New Bookbinding Kits


New at – French link stitch bookbinding kits!

I had an interesting conversation with a neighbor at the spring Renegade craft fair this year. She was selling cooking kits – spices packaged in a cute mason jar with recipes using the spices included. It struck me that what she was really selling was expertise. Which of course got me thinking – which lead me to bookbinding kits.

It struck me that people could use the kit and included supplies to make their first book, then they would have the tools and skills to make more books. Which makes me happy – I like the thought of piles of home brew books filled with wonderfull stuff – made of wonderful stuff! And for that next book? You can totally go the traditional route and use book cloth and binders board and linen thread – I’ll even be posting some kit refills in the shop but I’m also hoping people will be making books out of what they have on hand! Cut up that shipping box to use for covers, use wrapping paper for end papers – play! make giant books, tiny books, weird books! And if you do I’d love to see them!



Its been a big week for product launches!

waxed canvas down

From time to time, custom orders come in for vertical style bandoliers. I really see the appeal of this style. It does hold fewer pens, but it works well on the cover of a book without restricting access to the book’s interior. I figured it was time to make some up, and post an official listing! I’m calling this style a Journal Bandolier Holster. You can select the size that will fit your book cover  right on the listing page and it will also stretch to hold your book closed if you want it to go around more than just the cover. I’ve also decided to offer this style in waxed canvas. If the material does well I may extend the offering to other styles! What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

DIY 3 point awl


I make a LOT of little pamphlet sewn books. This is the rig I set up to make it easier to punch the holes consistently the same distance apart without using a jig.


  1. 3 corks (synthetic works great – if you use natural make sure they’re in good shape)
  2. 3 bookbinding needles – sturdy shafts with an eye that does not bulge out
  3. duct tape
  4. pen
  5. wood glue
  6. block of wood same width as corks and length 3x as long as the corks are wide
  7. x-acto or other sharp knife
  8. ruler

Three point awl directions:

1 – Measure your needles. They should be at least 2 inches long – the ones I like to use are 2.5 inches long. You want the needles to be about an inch longer than the cork. Cut the corks down so they are an inch shorter than the needles.


2 – Glue the uncut side of the corks to the piece of wood with glue on the wood and between the corks. Make sure they are snugged up, touching sides, and lined up evenly.

3 – Allow the glue to dry and set for 24 hours. No, really. I know it’s hard and you just want to move on to the next step, but slap yourself on the wrist and go do something else.

4 – Use the ruler to mark a line down the middle of all three corks so the needles will be inline with one another then measure and mark three points with an equal distance between them for the needle placement.

5 – Carefully push the needles in to the marks in the cork; about 1/2 inch. Keep the needles perpendicular to the wooden base and parallel to each other.


6 – Turn the whole rig over and push slowly and firmly down on a piece of wood or cutting mat to drive the needles into the corks until they stop (hit the wooden base)

7 – Cut a piece of duct tape wider than the width of the corks and long enough go up the sides and onto the wooden base. Push the needles through the middle of the tape and press the tape to the cork tops, pulling it up the sides and onto the wooden base. Push the tape into all the corners on the way up and over onto the sides of the cork.

8 – Cut more pieces of tape and push the needles through wrapping around the wooden base meeting the ends on the side of the corks so the top ends up wrapped without loose ends.


9 – Cut some more pieces of tape to wrap around the corks and secure them side to side. The goal is to support the connection to the base, and the connection to each other and prevent side to side wiggle.

Note for use:


In the beginning, it will take a little more time placing the multi point awl than a single awl. Make sure all needles are all lined up on the fold. Practice a few times with some paper you don’t care about until you get the hang of it.

See above illustration for sewing diagrams for 3, 5, and 7 point pamphlet stitches.


6 John James #18 Bookbinding Needles

18oz Gorilla Wood Glue

Scotch 1110-C Multi Use Duct Tape, 10-Yards

Limited Edition Brown leather!

limited edition oiltanned brown

I just got this lovely oil tanned brown leather in but I have a limited supply! So new in the shop I am offering a limited edition oil tanned brown leather bandolier.

Paper cutter fence

fence in use

I need to cut some little books, all to exactly the same size. In searching for an inexpensive solution I was happy to come up with this simple hack.

I have a Kutrimmer board shear but it’s missing the fence, and I did not want to go through the hassle (not to mention expense) of ordering a original parts replacement.

The base of the Kutrimmer is metal so something magnetic seemed the simplest approach. I found a couple of strong ceramic magnets and went looking for something to attach them to. I wanted enough edge to serve as a stop for the signatures I was cutting, and something that could accommodate the magnets.

magnet and square

I ended up with this carpenter’s square. As luck would have it, the offset for the edge of the square was a perfect fit for the ceramic magnets I found. I mean PERFECT! LOOK:


How to attach the magnets? Here’s the most useful part of this post -> There is a great little website that is really useful when you are trying to figure out how to attach things to other things. It’s called This to That, and it has a pretty complete listing of which glue will work best for any given situation.

Based on This to That’s recommendation for gluing plastic to ceramic, I used good old E6000 and it worked a trick! I left the whole thing under some weight to cure for 24 hrs.

The magnets are strong and hold the fence nicely in place.

Other possible uses for a magnetic fence? If you have a steel body sewing machine you could use this or a similar set up as a sewing guide. You could also make little spice shelves for the front of your fridge – maybe I’ll try that soon!


Swanson Speedlite Level Square (Gray)

Heavy Duty Ceramic Block Magnets (Pack of 2)

E6000® Craft Adhesive 3.7 oz