Bookbinding · Craft · Inspiration

Book-Binding: My First Attempt

It occurred to me when trying to find a post on here for my recent obsession that I never shared my foray into book-binding. Shame on me. Shame.


Let me tell you about my morning at the Oshawa LivingRoom Community Arts Studio. This magical place is a ten-minute walk from my house and is filled with creative types and, even better, with all sorts of ways to express your creativity for free. You can of course donate, but there are plenty of resources even if you can’t afford it.

I’d walked past it a hundred times but never got up the nerve to go inside until one day I got a newsletter update from them telling me all about an upcoming Book-Binding class. It was even run by someone I knew (but had not seen for about three years). I emailed back to announce my intention to be there with bells on and three weeks later turned up and sat down.

The process is fiddly but fun. We picked all sorts of paper and cut it to size, arranged it into sections (I forget the technical word), then used stiff cardboard to make the covers. Coptic stitch gives the book a cute look and makes it sit flat when you open it which is my favourite style of notebook.

IPoon 279

It was amazing to see all the ways people made their notebooks unique to them, and it blew my mind how many possibilities there are. I thought about making felted covers which is something I’m still considering. For now, I pasted on a cut-out from a calendar filled with art, and lined the insides with paper that reminds me of BBC’s Sherlock.

The stitching took a while but I can imagine it being extremely quick when you’re used to it. You can do so many different varieties, too, as I’ve discovered on Pinterest. Coptic stitch is simple and effective and full of possibilities.

It took me a while to work out what to use the book for since it’s so fun to have something I made myself. I’m a total addict to notebooks and have many (man, so many), so it was a difficult decision. In the end I took it to England with my on my recent trip and began filling it with the very strange emotions I felt upon returning to my home-town after emigrating to an entirely new country.

The fact I had created the notebook made it all the more special, though I’m going to have to figure out how to make the covers more stable. I’ve already ripped part of the cover off and had to stick it back together. That won’t be a problem with felted covers, at least.

Have you ever tried book-binding? Would you?




10 thoughts on “Book-Binding: My First Attempt

  1. Actually it’s something I’ve been researching as I want to make a “fabric book” featuring blackwork– sewing: threads, patterns, and effects. I think the word you were searching for was “quires.”


  2. I have always been interested in book binding, just never sat down to learn. I think your book is lovely and I totally get the BBC Sherlock vibe. It’s great that you were able to use it for something that meant a lot to you.


  3. I’m also a notebook junky. I will never learn to make my own out of self control. I immigrated from the US to Spain, so, yes, you have chosen a good subject to fill your notebook. I too must return to my hometown and I think every page of mine would be like, “Saw a townie. He knows my mom and I feel bad because I’ve got no clue who this person is. I’m a celeb.”


    1. I have so many notebooks it’s a little embarrassing, and really I shouldn’t be making my own. Still, I plan to make some to give away so that’s okay, right?

      Returning to our hometowns after time living in a different country is the weirdest thing.


    1. Oh that’s awesome. I don’t know why it’s never come up as a thing for me before. I’m glad to have had the chance to do it. You’re right, it’s very hands on and satisfying.

      Liked by 1 person

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