn’t mist all over everything. Be sure you are spaying
        on a clean area and get away from this area for later work.  Spray the fabric edge and on to the book cover its self.  See squiggle line (fig 4b) to indicate
        spray area

   9. Fold up all edges of the fabric (fig 4) PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION to the corners.  You want the fabric to meet evenly at the corners. None or very
       little overlaying, but no gapes either. Keep extra fabric handy just  in case you have to do a little patching on the corner.
      Note the book spine can be double covered with a matching or contrasting fabric at this time. (especially if you are using paper covering –paper wears
      out faster than fabric).  A pretty ribbon is nice and easy. I used wired ribbon that had a gold edge. (fig 5) and slide out the wire.

   10. One more time try your book inside the cover to be sure it fits.  If you have a bad fit, you can cut the spine cover and redo that area with extra
         fabric allowing more room or take out some room.  
        At this time you can match or contrast the fabric. .Shows adding a spine reinforcement or color contrastFig 5

  Fig 5


  12. New clean work area. Lay your stitched pages onto your book cover.  Be sure it is as straight as you can possibly get it.  Put waxed paper inside
        one of the extra sheets you added to the top of your book. Waxed paper protects the rest of the book from getting sprayed.  (fig.6) Spray 3M77
        (or brush the bookbinders glue onto the outside of the top page). CLOSE the top cover of the book into the glued area. Check inside to be sure it is
        straight and no wrinkles.  Fix any problems. 

     NOTE: Put waxed paper or some sheet of paper under first page  to protect the rest of the book from the glue. (butcher paper, newspaper, waxed paper, 
     plastic wrap. When you press the cover  into the glue be sure you page is straight or quickly remove and adjust. This is the tricky part. This step
     also holds the book together. So you want it to look nice and also want the book to close straight.
Fib 6 put waxed paper or something inside top sheet to glue it to your book cover A(protect other pages from glue)13.Turn the book over and repeat. Put in waxed paper, apply glue to top page fold over the back over, and check
    to be sure it is straight and no wrinkles.

 NOTE: Press the book down to be sure everything is secure.  I usually place some clean waxed paper inside the
  book (where I applied glue front and back) so there is no chance the glue will transfer. I usually stack some old
  phone book on top for weight. Leave it to dry thoroughly.

Fig 6

    14. YOU ARE NOW A BOOKBINDER!!  Do it again and you will do a better job because now you won’t be so frightened. And you will know where
          to be careful.

   NOTE: There are numerous different ways to bind a book.  THIS IS ONLY ONE.  If this was fun and rewarding for you, please feel free to adventure
    into other methods.  
    This methods works with single pages that need to be stitched together along  the binding edge, but can also work for numerous signature
    units that have been stitched together in small units and then combined.

Finished book and I hope no one notices that I shot the picure with the book upside down.
Give me a call.  I’ll either help or sympathize.  
e-mail: lynarts@flash.net .





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