Bookbinding 101: Create a Pamphlet Stitched Artist's Book or Zine | Elizabeth Castaldo | Skillshare

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Bookbinding 101: Create a Pamphlet Stitched Artist's Book or Zine

teacher avatar Elizabeth Castaldo, Artist and Bookbinder

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

    • 1.

      Welcome to Bookbinding 101


    • 2.



    • 3.

      Between the Covers


    • 4.

      Getting Starting


    • 5.

      Bringing It Together


    • 6.

      Wrap Up


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About This Class

In this class learn how to create an editioned zine or artist's book from start to finish. We will work step by step from designing a book with content, reproducing the pages, and assembling the books using a pamphlet stitch, a basic form of a sewn binding. The final result will be multiples of your own book that are ready to go for your next craft fair or zine fest. No prior book binding experience is required in order to master these techniques, only your own two hands and some basic materials and tools.

This class is perfect for artists, writers, designers, or anyone who is interested in leaning basic book making techniques.  

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Elizabeth Castaldo

Artist and Bookbinder


I am an artist, printmaker, and bookbinder living and working in Peekskill, New York. I work in mixed media combining collage, drawing, and printmaking to create works on paper and artists books. My work explores the conflict between humans and nature, and what it means to be a woman in contemporary society. Themes such as generation, growth, sexuality, entropy and decay are present throughout my work. I currently teach printmaking at Nassau Community College in Garden City, NY.

I received my MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta GA in 2013 where I was a Dean’s Fellow in Printmaking. I received my BFA in Drawing and Painting in 2007 from the School of Visual Arts in New York, NY. My artist's books are shown and sold through Vamp & Tramp Booksellers. In ... See full profile

