How to make a small book – with everyday tools! Quick, cheap and easy method! | Imran Mughal | Skillshare

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How to make a small book – with everyday tools! Quick, cheap and easy method!

teacher avatar Imran Mughal, Graphic Designer & Illustrator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Simple Tools & Materials

    • 3. Lets make the book!

    • 4. Sizes & Variations

    • 5. Class project

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About This Class

How to make a small book – with everyday tools!

Learn how to make these cool, cute, small books in just minutes using tools and materials that you will most likely find in your household! Excited? Then sit back, get yourself a drink and biscuit, and enjoy this short class!

What is this class about?

This class is about learning how to create a small book using everyday materials and tools – no strings, threads or technical tools needed I promise!. This class is also about having fun!

What will I learn?

The focus of this class will be on making a book that’s cheap, quick and easy to create that you can use for all your creative needs – sketching, inking, painting, journaling – whatever you wish!

What basic materials & tools will I need?

  1. Paper (any type, preferably a4 sized)
  2. Coloured Card (optional)
  3. Pencil
  4. Ruler
  5. Stapler with staples
  6. Scissors
  7. Washing line peg or paper clip or bulldog clip (any type of clip - evan a hair clip!)
  8. Sharp point (scissors, screw-driver, awl, pointer etc)

Lets get started!


My other classes (click on links below)

Sketching with pen & ink

Sketching on the iPad Pro


Connect with me on social media:

Instagram - SketchingFineArt

Youtube - SketchingFineArt






Meet Your Teacher

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Imran Mughal

Graphic Designer & Illustrator


I'm Imran - graphic designer & illustrator based in the UK. I have over 10 years experience in the field of graphic design and illustration in both traditional and digital output and absolutely love all things to do with art!

In addition to my full-time graphic designer role, I am also the art wellbeing lead for my organisation where I deliver wellbeing classes and advocate mindful colouring to relax and de-stress - check out my published colouring books for adults:

In addition to my design & illustration life, I am an active father of 3, oh and I'm naturally addicted to coffee! My illustration classes are all about getting back to basics mainly with traditional mediums and escaping away to relax with art!

