You may have seen our hand-bound notebooks on Instagram. Here’s a step-by-step guide to how they were created!
Note: All the printed art on scrap paper is used with permission from the amazing Clare Castello.
- scoring tool (a ruler or a bone scoring tool works, too!)
- scrap cover paper
- binder clips
- a block of text paper
- white glue
- cheap brush (not pictured above)
- Measure and cut your cover paper to fit your text paper block. Ensure you include the thickness of the spine to the total width of your cover. Score the spine using the scoring tool and fold to make the crease.
2. Set the cover aside. Take your block of text paper. Ensure the binding side or spine of your block is evenly aligned by tapping it on an even surface. Clip together on both sides using the binder clips.
3. Sand the spine. We used 80 grit sand paper because it’s what we had lying around. It doesn’t really matter so long as the edges of the paper are roughened up. This will allow the glue to be better absorbed by the paper.
4. Apply the glue liberally on the spine and spread evenly using a cheap brush.
5. Carefully place text block into book cover, making sure the spine fits nicely into the scored and creased spine section of the book cover.
6. Give the spine a few taps against an even surface to remove air bubbles and even out the pages.
7. Place the notebook under heavy books and let it set overnight. Then, using a ruler and a blade, trim the outside edges of the book so that everything’s even.
8. Tada! Cool-looking notebooks!
*Extra tip: Make another score mark on the front and the back covers about 1/4 inch from the spine and parallel to the spine so that when you open the notebook, the cover will fold over neatly. The first and the second images below show the extra score marks.