Stop Reading and Make a Book

Instruction and information for a do-it-yourself design that everyone can handle.

When I was in school I took bookmaking classes that helped me understand the basics of creating handmade books. What can I tell you about what I learned?

Well, I realized it wasn't that difficult, and it’s fun to make something with your hands. Handcraft is just something you don’t see much of anymore.

I’d also like to share how to construct a book from scratch. You can choose any size and pick the particular materials to suit the concept you have in mind. There are a few ways to do this, but this one is easy, affordable and doesn’t take much time. They can make great gifts, too.


- 2 pieces of thin cardboard or thin matte board of any size you want
- 1 piece of cardboard or thin matte board about 1/4 inches in width
- decorative paper
- any kind of paper for the inside
- glue or double sided tape 
- scissors or an x-acto knife
- stapler 
- a needle and thread, if needed 

First, gather the cardboard. The 2 pieces of the same size will become the front and back cover, and the small 1/4 inch piece will serve as the binding. 

Take decorative paper of your choice and lay it flat upside down. Lay the cardboard pieces on top with 1/2 inch extra around the edges. The binding piece should have 1/4 inch or so on each side so there is space in between the covers and the binding.

Stop by Gordon's Cards and Gifts and Pier 1 Imports on East Park Avenue for some decorative paper. You can use wrapping paper, tissue paper or even fabric. You can also draw a design or image on paper and use that as well.

Cut paper to size if needed; then glue cardboard pieces to paper. Make sure you create a nice fold in the corners. You can find scissors and glue at Rite Aid on Long Beach Plaza or CVS on West Park Avenue.

Now, get your pages ready. Make sure they are cut to size as well. They should fit inside the covers and not stick out. Fold the pages in half. Use a stapler to attach the paper at the fold. If you are using large pieces, try sewing them together at the fold. One section on each end and one in the middle should do the trick.

You can use any paper for this. Drawing paper works well and so does computer paper if you wanted to print out a story or image. CVS and should have both.

For the final steps, take another piece of decorative paper and cut it to size. It should be the length of the edge of the cover to the edge of the first page. Do the same with the back cover. You can use a different design or the same as the cover.

Glue the papers down or use double-sided tape if that works. Once you do that the book is finished being constructed. Now you can add content or leave it as is.

That wasn't so hard now, was it? You can have a lot of fun with this project. It's something great to do with your kids, too, especially if they love to draw and write stories.



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