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Book Binding for fun (not) profit

Little LedgerI doubt I will make these to sell. But what fun to make for myself! A few hours of fighting with the printed pages to get the order correct (well… that kind of took all day, really). A printer that can print both sides makes a HUGE difference.

I got my idea from my sister, Kristi Smart, who designed her dream worksheet for her custom clothing orders and– get this– made it pretty. What a concept! And besides being easy to look upon, the different parts of the project are visually separated.

I need something to take around with me that was not my laptop. Old fashioned, pen and paper. Pretty.

The first project book I made was pretty much exactly as described in this post at instructables.com. I was just in time for the Gifting Season, so I gave it to a friend. This is my second Project book, and I used this more elaborate instructable. I cheated– You know where she says that PVA glue is the only way to go? Well, I couldn’t find mine, or even my white glue, so I used Elmer’s brown-colored Ultimate Wood Glue *blushes*. And I folded strips of muslin for what she calls “head material,” which seems to be a kind of cotton ribbon. On the other hand, I learned that the little snips into the back of each signature, in preparation for sewing– makes the sewing so much easier. You don’t want to cut out any of the steps. And the snips don’t have to go very deep, either not even all the way through all of the pages in that fold.

If you simply follow along like it was a cooking recipe, binding a book properly is not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. Each step makes sense. Sewing the signatures is faster than stapling them, as the first instructable suggested. And the sewing creates that incomparable pattern at the fold. you KNOW you have a BOOK in your hands!

Go ahead– try your own. If you like my pages, let me know and I’ll gladly send you them as a PDF file. 🙂

For another way to bind books, this page shows the Japanese stitching technique. It’s extremely useful for repairing paperbacks.

For another slant on making your own book, check out Becket Gladney’s Coptic-bound sketch-filled personal notebook.