I love to ... See full profile

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1. Introduction: welcome to my class and skill share. My name's in run. I'm a graphic designer, illustrator and artist. Today I'm going to be showing you guys how to make one of these cool little sin as the little booklets. And you don't need to spend big money to do this. I'm gonna be teaching you how to do this with your every day, objects and materials that you have lying around. So what you're gonna be using such a big booklet for? Well, this booklet is so versatile, it's made out of just standard paper. You can use it for absolutely anything. You can use it for journaling. You can use it for our journaling. You can use it for illustration work drawing graphite. I think we can even create one with watercolor paper. So it's entirely up to you. So what you waiting for? Robbed yourself a drink? Grab yourself a coffee or a tea. Whatever you like on a biscuit. Sit back, relax and watch the class and I'll see him on the next one. Take care of yourself on base 2. Simple Tools & Materials: Okay, so let's just quickly go through some of the materials that we need for this. And remember, these are absolute basic materials that most of us will have in our household. And if you don't have the many household, they're very, very readily available. So let's start off with one of the main components. Let's look at the material. We've got some paper and card, so I've got this little pack of card here off assorted colors. Now you can buy a card from anywhere you can get getting from the pound shop. You can get it from. You know, our stores, craft stores, wherever you like. This particular path that I've got here, it's just a range of different colors and bright feliz, some magical airs on some kind of like special finishes. She finishes like this. This pack cost. May I think it was only £1.50 from one of the cheap art stores in our local area, but I like a set. You can get these from pretty much everywhere, so you need some colored card or something a little bit. Think of the normal paper to make the cover of the book lips so I've got an example. Over here, you can see that we've got the cover as a blue on. Then the inner pages white. So you've got the cover as colored paper and then we've got the main sheets. Now, the main cheese that I'm using here are just normal everyday copier cocked printer paper. So again, this is readily available Really cheap to buy this past ab got I think it on the cost £2.50 or £3 for maybe 250 sheets from the local supermarket. So this is probably one of the best papers and most versatile papers to use as a start off to get some practice in doing this method. But remember, this method is really, really easy. Eso that's as faras the actual material is concerned. All you need is some court paper on some normal paper that's going to go inside. Call it for the cover normal for the insides rights. Now let's move on to the tools that you need and again with the tools. Everything is really, really basically you can see here that got 12345 tours and I just quickly run through these the first tool is a stapler. So for this method that I'm gonna be teaching you, you're going to be needing just a normal bog standard stapler with some staples inside. So just a normal stapler with some standard staple isn't staples inside. So that's the first thing that you need a stapler. Secondly, you're gonna need a ruler any ruler will do. Obviously needs to be as long as the actual side spine of your book. So you've got your ruler. Just need a pencil to make some marks. Need some normal scissors to do some trimming if it's required on, then you need something with a sharp point. Now, this will come into play in the next video when I make it, so I'll explain the reason that you need this. But you do. You do need something that has a sharp point. Now, maybe you might not have like a little scissors like that. I've got here with a really sharp point, but you can use anything that has a sharp point. It could be a maybe a knife that you have a small little pen knife or even a screw that you might have in your toolbox so you can use a screw that's got sharp into it just needs to be a sharp point. And again we will explain why that is in the next video. So just quickly run through what we need for the tools. All we need is a stapler Rula pencil, scissors for trimming and something that hasn't really sharp point on. We need the colored card for the cover and we need standard paper for the inner pages on We're ready to go. So I'll see you on the next war. Take care and peace. 3. Lets make the book!: Okay, let's get started. So, firstly, first step is to get hold of your paper and decide how many sheets you want inside your booklets. So in these sample that I'm gonna go through, I've decided to have just five sheets. So we've got 123 455 sheets of a four sites to paper on. What we're gonna do this is we're going to just get the cover which I've decided to use this lovely orange on. Just put the cover on top of the sheet. So you just laying the sheets on top of each other on making sure that the edges match now Sometimes what you might get is depending on where you getting the cover card from on. We get in the paper from you might have a slight mismatch in the size. So, like you can see over here, I've got the other kind of like an extra overlay on the edge where the papers just bigger than the card eso. The paper has just standard box sized. A four size paper on the card is maybe slightly trip. That's nothing to worry about. What you can do is you can use your ruler on just cool. A small line that