Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Book Binding

For my one year wedding anniversary gift for my husband I wanted to do something in the vein of the traditional first gift: paper. So, I called in the big guns. One of my good friends got her masters in book binding and she was kind enough to teach me how to make a book.

We started by cutting thick pieces of cardboard for

the front and back covers and the spine.

Next, I cut a pieces of paper to wrap around all three pieces.

I cut off the corners so that the whole thing would have fewer creases.

Using her glue, mixed with water, and a brush,
I glued the paper around each of the cardboard pieces.
Then I picked out a large sheet of marbled
paper to add a second layer to the book.

I cut a strip of thick white paper to give the spine some strength,

then added a brown sheet of paper over the top of that.

This is how the covers and spine look before the paper is added to the inside.

I ripped four sets of signatures of paper for the inside.

Each signature is made up of four pieces of paper

cut to the same size and folded over.

I tore the paper, using a ruler, to give the edges a rougher look.

Using an awl I puntured the spine with four holes in a row in three different spots.

Then I stitched each of the signatures into the book,
looping through the spine twice for each one.

The finished spine had a crisp look. The finished book (shown at the top) turned out beautifully. This is a very simple outline of a complicated process and there's no way mine would have turned out well without my friend's help.

When it was complete I filled the first few pages with some of my favorite memories from our first year of marriage. I'm planning to add to it each year.

Photos by moi.


  1. I bought a lovely hand made book and was looking for the name of the paper glued to the inside of the cover and came across your blog. May you have some loving memories to add to your book each year.

  2. Thank you for your kind words. I hope you enjoy your new book as well!