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Make Your Own Book

Contributor ,

f you have a book that is much loved and read then it is probably at little tattered. It is easy to make your own cover to replace the old one. Why not make your own book cover for some blank journal pages?

To make a brand new book or restore an old one, use these tips on how to fix or make a book with this bookbinding method from Japan. It should take you less than sixty minutes.

To create or mend a book, you'll need the following:

Metal gouging tool (known as an awl)
Cotton thread (very heavy weight) amount in length 10 times the height of the book (try to get carpet or nylon thread, or even dental floss)
big binder clips (to clamp your book)
large needle (eg canvas needle)
graphite pencil
paper or cardboard (optional)

1. Make ready the pages and covers of the book. First you should decide how many pages you want (if you are going to making a whole book from scratch.) Get paper which is either blank or lined paper (it is up to you), and line up the pages carefully. Clamp the pages using two strong binding clips. The cover can be made out of very heavy paper or medium weight cardboard. Cut the board so that it is precisely the same size as the book pages. Line up the pages and card carefully.

2. Put holes in the book. You will need to bind the book now. Have the gouging tool (awl) and heavy thread or string ready. Going from top to bottom, begin by drawing a line on the front cover about one quarter inch out from the spine. Mark with a pencil about a one quarter inch from the top and the same from the bottom. Now, between those two markings, make 2 more marks, spaced evenly between the (first) top and bottom marks. You will now have 4 evenly spaced out markings on the front cover of the book.

When the holes are marked out, they can be punched out using the tool. Be sure to check the markings before you do it, so that holes donít cut into any of the writing in the book. The punched holes should occur between the margins and the edge of your book. Make sure to cover you work area with a phone book or such, before you punch out each hole.

3. Binding the book. Now make the book durable by binding it with the heavy thread. Create a double thickness thread in the needle by tying both ends together. But first bed down your thread into the book by sewing it through the third of the holes, and go about twenty pages in.

Next, sew a complete loop around the third hole. When the needle is back to the top of the book, sew it down into the second hole Ė be sure to pull the string tight at each stage. Sew a loop around the second hole. Once your thread is at the bottom of the second hole, sew up through the first hole again. Then, sew a complete circle around the first hole.

Now, sew the thread up and down through each hole until you get to the fourth hole. (There is no requirement to do full circles again. Just get to the final hole.) Always remember to pull the cotton tightly as you go along. When you reach 4th hole, sew a full loop around it. Now pull the cotton back up through the third hole. Tie off the thread in order to stop your binding from getting loose. Thread the needle around the loops of thread on top of the third hole a couple of times, then close off by knotting. Snip off the remaining cotton. Your book is done!

When making a book, be sure to use very strong cotton or string, else it may fall to pieces.

Tiffany Provost


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