follows the actual guard just on the edge just due to ruler, that draws a small line that follows the actual guard from the top from the bottom on. What you can do is you can just go ahead and trim this. Now, you don't have to do this. You can do it. But I'm a bit of a perfectionist style, like all my lines could be nice and smooth, so I tend to do this from the start. So what you've got there is you've got that little border that we've just just really scissors. He can just carefully just cut across there. Okay? So now we've trimmed our paper to match the size of the card. Uh, you should have a nice flush finish. There we go. Beautiful flush. Finish all the way to the edge. Like I said, you don't have to do this. A lot depends on where you're buying your card from and the sizes most of time. Two sizes will match. What? I bought this from a store that was kind of like a bit of a cheap store, so the sizes were a bit different But anyway, what we've got now is we've got our base to make our book. So all we need to do is just make sure that the edges and corners are all lined up nicely on or we're gonna do is just leaning hand on one side and fold over so that the corners match. Now just ensure that you do this really, really carefully on press down on them corners. Very generally, when you happy that the four corners are all matching just like this, grab hold of the grab hold of each corner like this with you think is pressed down and press down. And then once you've got lace, but they have pressure on there and then with the hand, just bring you hand backwards so that you start entering a small little crease, the back and you can see there. We've got ourself, a nice crease. And then just when you think is just pressing that crease. Now, if you have a next ra tool that I'm going to suggest, which is a cree, sir, that would really help on what you do with the bone creases. All you do is you hold the edge and just narrow it down. But because I'm using absolute basic supplies, I'm not going to use anything specific. So again, this video is just how to create your own saddle stitched booklet using your own home supplies everyday supplies. So we're not gonna buy anything specific or technical in terms of tools. We're just going to use the absolute basics. But if you do have one of them handy, then I would suggest that you could use that it's a crease. This a little bit better. But really, for the number of the pages that were going to use in these books, I don't think it's necessary. So all you need to do is do that with the fingers on If you have, like, you know, the rounded edge off, maybe scissors or another to a piece of kind of like, you know, tool that you've got lying around. Just use that to crease down the crease so decreased down the crease. No puns intended, right? So we want all our donors. I've just run the cities all the way down The round. Part of this is is on the reason you want to use a nice round parties toe really kind of, you know, avoid scratching. Got putting any part of your paper. Now I got lovely for finish on. Do what we can do is move onto the next stage. Now that we've got our paper folded with the cover or we want to do is just open it up and fold it backwards now. So we folded it forward. We just want to fold it backward. We don't need to crease it. We just need to fold it to make sure that it stays within the fold of the crease in the middle of the spine that we've just created. So we just do that likely would you think is you don't need to press hard and then bring it back again. Now, what you have is you've got a decent line running across the spine that you can use as your guide. You can see over here we have a nice spine running in the middle, and now what we need to do is work out the next stage. So this is my idea of how to create saddle stitched books. Now, there are many other ways that you can do this, but again, like I said. I want to keep it simple. So the next tool that you're gonna need is the good old ST plant Now, everybody. Well, most people have staplers, staples in the house and staplers. If you don't, you can get these from anywhere. Just go to your local stationery store or even supermarket. Super. I got this from our local supermarket, so I would just grab hold it for yourself. Office with stapler. Take the actual stapler itself on. Open it up like this. Just be careful not to put your fingers on the end of the stapler so that you don't end up stapling a stable inside your finger. Just hold it from the bottom part here and just open it up so that it doesn't fall onto the actual plate that you have down here. Now make sure that you've got some staples in there. I can show you down here that I've got from standard staples that fit into this standard stapler on. All we need to do is make sure it's cooked inside and just like that, with your fingers grab, grab hold of the bottom part of this panel and then hold the top with your thumb and all I want you to do is just press and can you see a little staple has just got fired out. And I want you to do this at least two times. So now that now we have to staples. So you might be thinking, Why have I taken them staples out how we're going to staple this? Well, that's the trick. That's the magic of It's also just what you stay. Poor back aside, you won't be needing that anymore. But what you will be needing is these two little guys, these two little staples. Now these staples, what we're gonna do is we're gonna staple these in like we have with our edible closer. You can see I've got to Staples stapled in. Now the question is, how are we going to get them in without using state