Handmade Books

I spent all day on Saturday February 2nd at a workshop learning how to make handmade books. It was a really enjoyable day ๐Ÿ™‚

We made two books, we made them concurrently, but I’ll show you them separately…

For one book we cut out cardboard the size we wanted our book to be, and then cut out a small sliver (we used 7mm) to act as our spine:


You need one for the front and one for the back.

Then cover in paper, fabric or whatever you want.


We were advised to cover the spine first with the book cloth, but I did it the other way as book cloth doesn’t fray, whereas my fabric does. Most people did it the way were we advised. I decided which would be my front and back as my fabric pattern had a right way up.


I still really like this fabric. I bought it ages ago from fabric land and made a crochet hook roll with it, as one of my first sewing projects.

After making holes through the paper and front and back covers, we then sewed it together using Japanese saddle stitch.


And inside…


The book is lined with paper I took along, which I originally got free from Simply Homemade magazine. This is a good stash busting craft!

I think a book like this would be perfect for a guest book for a wedding, or travel journal, well it could have so many uses!

The other book had a leather coating, which we lined with paper. I used more paper from the Simply Homemade set.


When trimmed to size, I had some lined leather left over. It seemed a shame to throw them out, so following Sian’s from Buttons and Paint suggestion, I trimmed them down to make bookmarks.


OK, they aren’t standard bookmark size, but they will still be useful and a reminder of the day ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, back to the book…

I folded five lots of paper to make the pages:


We used an awl to make holes in the paper:


Before stitching them into the leather:


When open it looks like this:


I think the lining works well ๐Ÿ™‚ Here it is at the back:


I used a button and some thread to secure it shut:


I’m also really happy with this book. The book binding technique can be adapted in many ways and there are a lot of possibilities with fastenings.

I’m now off to order a few bits so I can do this at home ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s one of my resolutions for 2013 met – try a new craft.


21 thoughts on “Handmade Books

  1. This is such a great craft skill to have. I can just imagine all the fabulous homemade journals you could make for gifts.

  2. I made books at college too, just like knitnrun4sanity. It was part of our teacher training. It is so nice to see such skills still being taught. I love your leather bound book. What a great skill to have learnt.

  3. I love the lining in your book! I went to a book binding class a few years ago (at the Make Lounge) but you’ve inspired me to have another go with a more vibrant surprise on the inside. Your’s look great

  4. I’ve always wanted to go to the Make lounge.
    The linings used varied around the class, from bright like mine, to looking like the back of the leather, but with a little decoration.
    Thanks for the compliment!

  5. Pingback: Flip flop book | Mrs M Makes

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