Thursday, March 11, 2010


This little notebook has 12 pages (6 sheets) but is still thin enough to use as a bookmark. It's a great way to keep your place and keep your thoughts as you read. They're easy to make and has a lovely thread binding (this is also a lesson in a simple single signature book with a sewn saddle-stitch binding - you can take this technique and make all sorts of notebooks).

What you'll need:
  • Cutting mat
  • Paper for the inside
  • Paper for the outside
  • Scissors
  • Bone Folder (or a credit card will work)
  • Clips
  • Needle & Thread (preferably upholstery, but all purpose will do)
  • Ruler & blade

Next, download the template (PDF) here.

Just a note, I'm using a slightly heavier paper for my cover but it's not so heavy that it is hard to fold or is more than the thickness of the interior pages. I have also made these using a cover paper that is the same weight of the interior sheets. It makes it all the more remarkably thin which is nice too. The interior paper is from Whitelines, a fantastic paper company that uses a subtle grey background instead of white, it's easier on your eyes, your marks will not compete with the lines on the paper and when you scan or copy they disappear. It's fantastic, check their website to see where it is sold near you. If you're in Boston you can find it at Trident Booksellers on Newbury St in Back Bay. Finally, for the thread I used upholster thread which is a bit more substantial than all-purpose thread. If you don't have upholstery weight thread I would double up on the all purpose to make it stronger.

First, cut out a piece of your exterior paper to 7" x 10", then trim the corners as shown in the template. Next, cut three sheets of your interior paper to 6.5" x 6.5".

Next, fold each short side in 1.5" as shown, use a bone folder (or credit card) to get the fold crisp. You'll then fold the piece in half, short side meeting short side.

Next, this is where things get fun. Stack your interior sheets and fold in half. Put them inside of the fold of your exterior paper and hold in place with clips. Using the template, mark along the center fold the three spots for holes. Using your needle, poke a hole at each mark. Take a length of thread (about 21" to be safe) and tie knot at one end (leave a tail of about 2 inches) and put your needle on the other end. Starting from the inside of the middle hole, go through to the outside (1). Then feed the needle back to the inside of the book through the top hole (2).

Feed the needle back through the middle hole from the inside to the outside (3) and finally thread the needle through the bottom hole from outside to inside (4).

The next step is made much more complicated by this illustration. You will simply take your needle and run it under the thread inside of the crease at the top and knot it back around, pulling it tightly towards the center of the book. Snip the ends of your thread and you're done!


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