law? Right. Well, I'm going to tell you that now. This is gonna be our little secret. Eso already been right now is we're just gonna get the ruler. Andi, ensure that we place these staples in a good enough position to make them strong under spine. Now I'm using to staples here. You can use as many as you like. You could place your staples maybe 123 and four across this small spine because we're just working on a five size. Now, if you'll be working on a bigger book, then you could probably put in more. But first like to be sufficient. You only really need at two Staples. Personally, I sometimes and putting four on on on a for a five sheets. A five book. But just for this sample, I'm gonna show you how to do to always living. Is we just positioning our staples on the spine with the little points of the staples touching the smile on you can either use your I just eyeball it or you could be specific and do some measurements. So what I'm gonna suggest is you could actually do some measurements. Now, if you don't want to make marks on your piece of paper, you can do this on a separate sheet. So if I grab hold of a separate sheets of paper here, you got separate sheets of a four because we're going to use this side of the spine. We're gonna create this as a template. So if we just move our sheets to the side and use this as a template. Now, this is usually 21 centimeters on a four on a one to smaller side of an A four. So if you just make you marks like this, half of that 21 is going to be 10.5. So you midpoint is 10.5 centimeters, and then what we want is we want this staple to be in the mid point off each half. So I would suggest you can either calculate that midpoint if you want. But generally I would say that the end of one staple will work best at maybe Force Enemy is . So I'm just gonna mark four centimeters here and then from the bottom a minute mark another four centimeters from the bottom. So we've got the edge of the paper here, and we've got forced into me, too. So that's roughly about right. So we've got the midpoint here, so midpoint and then we've got four centimeters and then we've got four centimeters. This is you made a point. Okay, so next thing to do is get hold you sheets again. Let them staples for one to the table, keeping some side on. Now what we want to do is put the dose, put them marks on the actual they know you can see because I've trimmed the sheets to match the card. We've just got slight variance on the end, so just make sure that you place this where you've got a little bit on the top and a little bit on the bottom. So you just want to place this on that spine on that folded down. If you can see he's on the camera. But here's the spine. Here's the actual fold, and if you just placed the edge of this to use as a template as a guide, then all I want you to do is with the pencil. Just put the old dot at the end, where we marked the four centimeters on the top on the bottom. You don't need to worry about the middle. Now remove the temple away. We have two positions now to calculate the exact point. It would take forever with measuring these out. So a quick way of doing this would be to just literally get your staple place the bottom and off the staple on that dot on the spine, and then it's a simple as just putting a dot on the other end of the staple. So on the actual legs of the staple, all you're doing is placing one end where you place that dot from the Templar and you're just marking another dark where the other side of the staple leg is on your paper. So you can see now that we've got two points that represent the actual dots that the staple is going to go through. So again we're going to do the same. But we're going to use the top part off the staple to go on the topped up because we want the positioning to be fairly similar. So again, just place your staple there. Does it just roughly the dog Is that so You just literally add adopt. So now you can see we have to positions where we can actually places staples. So the next question is, how are we gonna put the staples in these dots? Well, I'm sure you can remember from the materials video that I said we needed something sharp for this. So I've got by sharp little scissors over here this is a very, very sharp point on. Bring it closer to the camera very sharp. So be careful with this stage again. If you've not got shops is like this, then you could just use a point a point. There is just something that literally it's like a screwdriver, but it has a small point. And you could even use a screwdriver of one of them finds glasses, screwdrivers. There's so many different options you can use. So I would suggest that if you don't have anything sharp, then maybe get yourself a pointer or you could alternatively get yourself a small screw from your toolbox and use small screw for this. But again, be very, very careful with this because you are using sharp instrument to do this next stage. So what we're gonna do now is just move yet little staples to the top over here. Get them out of the way and we're going to piss a hole where we made these staple marks on virtually all it is is a case of just point puts in your point, sir, or your sharp object on the end and just using a circular motion to create a whole But make sure when you do that you have some backing underneath because you don't want to damage your table because the paper is really, really thin, and it will go all the way through, and it's not hard it all. So I'm just gonna grab hold of some card. So I just got, like, another sheet of cub I used to do all my holes Sounds a bit funny, that button. So it is. So just place your card on