Bind Your Own Notebook

Binding books is a very old craft, going back to the Romans. Traditionally, books are not glued, but sewn together. Most hardcover and some softcover books that can be bought in bookstores today are still sewn together. To test if a book is sewn together, page through the book looking for  thin threads running through the middle of some pages.

The process of sewing a book together is done by sewing several folded pieces of papers (pages) together at the fold. Several folded pieces of paper stacked into each other is called a “signature”. Each signature is sewn together separately and then sewn to the next signature in a special manner with special stitches and knots. A finished book consists of several or many signatures that are sewn together and covered with a thicker material. The cover can be made out of wood, cardboard, cardstock or leather. To bind a whole book requires special tools and careful work.

This easy project below is a simple version to make a single signature book with a paper cover. The pages are sewn together with an easy, but accurate bookbinding technique. The instructions below don’t require special tools but can be accomplished with household items. Children will need the help of an adult.