Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Easy Under $5 Bookbinding Handmade Notebook

A few days ago, I did a bookbinding notebook for my son and it was nothing fancy, just 3 holes, thread and needle and I did it in 5 min. I thought why not write a little tute and show you guys how to do it. It's great if you need a last minute simple handmade gift.

Must have:
  • 1 sheet of stock paper for the cover
  • X number of sheets of paper for the inside. I used 3 pieces of copy paper and I suggest you don't use too many. You will face difficulties with bulk.
  • hand sewing needle
  • thread - I used linen thread but if you don't have any, use the strongest thread you own. Embroidery thread is really ok too.
  • ruler (not in photo)
Not necessary:
  • bone folder - you can use a ruler, a fork or even your fingers
  • awl - if you don't own an awl, use a big sharp needle
In my tute, I'm using A4 size paper. You can use any size paper.

Step 1:
Fold cover paper in half. Meet corners.

Step 2:
Use bone folder or alternative to flatten fold. I took the photo with my left hand that's why I have drawn a cartoon hand on the photo to represent my left hand.

Step 3:
Repeat for inside paper.

Step 4:
Stack up paper with cover at the bottom.

Step 5:
With all pieces of paper stacked up nicely, open them up as shown in image above. Use a ruler to find the midpoint of the paper. Push awl through to make a tiny hole large enough to allow the needle and thread to go through.

Step 6:
Now that you have your midpoint, you can use your ruler to find the next midpoint between the center midpoint and the edge of paper. Do the same for the left side of paper.

In total, you will get 3 holes.

Step 7:
Thread about one arm's length of thread. Double it if you are doubling your thread like me. Tie a knot. Have the cover and papers stacked up nicely as before. Starting from the first midpoint, insert needle through all the pieces of paper. Pull through leaving a tail of about 2 inches. This tail should always remain on the inside of the book.

Step 8:
Your needle should emerge on the same side as your cover. Now you can either insert needle into the extreme left or extreme right hole. Doesn't matter. Pull through.

Step 9:
Now you're back where you started.

Insert needle into remaining unthreaded hole.

Step 10:
Your needle will emerge on the same side as your cover. Insert needle back through the first midpoint.

Step 11:
Your needle should be back on the inside of the book. Tug on the thread a little to ensure you don't have any looseness anywhere.

Tie a dead knot with tail of thread and trim ends.

Your little notebook is finished. I just want to point out that you should expect to see some inside paper peeking out. If it bothers you, you can always use a ruler and penknife and trim it. Honestly, leave it. It's a handmade gift.

If you think your notebook looks a little plain, you can always embellish the cover. I used my cat applique template available at my Etsy shop. I had the template printed at 60% on a piece of fancy paper. Or you could print it on copy paper and trace it onto a fancy paper.

I cut out the outline of the cat and glued it to the cover. Doesn't it look cute? There are so many ways to embellish the cover. However, I do think less is more. Sometimes a plain notebook looks just as good.


Bethany said...

This is really cute! My nephew is at that early reading/writing stage, so I might make him some so he can have little journals to "write" in.

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