Today The Green Fairy will cover a very interesting topic: How To Make Your Own Book! In this post, we will be covering how to make a blank book.
Since it will be your book, you can use it for anything from a basic grimoire such as a draft grimoire to a sketch book, journal, notebook, field book…etc.
- Blank Paper (the amount you choose is up to you) but we will be folding the paper in half so if you choose 10 sheets of paper, your blank book will have 20 pages total.
- Decorative paper. This will make the “interior design” of the book. You can use only one sheet or you can opt-in you use 2 sheets.
- Scissors or Paper cutter (your preference)
- Cardstock. For this book, the cover will be made of card stock but you can use cardboard, metal… etc if you want to move further in your design
- Bookbinders awl. This is to pierce holes into the cover for sewing.
- Large sewing needle. Small or medium will not work effectively.
- Waxed thread. Any kind, the more decorative, the better.
- Decorative binding material. For this, we are using an extra piece of decorative paper but you can use leather, fabric… etc if you choose.
- Glue. Preferably a strong bond glue. Unfortunately Elmer’s Glue will not allow for strong adhesion.
- Measure your blank paper to the appropriate specifications you would like. For example, if you want your book to be 6 inches tall, measure and draft your line with your ruler & pencil on the blank paper to be 6 inches tall. NOTE: If you would like your book to be 6 inches in width, measure and draft your blank paper to be 12 inches since we will be folding our pages in half. So, for basics, multiply desired end result width by 2.
- Cut your blank paper per measurements. Utilization of your pencil and ruler will come in handy to ensure your edges are straight.
- Fold each page of blank paper in half; do this individually.
- Insert each folded page, one inside the other.
- Prepare your “interior design” pages (follow steps 1-3).
- Place interior design sheet(s) on the outside on the blank pages.
- Prepare your cover cardstock slightly taller and wider than the blank pages.
- Fold cardstock in half.
- Place cardstock on the outside of the interior design sheets.
- Open the folded pages to the center of the blank pages.
- Measure to the exact middle on the fold of the blank page.
- Mark with your pencil, a strong-clear dot on the fold of the page.
- From the center measurement, add dots at equal distance from center to top then from center to bottom of fold. NOTE: The more dots you measure out equally, you will inevitability be making the spine of your book stronger. I like to measure my dots 1 cm apart from each other. Be mindful, however, to leave 1 inch approximately free of dots from the top of the book and again, leave free of dots, at the bottom of book.
- Pierce all of the pages (blank, interior design, cover) with the bookbinders awl where indicated with dots. Each dot will equal a piercing. Be sure that each hole goes all the way through to the cover page. Also, be careful not the stab yourself with the awl.
- Thread your needle with your waxed thread.
- Insert threaded needle through the center hole to the inside of your book.
- Leave three inches of thread hanging on the outside.
- Push the needle and thread through the top hole to the outside of your book.
- Bring thread across the back of the book.
- Insert needle and thread into the bottom hole to the inside of the book.
- Insert needle and thread into the center hole to the back of the book. The more threading, the stronger the spine of your book will be. Do not let your thread go lax, ensure your thread is always tight or you will create a weak spine regardless.
- Upon completion of threading, tie off the thread at the back of the book. Then cut off the excess thread.
- Measure your decorative binding material to the appropriate dimensions so that you may glue it to the back and front of the outside of your book.
- Apply decorative material to the outside of the book to cover your threading.
- If need be, you can start decorating the cover of your book.
It’s a pretty basic book design concept that you can take to a whole new level if you ever want to expand your book binding skills. This concept of book binding was first implemented in 1892 and is used in modern times as the default binding process for hundreds of book publishers.
However, this is not exclusively the only way to create your own blank book. Pintrest, Etsy and other independent bloggers can all show you various design concepts for book binding such as this fine independent blogger, Art Lady: http://artlady.janishenderson.com/?page_id=874