Monday, October 31, 2011

Sewn Book Binding turtorial

I found a book at the Library on book binding and I wanted to do a book like this. I love the way the book lays flat after you do this type of binding.
The book is Adventures in Book Binding by Jeannine Stein. This is a photo from the book showing the kind of binding that I wanted to do. Her book is made of polomyer clay but my book is just an old book cover I cut off of a used book with an exacto knife.
Here are the supplies if you'd like to do this technique:

One used hardback book at least ¼" to ½" larger than your signatures – You will cut the front and back covers off of a used book with an Exacto knife. Then you can finish your book covers anyway that you like but it is easier if you do it before you bind your book not after you bind your book like I did mine.
As many sheets of Watercolor paper as you would like (in any size) - folded in half to make your signatures – Use one of the signatures for a punch template - I used 11 pieces of 9"x12" watercolor paper folded in half to make 11 signatures.
Waxed thread - cut two pieces 36" long
Large eyed needle – blunt needles would be good and safer for your fingers
Hole punch that will reach in a long way, hole drill, or a pokey tool like I used – I think the hole drill with a small setting for the hole would be the best tool for the job
Two 5/8 x6" pieces of sturdy leather
PVA or Ultimate glue
Either Two or four decorative brads – Your choice.

This is a picture from the book showing the book binding technique.

This is my old book cover that I cut off of an old used book and cover with Anaglypta wallpaper. Anaglyta wallpaper is embossed wallpaper that you can paint over.

I left the other side of the cover like this. You can cover it later with decorative paper or just glue it to the first and last pages like I did mine. I left it like this because there will be a brad going through the cover.

This is the two leather staps but to 5/8 x 6 inchies.

This is the eleven 9x12" watercolor papers that folded in half to make my signatures. My signatures are only single folded sheets. Her signatures were thicked in her examples because she used three papers per signature. You can do whatever you wish with the size and thickness of your signatures. Just makes sure the book covers that you use are slightly larger than your signatures.

Use one of the signatures for a signature punching template. Measure 1/4" from the top and bottom of the fold and make with a small pencil mark.

Place the leather piece on the inside of each mark and make a mark on the other side of the leather pieces.

This is the way the inside of your punching template should look after you have marked it.

Don't make the marks too close to the leather or your stitches will be bunched up.

Punch holes in the folds of the template. I did this with a little pokey tool that I handmade but after doing the book I think it would be better to punch them with a long reach punch or a screw type hole punch. Use the template to punch all the holes in all of your signatures.

I used this heavy decorative thread because Iliked the look of the thread but I would not recommend it after doing my book because it was too large for a needle and I had to use a dental floss threader. This made my book much harder to do that is I had just used waxed thread and a blunt needle.

Enter the last hole from the bottom of the last signature.

Leave a 3" tail inside the signature.

Cross over the leather piece on the outside and enter the top hole of the signature from the outside.

Tie the thread into a double knot at the top hole and leave the three inch tail to be trimmed later. Exit the top hole from inside the signature.

Pick up the next signature and since you last left the top hold, you will enter the top hole of the next signature from the outside.

Enter the second signature from the bottom hole on the inside.

Place the leather piece across the edge of the signature centering it.

Enter the top hole from the outside of the second signature over the leather piece. Then exit the bottom hole on the inside. You would pick up the next signature and enter the bottom hole.

Continue sewing all of the bottom row of signatures in the same manner until all of the signatures are sewn together.

When all the signatures are sewn and the needle is on the inside of the last signature, knot the thread by bringing the needle under the stitch until the thread forms a single loop.

Bring the needle through the loop and tighten, pulling downward to form a knot.

Make one more loop to form one more knot to make a double knot. Trim the thread to 1/4".

Go back and trim the thread in the first signature to 1/4" also.

Now the bottom row of stitching is done. Be sure the leather is centered under the stitching with the same amount of leather showing on the front and back sides of the signatures.

The top rows of the signatures are sewn in the same manner and then the leather is centered again.

Lay the front cover on top of the signature with a slight overlap in the back and determine where you want the holes to be drilled for the brads.

Mark the place where the first hole should be drilled and use a ruler to mark the next hole in order to keep the holes straight.

Take the cover off of the signatures and use a mat under your covers if you are using an anywhere punch like I did to punch your holes.

I punched the back covers in the same manner.

I decided to cut the leather into points just as the author of the book did and I used a ruler the mark my leather in order to keep it about the same size when I trimmed it.

I trimmed the leather on both sides of the book.

I decided to just glue the first and last page to the covers instead of covering them on the inside with decorative papers because I liked the way it looked.

I did this book when I had a bunch of girls at my house for a girls night out. Roxanna did all of the photos and helped with support as we tried to figure out the directions and what photos we needed to show in order to have this turtorial. Thanks to all the girls for all of their support and help.

I finished my book after it was put together but before I glued the first and last pages to the covers. It is much easier to do this before you put your book together!

This is my finished book. I decided to paint it red and then was unhappy because it was too bright when it dried. So I then added a coat of oak glaze and wiped some of it off. I liked this look and after it dried I added a spray sealer to protect it.

Then I found an old frame that was green and sprayed it with the dark bronze Maya mist to give it a rusty look. I also sealed the frame with a spray sealer. Then I found some fun paper and letters and glued them inside the frame. I used beads and watch parts to give it a really fun look and used Glossy accents over them.


Barbara Hagerty said...

Great timing, Nancy! I just found a large, vintage children's book at a library sale for 25¢ which I bought to repurpose into a sketchbook. I love the binding technique you have chosen! Because my book is really large, I think I'll add another set of stitches, or maybe even two sets, depending on how sturdy it is. Can't wait to get started!

Linda Manning Findley said...

Way cool Nancy ... you did a super job and this will be a great binding technique on many books ... Linda F

Joanne Huffman said...

An excellent presentation, well organized and photographed. Thank you!

BR said...

Nancy, great project and instructions.

Susan said...

This is a great way to bind books. Your tutorial is easy to understand with lots of good photos. Thanks for sharing!