Keep in mind that this is a beginners guide on how to bind a book and this is to be used as a stepping stone onto bigger and more difficult projects.
Before we start learning how to bind a book, you will need the following items
- 10 sheets of regular white office paper
- A think and heavy cover paper
- A book binding needle
- A Book binding Awl
- Wax / book binding thread
This is how to bind a book
Grab a sheet of office paper and fold it in half. Trim the paper down to the desired size if you want and smaller book before you fold it. You have created 1 folio.
Fold the rest of the papers in half to make ten folios. You can fold the heavy cover stock as well.
Open a folio slightly and then slide in the remaining 9 folios into that one. Doing so should give you a stack of folios. This becomes the book's signature.
Put your heavy cover stock over this folio. Some of the guts of the paper will poke through your cover, so you can either trim the excess so it matches the cover or leave it. It is up to you.
Now open the book and use a pencil to mark the center of the fold.
Make two more dots, 2.25 inches up and down from the center dot on the fold. These will be where you punch the holes for the thread with your awl.
Use your awl and go through all eleven pieces of paper. If you twist the awl after it has gone all the way through, it widens the hold. Next step is to sew the signature.
Take out your waxed thread and measure out roughly 2.5 feet of thread. Load up one of your book binding needles with the thread.
You now have to make a choice of whether you want the leftover thread to hang on the outside or the inside of the book. If you are making a book for mostly decorative purposes, most choose to leave it on the outside. This decision effects whether or not you start sewing from the center of the book or on the outside. Because I am going to show you a decorative book, I will tell you the instructions for keeping the leftovers on the outside.
Take the needle and thread and push it through the center of the hole on the outside of the signature.
Pull the needle and string through the hole, leaving a few inches behind. This becomes what you will knot the string with to make your book.
Put the needle into the left outer hole and pull the thread tight.
Pass the needle and thread through the opposite outer hole on the outside of the cover.
Put the needle through the center hole one more time and remove the needle. You are finished sewing.
Pull the strings tight so it can keep the book together.
Now tie a knot where the two strings meet. Depending on how long you want the excess thread to be, you may need a pair of scissors cut the excess.
Good job, you have now learned how to bind a book.