Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login


Submitted on
April 11, 2012
Image Size
5.4 MB
Submitted with


446,913 (3 today)
16,712 (who?)


Creative Commons License
Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Bookbinding Tutorial by JamesDarrow Bookbinding Tutorial by JamesDarrow
:facebook: Please 'like'
Download for a larger view! - Journal with books and additional info - Click here for a video I uploaded on how to sew your book!

Eden Workshops - A Bookbinders Resource. Here you will find free tutorials, learn at home DVD's, equipment and materials.

Please read everything before asking questions. I understand this can be confusing, but I may have already answered your question.

This took me so long to make! You're welcome :iconspecky1:

Materials : (with links to purchase / more info)

• Paper : The paper is the most important part of the book, you'll want something that is durable and practical to the purpose of your book. I'm using Strathmore 18 in. x 24 in. 80 lb drawing paper. Strathmore website
• Paper (endpaper) : I'm using scrapbook paper, a thicker paper with interesting designs. Endpaper on Wikipedia

• Glue stick : Anything will do. I prefer using ones that are purple and dry clear. Elmer's Disappearing Purple School Glue Sticks
• Spray adhesive : Again, as long as it works anything will do. I had some Duro All-Purpose Spray Adhesive around when I was making this. Be very very very careful when using this! Read the instructions on the can. When I was using the spray adhesive I would prepare the paper inside and the go outside to spray it.

• Thread : When making your book, you'll want to use a thread that is durable and easy to work with. There is a thread specifically for bookbinding, but it can be a bit expensive. An alternative to that would be to use dental floss (I've never used this method before so I can't say how well it'll work). You can also use beeswax coated thread, again, it can be expensive to purchase. I just used a generic thread doubled over to be stronger, this has worked fairly well for me. Embroidery thread works great too! (thanks everyone who mentioned this)
Coats & Clark Ecru Upholstery Thread was recommended, it might be worth a try considering the price.
• Needle

• Ruler
• Scissors (fabric scissors optional but could be useful)
• Pencil
• (optional) Cutting Board / Paper Cutter
• Canvas
• Binder clips

• Fabric : For the cover, something you wouldn't mind looking at! I recommend buying some scrap or discount fabric when you first start and later buy something a bit nicer.
• Ribbon : You can use either a strip of fabric or some ribbon if you choose to add a bookmark. Example of what I would use

• Heavy weight : Some heavy books will do, in my case I have an old projector.

• Awl : Something sharp and pointy. I'm using a tool from Bead Buddy 4 Piece Reamer set. The red and yellow ones work great

• Chipboard : You can also use a thin wood or foam. I wouldn't recommend using anything else as they might not be as durable or easy to work with.

• Anything else you want to decorate your book with.

Book Terms :

Book Block : All the sewn together sheets of paper that make up the pages in the book.
End Paper / End Sheets : The first and last paper of the book. They connect the cover of the book to the book block.
Signature : groups of folded paper. I take 4 folded pieces of paper and group them together. When you sew you are sewing the signatures together.

Diagram of a book

You may use this tutorial in part or whole to teach others, please don't remove my name or URL. Also, it would be great if you send me links to books you create using this. I want to see what everyone is capable of! ♥

To sew your book without having to fold it, view this tutorial
Add a Comment:

Daily Deviation

Given 2012-04-22
foxIing Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
definitly will try maybe this weekend or today if my mom is willing to buy it :D 
LadyScoora Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2014
Own thanks a lot!! I've been wanting a sketchbook for so long :D I will try it as soon as I gather the materials!
spuggey Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Lovely! I made a book with a clamp and glued pages (perfect binding, I believe is the technical name) and it's pretty sturdy as a reading book, but your method looks great for making sketchbooks that'll get a bit more wear. Thanks!
RaccontoUrahara Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2014  New member Hobbyist Writer

A few years ago, I made my firsts notebooks based on this tutorial <3

ElementZ124 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
omg! this is sooo cool, Im going to try this right away!
CosGirl16 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2014  New member
I'm trying to make this but I don't know where to find chip board or the canvas! Could you tell me where you got them from and how much they cost please??? Thanks!
JamesDarrow Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Michaels, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby in stores and online. Pretty much any art store and most craft stores have both and they're pretty inexpensive.
meilandru Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014  New member
I'm currently trying this out. Had to make some material adjustments (they dont have chipboard at michaels, have to use balsa). had to get an xacto knife (my first!) to cut thru the wood.
As for the thread, I make jewelry, and the thread I use for that is really strong stuff. When I have to replace a button, I use this stuff. (Silkon, Medium Weight)
I thought the selection of canvas was too flimsy and too much for what I need it for, and got a sturdier and stiffer looking piece of laminated burlap.
I'll let you know how everything works out.
JamesDarrow Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I look forward to it :)
paul-bookbinder Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2014  New member
Hello James! A fantastic tutorial, thanks for taking the time out to create it.

I was wondering whether you might give me permission to reproduce your post on my bookbinding tutorial website iBookBinding ( I will give full credits to yourself and link back to this page or any other you request.

There are many fantastic tutorials on the internet about bookbinding but it seems that few bookbinders use Deviant Art (at least from from what I know based on conversations with many bookbinders) and as such, resources like this are missed by many which I think is a real shame.

If you would allow me to do this I would be extremely grateful,

Kind Regards,
Add a Comment: