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DIY Book Binding - How To Bind Your Own Books and Loose Leaf Pages At Home

Updated on March 16, 2015
lady rain profile image

Lady Rain works as a daytime stock trader and writes about crafts and travels. She spends her weekends doing papercraft models and painting.

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Let's get organised

When you have several hundred sheets of printed papers or documents in big, bulky loose-leaf binders, have you ever wished they could be shrunk to compact sizes and put on the bookshelf with the rest of the books? Well, why not get rid of the binder and do some book binding at home? It is not that difficult to bind a book, that is, if you know how to do it.

This article will teach you how to tidy up those loose pages, do your own binding and make your own homemade book with cover. You will be surprised how easy it is to learn how to bind a book at home. Your very own homemade books will look great on the bookshelf, too.


Items required for DIY book binding

Here are the materials required for this book-binding project:

  • Sheets of paper for binding. It is up to you to decide how many pages you want to bind into a book. This method of binding can take up to 200 sheets of paper or 400 pages.
  • Craft glue. Any type of craft glue can be used. The glue is used to hold the pages together temporarily before the actual binding.
  • Paper clips. You will need about half a dozen of these paper clips to clamp the pages together.
  • Electric hand drill with 1mm drill bit. You might need the help of a handyman to operate this power tool if you have not used it before.
  • Fishing line nylon string and needle. Fishing line string is best because it is strong and does not break easily.
  • Plastic sheet or soft cardboard. Recycle those old plastic folders or manila folders, they are nice and flexible, perfect for making book covers.
  • A couple of cotton buds for applying glue.


How to bind the book

Gather all the sheets of paper together and align the pages so that no loose sheets of paper are out of place. Use paper clips to hold the pages together to form a firm spine on one side you want to bind. Apply a generous amount of glue on the spine and use a cotton bud to spread the glue evenly throughout the length of the spine. Leave the glue to dry overnight.

Remove the paper clips when the glue is thoroughly dried. Check that the pages stay together. Using a pencil, make a mark 1cm or less from the edge of the glued spine where a hole is to be drilled. Repeat the markings along the edge of the spine, spacing out each hole about 2cm from each other.

Using a hand drill with a 1mm drill bit, drill small holes through the stack of pages where the pencil markings are. If you do not know how to use the drill and you have a handyman at home let the expert do the drilling part for you. If not, get the bloke next door and his mates to help you.

Stitch the pages together by inserting a needle and nylon string through the holes. Pull the stitches tight as you do the stitching so that the pages do not become loose. Finish off by tying a firm knot and trim off the excess string.


How to make the book cover

To make a cover for your book, cut out a flexible plastic sheet from an old plastic holder that is large enough to wrap around the book from back to front and covering the spine. Trim the cover to fit.

With the book inserted in the cover, drill about five holes, evenly spaced apart, on the back and front covers. These holes need to be aligned with the existing holes that are already on the spine of the book. Stitch the cover on the book by inserting the needle and nylon string through the holes on the plastic cover and all the pages. Fasten the nylon string to finish off and you have made your first homemade book!


Step-by-step book binding instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Loose pages of documents.Use paper clips to hold the pages together to make the spine.Apply glue on the spine with a cotton bud.Make markings near the edge of the spine for drilling the holes.Stitch with nylon string.Plastic folders to be recycled into book covers.Red plastic for my book cover.Stitch the plastic cover to the book.My own homemade book!
Loose pages of documents.
Loose pages of documents. | Source
Use paper clips to hold the pages together to make the spine.
Use paper clips to hold the pages together to make the spine. | Source
Apply glue on the spine with a cotton bud.
Apply glue on the spine with a cotton bud. | Source
Make markings near the edge of the spine for drilling the holes.
Make markings near the edge of the spine for drilling the holes. | Source
Stitch with nylon string.
Stitch with nylon string. | Source
Plastic folders to be recycled into book covers.
Plastic folders to be recycled into book covers. | Source
Red plastic for my book cover.
Red plastic for my book cover. | Source
Stitch the plastic cover to the book.
Stitch the plastic cover to the book. | Source
My own homemade book!
My own homemade book! | Source
Beautiful Handbags You Can Make
Beautiful Handbags You Can Make | Source
The Successful Stocktrader
The Successful Stocktrader | Source

Comments

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  • GetitScene profile image

    Dale Anderson 

    13 months ago from The High Seas

    Interesting stuff. I've been wanting to try to bind / build a book at home for some time so it is encouraging to read an article like this that explains how it might be done.