the base. Now make sure that your paper is all lined up because if once you put these holes in, then that's pretty much it. Then you don't want to have to, you know, make further holes that will damage the spine and paper to make sure everything is lined up nicely. On another point is what you can do is you can add a little clips at the end. So if you've got like, you know, Bulldog Clay. So if you've got like in a safe depends or any of them, you know the sliding names not coming to me now that I'm still ideally off paperclips, that's the von paperclips. I just put paper clip at the end of each of these if you have more sheets in here just to make sure that it doesn't all shift and move around But for this because this is only a few bits of paper, I think I'll be OK. So all we need to do is make sure with pressing down firm on the paper, making sure that the edges of all right, Well, I've seen a little bit of a nudge death, so just aligning. Well, you fingers make sure the corners of right pressed down on all we're gonna do is with a bit of force. We're going to just create these holes on the spine. The 1st 1 don't onda 2nd 1 Just make sure that, you know, creating huge holes on this hole needs to be small enough for the staple legs to feed through, but not too big that they just literally drop off them. So just use that fine point on there. We have it. So you can see now we've got 12344 holes That should have gone all the way through. They have. Okay, so now we've got our holds made. A we need to do now is make sure that the paper stays intact. So I've just got myself a little paper clip now. He's just Well, this isn't even a paperclip. This is the washing off clip that you have on your washing line. So again, I'm using basic tools that we have in the household. You can use a paper clip to do this. No problem at all. All we're doing is now we're making sure that the staples that we have So the little staples that way at all we're doing is making sure that these go in so you don't need to card anymore or you're backing board can do that out of the way. And all we need to do now is feeding our staple into the holes that we've created. So it's a simple as just feeding it through the actual whole, and it can be a little bit fidgety. So what you might have to do is take out one leg and then put the little again and just have a little play around with it, and you can see that my staples just fallen out. So another thing is that if you're doing this and you get your staple or, you know, moved around and bent. Don't worry about it. All you need to do is either open up the staple if you need to. Or you can just grab, hold your state and take out a couple more staples so that you have something that's a bit solid because of materials they're made out of metal that's very flexible on bacon. Great, quite easily is nothing. Nothing to worry about. So again, just give this a go. There's a staple and just pop it writing, and it should go straight through the straight through the hole and again, If you've created a whole that's slightly wider than the staple, you can maneuver the staple so that it goes in the actual whole again because it's quite flexible. But just be careful when you're doing this so you can see now push, listen, you see that it's not going in completely, and that's because I've probably made the whole a little bit too smart wide, but I've just forced its in and it's gone it. So now to keep that staple in, it's a good idea to just literally keep your thumb at the back of it and just hold it like this. So keep your finger up with accurate on, then just place it down and then all you do energy, making sure that you've got pressure in between over here. So once you've got pressure there, the next stage to do is grab hold of your rounded a tool. And again, I'm just using the end of my scissors on. All we're doing is just pressing down the leg very, very gently. And he concedes, just folded over that you take this on the other side were just pressing down this leg like a staple. Very nice on there. We have it. So you got your first staple. Don't. And if you have a look at this, bring it closer to the camera. Staple has been placed and you've got a beautiful flush finish up the back. So that's all you going to do for the next one? It's exactly the same thing. You just going to repeat step and that's pretty much it. So again, all we're doing here is repeating this step. Push that stable lean all the way, turning around. Keep your thumb at the back your finger when you've turned it around press it down. Make sure you press in from the middle of that staple to make sure it stays in place. Grab hold of one of the legs We've been between your fingers and then just with the around it part of your knife or your scissors just press that staple in and again, turning around, Do the same. Now it might end of if you might end oppressing this down. It might end up going that way or this way. Just with your fingers. Just put it in the middle. Just pull it again in the middle and then do this. Do this part slowly. Don't rush the spot. Do this part slowly. There we have it. Now you can get rid of this quick. You've just created your first saddle stitched, staple stitched book club. Look at that. Wasn't that easy? S so there we have it, folks. We've created our first saddle stitched book, Onda. We just used our basic material that we add Stay for scissors, paper, pencil ruler, hand washing up clip. So shoot this ago. Try this out on. I'll show you some of the other books that I've made in the next video 4. Sizes & Variations: Okay, so now we've completed our saddle stitched book. I'm