FREE shipping on all U.S. orders over $200!

Bookbinding at Home, Part 1: How to Stitch a Single Folio Sketchbook

Bookbinding at Home

The state of the world – and the pause it is giving – has me thinking about and enjoying the small things in life – like wild violets, meringue cookies, and the scritchy-scratchy sound a pen makes. It has also brought me back to the early days of making books, and the small things that made them so special.

As a result, we have put together a long overdue tutorial on bookmaking. I have prepared a list of things you will need to make your first notebook. This is a very simple start—you can use materials that you have at home and anyone, any age can join in! So, let’s make books!

Project No. 1: Single Signature Notebook

Postcard by @deborah.j.stein
Card by Egg Press and tea box from Yogi Tea

Here is what you will need:

1. Needle — bookbinding needles have roundy tips and big eyes, but most needles will work!
2. Thread — any thread will do. If it is super thin, double it up.
3. Pencil — grab your favourite pencil to plot your stitching holes.
4. Paper — this is for the inside. Do you like lined paper, sketch paper, the back of used paper, graph paper? Gather your favourites, mix em up or stick to one!
5. Cover – raid your recycling bins and cupboards for tea boxes or snacks whose boxes you adore. Use this time to clean up your drawers find postcards and note cards saved. All of these things make wonderful covers for little book!
6. Thumbtack – or something sharp to poke holes through paper and cardstock.
7. Scissors for trimming your cover.

    If you have everything on this list at home, great! If you don’t and wish to order online – PLEASE consider buying from small businesses and Etsy sellers who REALLY need everyone’s support.

    Visit our blog for the how-to process video! Please share your little books with us with hashtag #quarantinebookbindingclub – we’d love to see what you are making, and share the results!

    Coming Soon…

    Stay tuned for our next bookbinding project: a coverless journal like our Anselm Bookbinding Kit! You do not need the kit to join, but if you’d like to get started with one (it includes a bookbinding needle!), find them on our shop.

    If you are housebound or feeling directionless, there are oodles of projects online and on Instagram including the #quarantineartclub hosted by @CarsonEllis, a live book club for kids by @MacBarnett, and, coming up – one of my personal favorites, the #100dayproject!


    Leave a Comment
    Add A Comments Cancel Comment
    Leave a Comment
    Very good tutorial, I am going to make one today.

    I love book binding. Thank you for sharing your wonderful tutorial.

    Thank you for a clear and simple tutorial for bookbinding. I have this on my to do list within the next month or so. I have been gathering supplies and can’t wait. Have a wonderful day.

    Jeanne O turned me on to this…so glad she did. I love this simple way to make a book and to use a card you don’t want to lose or forget is a great idea! thanks so much for a free video! Hoping to purchase something from your great collection of art supplies! xo

    I would love to get classic bookbinding done for a scrapbook I want to make for my niece. It is good to know that I will want to consider what type of paper I want to use. It might also be smart for me to look into hiring someone to do the bookbinding. Especially since I want the book to be really large.

    I have some perfect cards to do this week! Thank you for sharing!

    Denise- I am using 3 ply in the video:)


    Patricia -

    We got them at target a few years ago!


    Oh Margaux!
    Where can I purchase the unicorn head tacks!
    Thank you!

    Oh Margaux!
    Where can I purchase the unicorn head tacks!
    Thank you!

    • 1 2