It’s little book day!


It’s that time again. I have run through my back stock of little books. [ Non footnoted footnote here: I send a little free little hand bound book with each purchase from my Etsy shop because everybody likes a little surprise! ]

Any way its little book day and I thought it might be fun to chronicle the process including a mini pamphlet stitch tutorial in case you want to make your own!


I hoard nice rag paper and colorful card stock which I find various places including at S.C.R.A.P. (one of San Francisco’s under if not un-sung gems tucked away in the Bayshore) I cut it down immediately and haul out a couple handfuls when little book day comes (henceforth know as LBD)

It all get folded half – grain running along the spine people! (because that’s how we do!) Use a bone folder or potters rib to create a nice firm fold. The three holes are punched   using my nifty homemade triple awl and punching cradle. You can use a standard single awl or a bookbinding needle pushed into a wine cork (be careful with that or I’ll tell you the story about the knitting needle and the block of ice!) Instead of a cradle you can use a paper phone book  to punch into (you have one of those right…?)

cradlewbook awlinaction

and punching and punching and punching…..pardon me I’m a little punch drunk here (ba dum smash! -rim shot-)

Next I measure out a couple of arm lengths of waxed linen thread. You really only need about 2x the spine of your book but I am making dozens of books at a time and don’t want to pause to rethread my needle over and over. Then I want the knot on the exterior spine of my book so I go in the middle hole leaving an inch or so tail hanging out – reverse this if you want the knot on the inside. Then I come up one of the two remaining holes (doesn’t really matter which) and then skipping over the middle down again through the last empty hole. Finally I push the need up through the middle hole being careful to come out the spine on the opposite side of the “stitch” from the tail. pull the ends to snug the stitching but not so much you rip the paper and tie it off with a basic square knot. The wax on the thread should lock the knot.


To finish the little books I trim them square on the kutrimmer board shear and round the corners on the corner punch.

Yay! Little books!


6 John James #18 Bookbinding Needles

Heavy Duty Wood Handle Awl

4-Ply Waxed Linen Cord, 25yd, White (Pack of 1)

Books by Hand Bone Folder

Or all this together:

Bookbinding Starter Kit – Bonefolder, Awl, Needles and Thread – Free worldwide delivery

If you don’t want to purchase tools you can use a regular sturdy sewing needle. Try to pick a sturdy one with an eye just big enough for your thread. An eye that is too much larger than the shaft of the needle will enlarge the hole which make the binding looser. You can use the back of a (clean) wooden spoon to go over your fold and firm it up and in a pinch I’ve used dental floss to sew with (when I was traveling and wanted a little note book to jot some things down in).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s