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Mater Christi Learning Commons: Book binding

Resources, research support and skill development

What is Book Binding?

Book Binding, also known as Book Bindery, is the process of assembling and securing written or printed pages within a cover.

In most cases, the cover is thicker than the interior pages to provide durability to the finished book.


Creating your own book can be as simple as using paper and a threaded needle. But to get a professional looking book, consider using:

  • Waxed thread
  • Awl
  • Card for the front cover



Workshop Pictures


Step 1: Choose Paper and cover

Choose cardboard for the cover (greater than 200gsm) and thin paper (less than 80gsm) paper for the inside of the notebook. The thinner your paper is for the inside the more paper you can include!

Step 2: Folding

Do a preliminary fold along the outside of your cover with a scorer so that you know where to put your holes for binding.

Step 3: Punching Holes

Use an awl, hole punch or hammer punch to put holes where you want to do your binding.

Step 4: Sew up the binding

Starting in the middle of the booklet start stitching along to the edge, back again to the other edge and then finishing in the middle.

Up to you if you want your string left overs on the ourside as a design feature or inside the notebook.

You can also finish the notebook with book binding tape down the spine to secure the stitches.

Step 5: Trim and finishes

After all your pages are sewn together, you may want to trim the outside of your booklet to level up your pages with the guillotine. Alternatively you can leave your pages looking rustic and uneven to emphasis the handmade aspect of your book.

It is at this point that you can also place book binding tape along the spine of the book or a name tag on the front of the notebook.