sure you're really, really excited when you complete yours. Eso basically, this was just in a four book that we did. We folded it in half and we created some holes for the staples to go in. Put Staples in on. That's pretty much it. So it's probably the simplest way Simples and quickest way Teoh create a saddle stitched book. So I'm just gonna quickly go through some of the ones that creates variations again. You don't have to do this at this size. What I tend to do is I do out of this size, and then I trim the books down. So I'll put this in a trimmer, the have on, then maybe just call all the way down the middle. And then you've got two books. So this one here, this was on a five book and I just added a blue cover to it. A couple of pages in the inside trimmed down. And then I also added two more staples at the end. Andi, basically, that gives me to the old books on. And once I've got two little box, you can do whatever you want with them? And I gave this to my little son. He decided Teoh design his home little Children's story with some writings. You can use these for whatever you want. The sore versatile if you want to use them for journaling or are journaling. I use thes for concept Where what I'm creating my stories on Get on this one. I don't even have a cover. Sometimes I just use them to, you know, do sketch work in. You can also use good quality paper for their self. Like this example here of used a black cover. I'm just used one staple at the end on I have used a decent heavyweight sketch paper to do some artwork in, and I've made a couple of these ready for in control the challenge as well. So you could have everybody versatile and you can do whatever you want with the So I hope you enjoyed this quick little a session of making a saddle stitched book. And I hope you try this out for yourself. So on the next one, I'll show you what your class projects should be all about. So take care of yourself on peace. 5. Class project: Okay, Welcome back. So what I'm gonna be quickly going through is your class project. So it's obvious, but I want you to do in this class project is make yourself a staple book. Love life we have done in class on. Do you can do this in any size or variation as you like, But I would suggest the first time you do this. You used cartridge thin a prince of paper for your actual book and don't use to many pages because the first time you do anything, it can always be a little bit tricky, especially when you're working with these staples and, you know, producing the holes depending on what tool using to create a little hole. So I would suggest use thin paper. Use some card, Coca Cola guard or thin card if you can get hold of any. And if you can't, don't worry about it. Just created without a cover for your first initial book. Andi maybe used a couple of staples regardless of what size you use, purely to make it a little bit more rigid and sturdy. So first of all cultures, copy exactly why did in class could you paper down to size. Or just use the standard paper that you have. Make a fold, get increase ready popular old holes in Once you've done your markings off your measurements and then create holds and then all you got to do is turn the book around, put your little staples inside and fold them over just like we did in class on there. You have it on what would be nice is that on your class project it be great if you could actually, you know, do a little front cover like I've got over here on these booklets on maybe even do a couple of sketches inside. Or, you know, whatever you want this booklet to represent, maybe a journal from writing some thoughts that would be really, really good and do posted on the project gallery so that we can all have a look on. We can all learn from each other, and it just makes it such a more enjoyable exercise. So do you give this a go? There is another way to produce the state called Settle staple of booklets. But that's ah, I would say that a cheating way and there's no full in doing it too quickly. You are. It's not really cheating way. You can buy one of these estate plays that are called extended staplers, so I'll just bring a picture up on the screen on all it is is a case off using this extended staple s so that you don't you can can effectively bypass the whole making step in this process. So the staple literally come across your entire page because of the extender that has you can fit in quite a long length of paper without creasing. It's so effectively. If you do have one of them handy, then by all means use it. But most people don't usually have an extended stapler in the house. On the whole point of this class is to create a stapled booklet, saddle stitched staple booklet with just your everyday items that you have in your house, and it makes the whole exercise a lot more fun. So digging this ago on leave your results in the Project Gallery, just take a picture of your booklet on just maybe open itself. Take a picture of the centre on off couple of angles s so that we can all enjoy the creations that we have created it on. Hopefully you've learned something from this class and you've enjoyed this class. Please give the Classic a good review on gear Follow May form or of these creative, crafty classes. That's gonna be a lot more coming through with material reviews. Some are working and how to draw houses and have to draw illustrations. So there's a lot that I've got planned for this channel on skill share. So don't give me a follow to keep yourself updated with the latest clusters. Aunt. Hopefully I'll see you on the next class. So thank you so much for your time. Take care of yourself on peace.