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Project

How to Bind a Book

Introduction

Follow these simple instructions to bind your own professional-looking book at home.

Materials

  • Sheets of paper for binding into a book
  • Bone folder
  • StudioTac double-sided adhesive
  • Heavyweight papers for end pages
  • Pencil
  • Jade glue
  • Paint brush
  • Headband tape
  • Craft knife
  • Binder's board (acid-free)
  • Book canvas
  • Iron-on transfer paper (optional)

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Collect all the sheets of paper you wish to bind into a book. Fold each sheet in half, with the image or text on the inside, using a bone folder.

  2. Step 2

    Start with the folded sheet that you intend to have as your first and second pages. Place double-sided adhesive on the half of the folded paper that is the back of the second page. Burnish with the bone folder, remove protective backing and place the next folded page over it, lining up the folds and the edges; burnish to secure. Repeat to create the rest of the pages.Note: If you are creating a blank book, or the pages are printed double-sided, you do not need to adhere the pages to each other. Arrange the folded pages in order and allow the loose pages to fall, folded-edge-down, onto a flat surface to make sure all pages are aligned at the spine. Then, continue with step 3.

  3. Step 3

    Fold the two sheets of paper that you are using for the end pages in half. Use double sided adhesive to add these to the top and bottom of the stack of adhered sheets.

  4. Step 4

    Place the stack of folded pages on edge of table, hanging off a quarter inch. Place several heavy books on top. Brush five coats of Jade glue onto the spine, allowing to dry for 10-15 minutes between coats.

  5. Step 5

    Add headband tape to both ends of spine.

  6. Step 6

    Trim the edge of the pages with a craft knife, if necessary. Place pages onto binder's board and trace around them. Add a quarter inch to the height of the tracing. Cut out two of these rectangles from the binder's board with a craft knife to make a front and back cover.

  7. Step 7

    Cut a spine from the binder's board that is the same height as the two covers and a width that is equal to the thickness of the pages plus the two covers when placed together.

  8. Step 8

    Place covers and spine on canvas, leaving a quarter-inch between the covers and the spine. Trace around each cover and the spine with a pencil, making a template for gluing everything down. Cut the canvas 1 inch around entire layout. Cut an ellipse out of each corner.

  9. Step 9

    Brush glue onto one binder's board cover, being sure to cover the whole surface to avoid air bubbles. Glue the cover in place on the canvas. Flip the canvas over and burnish with a bone folder to remove air bubbles. Repeat for the second cover and spine.

  10. Step 10

    Once the covers and spine are glued and burnished, brush a layer of glue along the extra inch of canvas on one of the sides. Fold canvas over to inside of cover and burnish to secure. Repeat for all sides, paying close attention to corners to be sure they are tucked in correctly. Once all sides are glued, do a final burnish all around with the bone folder.

  11. Step 11

    Iron an image onto the front of the finished book, if desired.

  12. Step 12

    Place book pages within the covers. Place a piece of scrap within the folded end pages on one side. Brush glue onto the back of the end page (the one that is facing up when all the pages are closed), being sure to cover the whole surface. Carefully close the cover onto the page with glue. Press down. Flip book over, open to the page you have glued, and burnish the page onto the cover. Repeat to attach the other end page to the other cover.

  13. Step 13

    Place scrap paper within the front and back covers, and place several heavy books on top of the book. Let dry for an hour.

Source
The Martha Stewart Show, March 2009

Reviews (4)

  • afelgent 6 Sep, 2012

    @mentalcloud search for book cloth at talasonline.com or colophonbookarts.com or hollanders.com

  • mentalcloud 29 Jun, 2012

    Where can I find book canvas? I've looked around so much.

  • KS7 11 Dec, 2011

    Dear MarthaStewart.com:
    I just wanted to know if there is a maximum thickness if binding a book in this manner?
    Thank you.
    Sincerely, in Christ Jesus the Lord,
    KS

  • MsHakan 21 Oct, 2011

    Dear Martha,

    This book binding video was great! I loved how you and James Sheehan made your books. It looks simple but I know it takes some time. I am a graphic design student and I took a book class during a spring semester in a college corse in Flint, Michigan. I will definitely try making one like you and James made. So far I have three finished books that I would love to publish some day.

    Sincerely,
    Ms Hakan