DIY Bookbinding

Spreading The Words One Author At A Time

Do It Yourself Book Binding Tutorial – Part 1

A simple little origami paper trick started a new interest for me in bookbinding – and eventually this handmade bookbinding tutorial. I found a blog article with a link to a PDF file that, when printed out and folded, created a very useful little 8 page expense tracking booklet that would slip in your pocket. I have found a number of other websites recently that offer various printable templates for customized notebook and day planner pages that can be printed out on your desktop. Now I want to bind a proper notebook with my own templated pages inside. There are several ways to go about making a book. The cheapest and easiest is to saddle-stitch the book. For this method you lay a small stack of pages together with a cover made of card stock, put two staples along the spine to hold it together (there are special ‘saddle stitch staplers‘ for this task), and then fold it in half. Alternately, you can sew the pages together with a heavy thread instead of stapling.

Our homeschool group shells out $4,000 a YEAR to a local printing company for expensive hardback color yearbooks (125 pgs). They look okay but the pages fall out every time. So I invested $49 to download Nathan DeStephano’s materials, which I discovered here on your site. We may start a printing / bookmaking shop along with scrapbooking, woodburning, digital & textile arts, etc. And, of course, printing & binding our own yearbooks!

Love all the info you have here!


The edges of the paper opposite the spine will not line up perfectly (a problem that becomes more pronounced as the number of pages increases.) You can trim the edges with a paper trimmer to even them up. Many large hardcover books are made by gluing together several small stacks of pages bound in this way.

Another very common method of binding is the ‘perfect binding.’ This is the binding method used for the paperback and trade paperback books that make up the majority of what is sold at your local bookstore.

To create a perfect-bound book you stack together your pages and then glue them along the spine edge with a very strong and flexible glue. After the pages have dried, a heavier stock paper is glued to the spine as a cover. Look on your bookshelf, you will find that all of your paperbacks are bound this way. Since there is no folding – except the cover – the pages are easy to line up and the edges of the finished book are very clean.

I would not have thought I could make a perfect-bound book myself until I read a tutorial over at Brad Isaac’s blog showing how it could be done with a simple jig and some Gorilla Glue (He’s since turned this tutorial into an excellent inexpensive report called The Fun and Easy Guide to Binding Your Own Paperback Books at Home… Fast!)

Because of its simplicity, I have chosen a perfect binding for my book. So, now it’s time to move on to the next part of this tutorial and make the book!

DIY Bookbinding Tutorial Part 2

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