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Envelope Books: Paper Binding How-To

Photography: Sang An

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2000


A paperback Kwanza book has seven pages, one for each day of celebration. The holiday's daily themes are reflected in the passages enclosed in each envelope.

In the gardening book, each envelope holds seeds, with tips and instructions for planting.

Note: Bind envelopes as in step 1 of Envelope Books: Cloth Binding How-To.

Return to Envelope Books.


  • Envelopes

  • Awl

  • Bookbinding tape

  • Cardstock or heavyweight paper

  • Craft glue

  • Glue brush

  • Bone folder

  • Ribbon

  • Ruler

  • Utility knife

  • Scissors

  • Decorative scissors


  1. For the cover, cut a long rectangle from heavyweight paper. Its length should be four times the width of the bound envelopes, plus the width of the spine of the bound envelopes; the width of the rectangle should equal the length of the envelopes plus 1/4 inch. Locate the center of the rectangle. Using a bone folder and a ruler as straightedge, score a crease to either side of the center, marking a band as wide as the spine. Fold inward along creases; press with bone folder; open again. From each crease, measure outward the width of an envelope plus 1/4 inch; score and fold inward along these creases.

  2. Place bound envelopes in central band; cut two strips of bookbinding tape the length of envelopes and 1/2 inch wide (3/4 inch for scalloped edges). Affix bound envelopes to paper cover with tape.

  3. With awl, poke holes halfway up each cover, 1/4 inch from spine; poke another hole at the same height, 1/4 inch from outer edge of each cover. Thread ribbon through holes.

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