  • brsmom68 profile image

    Diane Ziomek 

    3 years ago from Alberta, Canada

    I have been thinking about creating some of my own books that I have written, and this has helped with the binding problem I was having. Now all I need to do is master double-sided printing and I'll be on my way. Voted up and pinned. Thank you so much!

  • peachpurple profile image

    peachy 

    4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    wow, you are clever, never thought that using drilling holes to stitch the pages up, cool. voted up

  • belleart profile image

    belleart 

    4 years ago from Ireland

    I have to try this, I have so many print outs of books and notes from my Degree hat I refuse to throw out, but they're just all over the place. Thanks so much for this!

  • profile image

    Ajithasreekumar 

    4 years ago

    Wonderful

    ent...

  • lady rain profile imageAUTHOR

    lady rain 

    5 years ago from Australia

    BNadyn, that's a great way to keep your son's work. You might want to ask him to decorate the front cover and/or include a picture of him on it, too. That would look awesome!

  • BNadyn profile image

    Bernadyn 

    5 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

    Thanks for this tutorial! My son is in preschool and has lots of school work and art work I want to keep for him. This would be a more organized way to keep them all together and he would love that it's in book form.

  • thehaplesshostess profile image

    BG 

    5 years ago from PA

    I will do that, thank you!

  • lady rain profile imageAUTHOR

    lady rain 

    5 years ago from Australia

    thehaplesshostess, it might be easier if you try binding a thin book first. Once you are familiar with the steps, you will have no trouble with several hundred pages.

  • lady rain profile imageAUTHOR

    lady rain 

    5 years ago from Australia

    Kevin Peter, I'm glad to know you're going to try binding your books. It costs almost next to nothing to bind your own books by recycling those old folders into book covers. Thank you for leaving a comment here.

  • thehaplesshostess profile image

    BG 

    5 years ago from PA

    Your written instructions are wonderfully detailed, but the images really make this project do-able for someone like me. I would have never thought I could pull this off, but now I can't wait to try it. Thank you for sharing.

  • Kevin Peter profile image

    Kevin Peter 

    5 years ago from Global Citizen

    It's a very useful hub. I have decided to try binding my books. Thanks a lot for your instructions.

  • lady rain profile imageAUTHOR

    lady rain 

    5 years ago from Australia

    brianrock, I used to bind my own books during college days, too. I didn't have a drill then, so I used a pointed screwdriver!

  • brianrock profile image

    Brian Rock 

    5 years ago from New Jersey

    Nice tips / tutorial. I tried something similar back in college (going on ten years ago now), and it's really amazing how simple it is to bind a book.

  • lady rain profile imageAUTHOR

    lady rain 

    6 years ago from Australia

    Sharkye11, I am pleased you find this tutorial useful. It costs next to nothing to bind your own books at home. Thank you for stopping by to leave a comment :)

  • Sharkye11 profile image

    Jayme Kinsey 

    6 years ago from Oklahoma

    What a great idea. They look nice and no more worries about lost or crumpled pages. I always wondered how to bind a book easily and inexpensively. Your tutorial is well arranged and very useful!

  • lady rain profile imageAUTHOR

    lady rain 

    6 years ago from Australia

    Ed Michaels, I am glad you like the tutorial. Wishing you all the best in binding your own books. Thank you for your comment.

  • Ed Michaels profile image

    Ed Michaels 

    6 years ago from Texas, USA

    Thanks for the tips. Binding has been on my list of things to learn to do on my own, but I just haven't gotten around to figuring out the steps for myself.

  • lady rain profile imageAUTHOR

    lady rain 

    6 years ago from Australia

    randomcreative, thanks :)

  • randomcreative profile image

    Rose Clearfield 

    6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Great tips! Thank you!

  • lady rain profile imageAUTHOR

    lady rain 

    6 years ago from Australia

    rLcasaLme, thank you for stopping by, I am sure your notebook will turn out awesome! Cheers :)

  • lady rain profile imageAUTHOR

    lady rain 

    6 years ago from Australia

    ytsenoh, I am glad you like the images, thank you for leaving comment.

  • rLcasaLme profile image

    rLcasaLme 

    6 years ago from Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    Bookmarked this hub. I was actually planning to make my own notebook. This was very helpful. =)

  • ytsenoh profile image

    Cathy 

    6 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    Very interesting, including your instructional images.

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