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1. Welcome to Bookbinding 101: hi and welcome to finding 101 Create a pamphlet found Artist Book Corzine. My name is Elizabeth Salgado. I'm an artist, upper maker and a bookmaker, and I love making artist. Book artist Book is an artwork that takes the form of a book. And article beans are a great way for your artwork, short story photography or anything else you can pick up in this class. I'll take you step by step. Process of designing a I'm fighting them together using a basic finding you learn, really At the end of the class, you have created multiple of your very own artist over that'll. Be perfect to bring your craft fair. No, prior about finding experiences require all you need are your own two hands, some basic tools and materials and your great idea. Please enroll in classes. Continue to be sure to leave any questions or comments in the discussion section below you in class 2. Tools: before getting started, it will be helpful to gather the tools and materials you will need to make your book. If you have some basic art materials, you will probably be able to do this project with things you already have. Things you will need are a few sheets of plain letter sized printer paper, a pencil and eraser Ah, bone folder or other folding tool. Even a dull butter knife will work. Ah, heavy duty needle and all for punching holes. This is optional because you can just use your needle. But the all will be useful if you're making many books strong thread like linen binding thread or a heavy duty sewing thread. Bees wax will come in handy because it helps the threat glide. But this is optional. Some third comes pre waxed, a pair of scissors, some binder clips or paperclips on Exacto, blade and cutting map a ruler and some different types of papers to use for the covers. If you like, plus any materials you will need to make your artwork or content for your book that parts up to you. You should be able to find these items at any art supply store But to great resource is for these things are Tallis, a store that specializes in binding materials, and the French paper company, which sells interesting text and cover white papers that you can use in a printer or copier . You can find a list of these materials in the project section of this class. 3. Between the Covers: the structure were working with In this class is called pamphlet Binding. Pamphlet books are books that use one section off folded pages, called a signature with a cover that are sewn together through the spine. Pamphlet Binding is a fairly simple structure that is easy to master but can have a big impact. It's perfect for small books, zines or giveaways such as event programs. Let's look at some examples of pamphlet bound books and zines. Here's a great shot of a selection of zines made by the small Science Collective, a collaboration between scientists and artists. When you're thinking about creating your artwork, something that you might want to consider is if you will be reproducing your artwork in color or black and white. And I think this is a really great example of how you can jazz up black and white prints, since most of them are printed on different colored papers so you can reproduce your artwork relatively and exp offensively by sticking with black and white. But you can still get a little color with the different colored papers. This book called The Rial on the UN Really People buy Justo Chris Conte, the third is just a really great example of how putting your illustrations into a book can show off things that you might think of as just like a one off sketcher drawing it really becomes a strong piece as a book, plus the black and white ink drawings reproduced. Great as photocopies. These are some little journals that are made by paper. Jane Books. I found them on at sea. Um, these are a true pamphlet, binding where they're stitched through the spine. As you can see here, there's blue thread and pink thread, and she's used different types of patterned paper for the covers that are decorated with these little animal silhouettes that are really cute. And that's another way to step up the presentation of your book. Here are some more little album books that are made with a pamphlet stitch binding designed by Angela Look, worry, and what I like about thes is again. They're using different colored, higher quality paper for the cover, and then these have little stamps to decorate the covers. But I also like that they really incorporated the excess tales of the thread into the design of their book. By putting these little beads on them, which is just another way to dress up the basic finding. This is a piece by Susan Hafer set, who's a book artist called Fibonacci Flower. It was published and printed by Purgatory Pie Press, which is a printmaking and bookmaking team from New York City. And they make really great books, and they're all letter press printed. And this book is really interesting because it uses the pamphlet sewn binding. But I like how she's incorporated thes little fold outs into the pages, and that could be easily done just by making one off the sheets of folded paper a little bit longer than the others. So it makes an extra page that folds out from two of the individual pages. And here's another purgatory pie press book I, Georgia Luna called Everything falls into place. This is called a Doe See Doe book, but it's basically two pamphlet bindings where the cover is folded into sort of a zigzag, and then one pamphlet book is sewn into each of the two spines that are created by folding the cover that way. So it's just a really cool take on a typical pamphlet binding this book Cell Memory by Macy Chadwick is another pamphlet bound book, but she's cut the pages into a different shape, and it looks like each of the pages in the book is a slightly different shapes. So it creates this nice layering or like peekaboo effect, where you can kind of see the upcoming pages just by their edges showing. And here's another book with shaped pages by Catherine Pet Key, which also uses the pamphlet Binding. As you can see, she's also incorporated fold outs and cut paper into her design. So these last two examples are kind of really taking the pamphlet binding to the next level . And you can really see a range of possibilities with all of these books, from the very simple to the very complex, and they all use the same