Thursday, December 4, 2008

Handmade Christmas presents - single pamphlet bookbinding

Making books can be as simple or as difficult as you want it to be. There are dozens of way to make a simple book your giftee will cherish for years to come! Here are two simple techniques...single pamphlet and album stitch.

To make a basic book you'll need:
Scissors, embroidery thread, and needle
Inside paper (to write or sketch on)
Spine paper
Something to poke a hole (needle, awl, etc.)
Good cardstock for your cover (I like Bazzill, but use any you want)
Stick of glue

This is the easiest and quickest way to create a book like the one above.

First, measure your book. Decide how big it is going to be. You'll want something reasonably sized, like 1/4 of a sheet of printer paper (printer paper is 8.5 inches wide x 11 inches high, so if you cut the paper in half width-wise you'll have a sheet that measures 8.5 inches wide, 5.5 inches high). Fold those pieces over width wise so you have a folded sheet of paper with the pages 4.25 wide and 5.5 inches high. Fold up to 10 pieces of paper of this size together and keep them together.

Now measure some holes. I recommend at least four holes. Position the holes as follows for a 5.5 inch book -- 1 inch from the top, 2 inches from the top, 2 inches from the bottom, 1 inch from the bottom. Poke through all these layers with an awl or a nice thick needle.

Measure your cover. If your book is 4.25 inches wide and 5.5 inches high, you'll want a cover that is slightly larger -- 4.5 inches wide and 5.75 inches high. So cut your cardstock 9 inches wide and 5.75 inches high. This gives ensures the pages don't stick out when you're finished. Fold the cardstock in half width-wise, the same as the paper.

Poke the holes in the same place as you did for the paper. You can lay the paper stack on top of it and poke the holes through. Don't worry if it looks're going to put pretty paper over the spine to cover up the mess!

Now start stitching. Make sure the cover and paper stack are all together. I like to start stitching at the top hole -- from the outside to the inside, making sure you have left a tail of the thread about 2 to 3 inches long. You do not need to knot the thread, but you can if it is hard to handle.

1. So step 1 -- hold your book with the cover facing you. Put the needle from the outside of the book to the inside of the book through the first hole. (It doesn't matter if it's the top hole or the bottom hole, just the first hole you see!)

2. Now your needle is on the inside of the book. Insert the needle into the second hold and pull it to the outside.

3. Needle on outside of book -- insert into third hole and pull to the inside.

4. Needle on inside of book -- insert into fourth hole and pull to the outside.

5. Now gently pull the two ends of the thread and tie them together.

Now measure your piece of pretty paper for the spine -- about 2 inches wide and the same height as the book -- and glue it onto the spine to cover up the threads. You're done!

You can use thin ribbon instead of thread if you want to leave the spine uncovered.
You can put pretty paper all over the entire cover instead of just the spine.
You can use brown type envelopes folded over in half instead of paper and make an envelope book!

ALBUM STITCHING (kinda like Japanese stitching but not as picky).

This is a similar concept with a few small changes. Like the book above, you're going to cut your paper to size, but you won't be folding it. Cut your paper into single sheets of 4.25 inches wide and 5.5 inches high (a sheet of printer paper cut into four equal pieces). We are going to cut the cardstock as well. So you'll want your pieces to be 4.5 inches wide and 5.75 inches tall. And you'll want to decorate the cover before stitching as you really don't get a chance afterwards. I recommend making the cover and the back different because you'll never know which side is the front cover. So pick something cute for the front, something rather plain for the back.

So you cut your pages up and your cover up, then decorate the cover. Be generous with the glue on the pretty paper, then put it on the cover. Get yourself a bread knife or popsicle stick and press out the glue so there are no bumps.

Measure out at least FIVE holes this time (but you can go six, seven, even eight if you want!) I recommend trying to get them evenly spaced because we are going to see the stitching on this one. I find it easiest to find the middle hole, then put 2 holes above that -- evenly spaced -- and 2 holes below it. That's the easiest way because this is an annoyingly uneven sized book, but a good one for cutting.

Now you have your holes. Start at the top hole and go from the front cover of the book to the back cover of the book. Then up and around through the front cover again through hole 2, then hole 3, then hole 4, then finally hole 5. This will give you a "spiral bound" look. Now go back -- from the back of hole 5 to the front of hole 4, back of hole 4 to the front of hole 3, back of hole 3 to the front of hole 2, back of hole 2 to the front of hole 1. Now your thread is at the back.

Tie the thread you left at the start of the binding to the thread you just finished and tie very tightly. Now cut off the ends and you're done.

Look for the next post tomorrow for matchbook books!

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