How to make your own books the old-fashioned way

Admit it. You've always wanted to know how to make your own gorgeous hardback books. Without expensive machinery and supplies, however, it comes down to you, your craftsmanship, and Dave the Designer's comprehensive book tutorial. The photo is of Kelley Linehan's own handmade books: they teach you how at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee's craft center. Photo: illustriousbean via Monster Munch

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5 Responses to How to make your own books the old-fashioned way

  1. generousmedium says:

    You can actually make a simple booklet in less time than it would take most of us to go to a stre and buy one. When a small moleskine I had been carrying was filled (and fallen apart!) I took the boards and elastic and some red duct tape and made a cover for stitched pamphlets that I make myself in about five minutes. I haven’t gotten around to printing anything on the pages, but when I do I will have cheap individualized notebooks on demand!

  2. dainel says:

    This is a bookbinding tutorial, the second step in making a book. The first step is to print it, or you end up with a book with blank pages. :) BTW: Some tutorials recommend you use a mallet to shape the curved spine.

    The stitch binding will last longer and it will open flat, but I just don’t have the patience. So I just use perfect binding for my books. It’s still possible to glue on hard covers, producing hard-back perfect-bound hybrids.

    My biggest problem right now is finding photocopy paper with the correct grain alignment. I could chop up a ream of A3 and feed the resulting A4 sideways, but that doubles up my printing cost as we pay by the number of pages printed regardless of size or coverage.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, bookmaking takes practically no time at all. I’ve been making my own books (both with and without content) for years now, and on a good day you can easily pump out 10-15 books, in diverse sizes and styles, in a single afternoon. Better yet, tear down paper and make/stitch your signatures next time you’re watching tv. You can get a few book blocks together in an evening, then cover them whenever you have a spare hour on some other day. The materials end up costing you just the tiniest fraction of what a moleskine would, and you can even use waste materials (pieces of unfilled composition books, paper bags, cereal boxes, etc.) if you really are just making a throw-away book.

    -Magnetic Crow

  4. calabanos says:

    These aren’t disposable notebooks.

  5. PaulRedeker says:

    While interesting, this will not save you TIME!

    Life is too short to make disposable notebooks. I give the office supply stores my money, because they have a comparative advantage to produce books for me.
    I can change my own oil too, but properly disposing of it is too time consuming. I let my mechanic change my oil, in return I give her money, and bullets.
    This way I can save my personal time for more important things, like developing a defence against the devouring zombie hordes outside the city walls.

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