Sunday, March 30, 2014

How I bind my journals

I thought this week I would try and show how I bind my books. I don't use a lot of proper tools, I haven't gotten around to buying them so I use what I do a nail and hammer instead of an awl and regular embroidery thread instead of stronger bookbinding thread, these things seem to work good enough for me...
I will show a few photos and then instructions at the end...

  1. first I gut the book by cutting out the pages with an exacto, along the front seam where they attach and then the back, leaving just the hardcover and spine intact.
  2. then i cover the book with the images i want and i like to use washi tape on the spine.
  3. cut or tear your paper down to size and create the signatures , i usually do three or four sheets per signature and about four signatures.
  4. fold each sheet and use a bone folder to smooth, then gather the sheets in a stack and clip them 
  5. measure for the holes, i do every inch
  6. poke the holes along each signature and and on the book spine too
  7. use embroidery thread through a large needle and begin at the bottom going up the spine in and out and then down and tie a double knot when you reach the bottom. 
I hope these instructions help somewhat and if any one has any questions I'd be happy to try and answer them :)


  1. won't believe this..I just just kind of deckled edged a few watercolor pages from a very old large large watercolor sheet..I have made small journals with thread by making fabric covers..but why I never thought of this I don't know!
    I just punched holes and tied a green ribbon for my little book..

    The next one will be like yours..
    Thanks so much..
    So gracious of you!

  2. This is lovely. I just stumbled on your blog for Debbie's blog (Harmony Hills). I make small watercolour books for my personal use and make the covers out of thick matt board covered with gesso and acrylic paint...then use a coptic type binding to stitch it all together. Love your idea here, though.

  3. I am always interested in how others bind their pages. Never thought of your idea. I will definitely give this one a try soon. There is a new used book store on my route, might just have to stop in. Take care Jenni. Luv, your Aunt :0)

  4. Jenni - this is super demo. I must give this a try because I have been wanting to make my own journals with a variety of papers. Thanks so much for sharing. I also love the idea of using what you have on hand. Sometimes those common tools work just as fine as the more expensive ones. Have a beautiful week - hope it is spring where you are today.

  5. awesome! I love making my own sketchbooks! Oh and I see you're doing Cathy Johnson's Artist Journal workshop!