type of binding. Another great resource toe look at is the website for printed matter. Printed Matter is actually a physical store located in New York City that specializes in small press artist books and zines, so if you can, you should go check them out in person. But if you can't, they have a great website. Another great website to look at is the website for vamps and Tramps booksellers. Vamping Tramp is based in Birmingham, Alabama, but they spend most of the year traveling around to different book related and printmaking related exhibitions conferences. And they also have a very extensive website. And you can go and look here at the Fine Press and artist books and scroll through and see every artists that they have in their catalog. And on here you'll see a really large array of different finding techniques, years more work from Susan, Harper said. This is a really great pamphlet book. This is, um, collaged and photocopied magazine cutouts, and it's an ABC book so you can see the variation and materials that people are using as well, because it ranges from the simple photocopy up to the fine art press. Um, printed books that are probably reproduced using letter press techniques or screen printing or other sort of more involved processes. Whether your book will hold writing artwork, photos or something entirely different, the best ideas will probably come from something you're already familiar with. If you are a writer, maybe you would like to make a book of your poetry or short story. If you're an artist, you could make an artist book on artwork in book form. Like many of the books we've been looking at, or if you're cartoonist or illustrator, perhaps a mini comic is in your future. The possibilities are endless. Whatever you're working on, it will be important to consider the sequence your art will take in its final book form. So think about the way your images and writing interact with one another, especially if they'll be on facing pages. Once you've created the content for your book, it will be time to make multiples of it. We sometimes refer to this as an addition, which is usually a limited printing of a book or fine art print. Limited editions air usually signed and numbered by the artist and are not reprinted after the original quantity is made. Other methods you could consider for future projects could be silkscreen, letter, press relief, printing or any other method of creating multiples that you can think of. Think about the number of copies you will want to have of your book. If you will be selling your Xena at an event like a craft fair comic con or zine fest, you may want to make a large quantity like 50 to 100 especially if you dio many of these events. If you're using your seen as an event program or giving it as a gift, the quantity will probably be tied to the number of people you're expected. So hopefully this all has helped you get some good ideas for your book and gives you some good inspiration. So it takes some time. Explore those websites, look around at books and gather your materials, and I'll see you in the next section getting started. 4. Getting Starting: so hopefully you have a great idea for your book. Now. The first step in making your book, even before creating the art or laying out your text is to make a mock up of it. It may help to make a list or consider the number of images, polls or pages you will want to have A pamphlet about book can be very thin to fairly thick . I would recommend using something like 3 to 8 sheets of your standard weight typing paper, which we will fold in half. So a book starting with five flat sheets, once folded would give you 20 pages if you use both sides of every. So let's get started with the mock up. For the purposes of this class, we're going to be using your standard letter size or 8.5 by 11 inch paper. But you could really use any size paper you want Teoh. But I would suggest using letter sized paper and then deciding if you want to do ah, half size book so each page or your clothes book would measure half the size of a sheet of 8.5 by 11 paper or 1/4 size where each page for your closed book would measure 1/4 the size of any in half by 11 inch paper. So I think I'm gonna do this quarter size smaller size, so I would start by taking a few sheets of paper and cutting them in half. Next, fold each sheet and ham, and this is what you're folding tools for you to get that out on the way you use. This is you can fold over your piece of paper making sure that the quarters match and then just crease fine with holder for my book. I have eight images, so I'm gonna start with four pieces of this. Then when you have a folded sheet, it's called a folio. So I'm gonna take four folios and I'm gonna neft some together, take 1/5 1 to use my cover And when you have nested together folios, it's called a signature. And a pamphlet bound book is just made with one sick sister. And later on, we're gonna learn how to sew our book together with thread. But for now, since this is just the mock up, I'm just gonna leave it as is now. We can go through the book and label each page with what will be on it. You can make a descriptive label or make a sketch, or use the print cow and stick them on with tape. Or you could do something as simple as a sign, letters and numbers to each page that correspond with list of images or text that you're gonna put in your book. So now that I've labeled my pages, I can use this mock up as a guide for laying out my images or text, whether that be physically or even on the computer, using a program like in designs. So when I think the pages apart, I can see that my first sheet, which starts with Page one when I open it up, see that Page 14 on Page one should be opposite each other. And on the back should be page two and page 13 and so I can go through all of the pages and see which ones should be facing one another. This will ensure that once the folios air nested together, all the pages will be in order. Since I'm doing the half sheet, I could even stick these together so that I know that when I'm laying the mountain to print on a full, she that I want Pages 12 32 and 13 to be on one side of the page and page for 11 14 on one to be on the other side of the page. So then, when I print them out, I'll have a page like this that I cut in half to make the pages that I ne together into my pamphlet book. So take some time to make your own marca and