With this Tutorial you will learn an easy way of creating your own Notebooks, Diaries and even your own personal, thick and heavy Book Of Shadows, if you like. Or make stunning, personal presents for your loved ones.
I have made my huge Scrapbook a few years ago and will show you in this tutorial with the help of close up photos, how I created my beautiful Bible Of Art.
Regarding of what you’re trying to make, you will need different materials.
What you will need nevertheless is:
A4 Paper (in the colour of your choice and half the amount of sheets as you want your book to have on pages)
Needle and Tread/waxed tread (in the colour of your paper)
Cardboard or thick Craft Paper
heavy Fabric or Plastic Sheet as covers and back spine
I also used:
strong double sided sticky Tape
Fishing line (at least one roll)
gooey Craft Glue (NO watery Glue)
tightly meshed Fabric
2 A4 sheets of thicker Craft Paper
Ribbons as Bookmarks and Closure (about 10cm/4 inches longer than you want them to be in the end), but you can also use a String loop and a Button instead
1. First of all, you take about 10 of your A4 pages and fold them in the middle, to create a pile of A5 sized booklets. Do this with all the paper you want to use for the book. Please be aware, the more paper you use, the heavier your book will be. And paper can be VERY heavy.
2. Open each booklet and mark 4 to 6 hole positions along the fold, through which you will sew 2 to 3 loops, to combine the pages of each booklet. Make sure you make strong knots on the back of the paper folds.
If you only make a small notebook, you can sew the book cover here already on. (How to measure it right is explained in a later step.)
3. Pile all your sewn up booklets on top of each other, with the paper folds and Tread knots facing you. If you have only a few booklets (less than 10), you might want to choose the needle and thread again, if you have a bigger pile, use fishing line, as it is way more robust and holds a bigger weight of the book and allows you to work more frequently with the book, without it falling apart after a few years.
Guide one tread through each column of sewn loops on the pile of booklets in front of you and fix it also with a knot, not too tightly. These threads will act like a ring book clasp through each line of knotted loops, to keep your individual booklets together.
4. Take your pile of combined booklets and stand it up, like you would when you would put the finished book into a book shelf. Keep the back of the “book” still facing you.
Take your ribbons and guide them through the top loop of thread, that combines the booklets. When you’ve pulled the ribbon half through, hold both ends up to make sure they are of the same length. Then open one of the booklets in the middle of the pile of booklets and put the ribbons as a bookmark in-between. Close the “book”again.
5. Fold the 2 pieces of A4 craft paper (or in my case the plastic sheet) into A5 and glue it, with the fold facing to the spine of the book, one to the first page of the book and one to the last.
6. Cut your cardboard or very thick craft paper into 2 A5 pieces and glue these on the front and the back of your book, so that you have the cardboard as the front and back cover, which is attached to your pile of paper booklets through the A4 Craft paper lining. If you seek to have a hard spine on your book, cut some cardboard of the size of your spine and attach it later to your outer cover.
7. Use a rectangular piece of tightly meshed fabric, which is to all sides 1 inch / 2.5 cm wider than the dimensions of the spine of your book. (To measure, hold the pile of attached booklets with the folds-side down on the spread out fabric and mark freely the outlines of the book spine, with the added inches in mind. Then cut it out.
8. Glue to the spines of your booklet. Make sure, that your glue is thick enough to not seep through the paper or past the folds on the pages. Best, hold the book up with the spine facing down, when you apply the glue. Then press the pile of paper with the gluey side down in the middle of the tightly meshed fabric cut-out, until it sticks to it.
Lift the book, with the now attached fabric up from your working surface and fold over outwards the overlapping fabric on the top and bottom of the book. Attache some glue to keep it in place.
Then glue the overlapping fabric on the front and back cover sides of the book to the touching covers.
9. Your book is taking shape now.
If you are creating a very heavy exemplar, you might want to make extra sure that your book won’t fall apart later and fix the single booklets with a piece of fishing line to the spine of the book, like shown in the two pictures above. Guide the fishing line through the middle fold of each booklet and make a knot behind the spine to bind them separately to the carrying elements of the book.
10. Also, attache each last page of every booklet with the first page of the following booklet with the help of matte sellotape. (Matte, because it is less visible, you can write on it and it won’t change colour over time, as clear sellotape does.) This procedure combines gap-free the separate booklets to one single flow of paper.
11. You can now attache the book cover of your choice.
If you are intended to use one, attache the cardboard piece for the spine movable with sellotape to the cover cardboards, before you fix the outer cover to your book.
If you chose a flexible plastic cover, you may cut it in the size of the book (by outlining the dimensions of the book on the material, glue it in one piece to the front, spine and back of the book, before cutting it out along the edges.
If you choose fabric, add again at least 0.5 inches / 1.5 cm to each outside line of your book measurements, to be able to fold it over neatly, before sewing or gluing the overlapping folds to frame the insides of your book cover.
I have chosen to make an enveloping book cover, which also aids with its pouches for holding notes and photos and with its long side, to protect the pages and materials inside the book from falling out.
12. I’ve added decoration.
13. I’ve also added beautifying corner and spine protectors, which will keep the book longer looking nice.
14. To be able to keep this big bundle of paper in one piece when I transport it, I also added two ribbons, that I’ve attached to the spine of the book, that I can use for binding the book shut.
This is, what my Book looks like.
I hope you enjoy making yours, as much as I enjoyed the creation of mine.