then begin creating or laying out your content , using the mock up as a guide. When you're ready, you can make copies of your pages. I'll be off to my local copy shop, but you can also use your home printer if you'd prefer. If you have any questions about this, you sure to ask in the discussion section off the class 5. Bringing It Together: So now we have a stack of copied prints to assemble into finished books. Take one, she each of your book and a cover I've made my pages before, too. If she saw begin by cutting my full sheets and ham, most coffee machines give you this white border, and if that bothers you, you contribute away cover of my book. I've made using a piece of this kind of texture off white paper, and I made these elements that I cut out and then I'm gluing them onto each cover. You could do this at this point, or you could do it after you assemble the book. The first step, just like when we did the mock up, is two fold are pieces of paper in half to me folio. So next we're going to nest the sheets together and last you'll put the cover on. Now we have to punch holes through the spine for sewing, so we'll have to make a sewing guide. This is kind of an optional stuff because of your just making one book, you can really just measure and punch right on the inside of the book. But if you're making a lot of books like in our case, you probably want to make a sewing guide. We'll make it a little bit easier. So I'm using a scrap of card stock. You can even just use the piece of computer paper. But the height of it is the same height as my both. So when it comes time to punch locals, it'll fit right in this fine book. So first full year scrap paper in half, and then you can measure measure where the center is. So in my case, my book is 5.5. So the center is gonna be two and 3/4 and you can mark it first. And then I would make the other two sewing stations maybe about 1/4 from and if he was like , you can also just I you don't always have to measure. So precisely, if you're happy with the position of your three bulls or sewing stations of their called, you can use your all to punch the hole. So just gently punch a hole through each dot that you made in the crease of your piece of paper. So now this has become your sewing guide, just in case something is a little off. You might want a mark. Which side is facing up? So no, Open your book to the center, please. You're so in guide inside. And so since I trim down the little white head of my printer copy paper, my covers a little bit bigger than my pages. This is just another thing to look out for because you want to make sure that your pages are centered on the top of bottom. And this is where those paperclips might come in handy. If you have trouble juggling all of these pieces. Speaking paper, clip your pages together so that everything stays in one place and doesn't jiggle around while you're trying to patch. So I placed the sewing guide on I let the book keep a slight angle to it. And then I just hon trouble through all the pages using guide to show me where it apart. You don't need a really big so so that should do it. And if you turn your book over, you'll see the holes punched through Thea other side. So once you have your whole punch, wait to get the threat ready. So for threat, we don't need that months. You just teaching measure about maybe a little more than two length of your book. I'm going to use this great red Fred because you'll be able to really see it. You see what I'm doing, but I think it's also gonna look great with my book. I've measured about to book link, but you need a little extra. Make sure you leave a little extra for time now with your bees wax. If your threat isn't pre waxed. If you're just using heavy duty sewing thread or regular linen bookbinding threat, you can take your piece of bees west and just start running. Your thread through thing is kind of an optional step because, especially for the pamphlet book, which is a very thin it's only one signature. The roughness of the threat isn't really going to be much of an issue, but it does help the threat glide through the pages much more easily. Threat now, starting from the outside of the book, you're going to put your needles through with center said selling stations. Just be careful. That's definitely all of your soul should still be lined up. If you have used the paper method. So but otherwise, just be careful that it's definitely going through the hole that you punt and you're going to make a new hole someplace else. So full that through. But leave a tail on the outside just enough to tie the like a couple inches. And next you want to go through the bottom filling station and again make sure that your needles coming out where you want it. Teoh. Once people threat through to be outside, you're gonna skip over the center and go right through the top stage career, keeping your spread pretty taught. But don't pull too hard because you could tear through all your page. So last we're gonna put the needle back through the sector stations and be careful not to split threat that's already going through. So one of you pull your threat out to the outside of the book. You want to make sure that both ends of your threat are on either side of the long Peace echoes streets across, given another gentle tugs to make sure everything tight, and then you can tie square knot around the center on, trim off the excess. You want to leave, the longer you can cut it short. And alternatively, if you I tend to like this little, not on the outside. But if you want a need or look, you can start from the inside and then your threads lined up on the entire group. What makes the outside looks a little meat on there? You have it made your very first pamphlet book. Now, since we are making an addition, you have plenty of other copies to practice on. You can continue with this method until you found all of your book. 6. Wrap Up: Now that you learn to make a pamphlet found book, I'm sure you have lots of other ideas. Another great use for this type of book is for making blank sketchbooks and journals with your favorite papers in them, or even for using the pamphlet finding to bind existing art or writing. Don't forget to check my sample project for additional resources and tips. I hope you enjoy the class, and I hope you'll post photos of the books you made in the project section below. Thanks for taking book, Finding 101