Easy Bookbinding: Two Ways to Make a Sketchbook | Amaya Jade | Skillshare

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Easy Bookbinding: Two Ways to Make a Sketchbook

teacher avatar Amaya Jade, Artist and Video Creator

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.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.

      What You Need


    • 4.

      Perfect Bound Method


    • 5.

      Cord Sewing Method: Folding Signatures


    • 6.

      Cord Sewing Method: Sewing Signatures


    • 7.

      Cord Sewing Method: Gluing the Spine


    • 8.

      Making the Book Covers


    • 9.

      Thank You!


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About This Class

Hi! My name is Amaya and I'm an artist & video creator!

If you are wanting to get into bookbinding (or simply just want to make your own sketchbook) this is a great class for any level. In this class I will be showing you two different ways of binding your own sketchbook: Perfect Bound & the Cord Sewing method.

These simple bookbinding methods are easy and require no heavy equipment, which means you can get started right away. I will show you step-by-step how to easily bind these sketchbooks, as well as show you how to make the hard covers for them. Take a look at the class project section to see the list of tools and materials needed. 

This class by no means encompasses everything there is to know about book making, but I hope that it will inspire you to get started and explore more! 

Lessons include:

  • An overview of all supplies needed
  • Perfect Bound method step-by-step
  • Cord Sewing method step-by-step
  • Making the book covers
  • Assembling the sketchbook

If you have any questions at all, be sure to ask me in the discussions page!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Amaya Jade

Artist and Video Creator


Hello! My name is Amaya!

Artist & Video Creator. Since 2012 I have been uploading videos to my channel on YouTube (scroll to the end of my page) and now I'm also teaching here! You can find my artwork on Etsy and on my website as well!



My newest class is free for a limited time! Painting Flowers with Gouache


See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: Hey, everyone, it's a Maya. In this class, I'm going to be teaching you how to make a sketchbook using two methods. The first method is perfect found, which is just gluing the edges of the pages together and then the second Method ISS Record sign, which is sewing separate signatures together to find them. So both of these bookbinding methods are really easy, simple, and they require no heavy equipment, which means that you can get started on them right away, and you probably have everything to make them already. If you are wanting to get into bookbinding or simply just want to make a sketchbook, then this class is great. It's for any level you don't have to have. Any story was making. I will show you step by step, how to Bindi's and making covers as well. So, of course, because project is going to be to create a sketchbook of your own, using your preferred paper, using either the court sewing rapid or the perfect round method 2. Class Project: So for the class project, you are going to make your own sketchbook following the steps that I show you in the class so you can go ahead and start your class project right now, by going into the project section of the class, go ahead and click on the create Project button and start your project by telling me which method you're going to use. The found four. The courts are method Post. You are a work in progress photos as well as pictures of your finished sketchbook. You can check out the product section of the class to see sketchbooks that I made, and if you have any questions or need any help, don't hesitate to ask me. 3. What You Need: so I know onto what you'll need. Paper. Of course, I am using drawing and watercolor paper for the cords sowing method. I'm going to be using the drawing paper, which is thinner, and then for the perfect bound. I'm going to be using watercolor paper, and then you will need to thread. You can use whatever color you want, but I'm going to be using red so that you can clearly see what I'm doing in the video cord or twine. In this case, I am using twine because this is what I have. The other one will work. Whichever one you have is fine. A needle, a ruler and something to cut your paper with. I'm using a paper cutter and then finally glue. I'm using tacky glue. Any glue will do as long as it is nontoxic acid free, and it drives flexible 4. Perfect Bound Method: So first I'm going to be showing you how to make the perfect bound sketchbook. So I'm going to be using my paper cutter Teoh, cut my watercolor paper. I believe the size of both of these sketchbooks I made is four by six. But you can cut your paper to whatever size that you want. So I'm cutting my watercolor paper so that I have longer sheets of paper. Once I have those, I'm going to be marking the center of each of those pages. So once I have marked the center of the pages and cut those again, I am going Teoh, stack them really nicely and place them on the edge of a table. You're gonna want to play something heavy on top of the cage is so that you can apply the glue. So taking my tacky glue, I'm just going to be applying that to the spine pretty thick with a brush, and then you're gonna want to let the glue it dry completely. Once that is dry, I am applying a second coat once again letting that dry completely. And then once it is dried completely, you can remove it. So this is super easy and quick. What's good about the perfect round sketchbook is that it leads completely flat when you open up the pages. 5. Cord Sewing Method: Folding Signatures: So what now onto the Accord sowing method. For this method, I'm going to be using drawing paper. So just like the perfect bound, I'm going to be cutting the paper to my preferred size. Except instead of cutting the paper twice, I'm leaving it long. So for the sketchbook, there are going to meet signatures, which is the grouping of pages. So I'm taking two sheets at a time. Make sure that the grain is facing upwards and then you were going Teoh. Fold it and then I'm using a ruler to press down the edges. You can take, however many sheets of paper that you want in a signature I'm using to just so that it's easier to fold. So most people, when making sketchbooks, will fold each paper individually, and then they will put them together into little signatures. But the reason I'm folding the two sheets of paper together at the same time is because, and I'll show you here if you fold them separately and then you place one inside of the other, there's going to be an excess of paper, and here is side by side, the signature that is folded together and the one that is folded separately. So this just helps the paper to fit snug, and it will help to keep the pages together, and the edge will be flat instead of having certain pages sticking out. So that's just a little tip for when you are folding your signatures. So I'm going to do that until I have full did all of the paper. 6. Cord Sewing Method: Sewing Signatures: So now you should have a stack of signatures. I'm going Teoh. Place them onto the edge of a table and mark six lines evenly across the spine. And this is because you're going to need Teoh poke holes for where you are going to be sewing through, so you're going to poke six holes along the spine, and it's super important. Teoh. Make sure that you draw the lines on the spine like I did, because this will keep them all aligned together. So you're going to need a shelf, Teoh. Do the sowing going to take your cord. And also, I forgot to mention that you'll need tape, so I'm just using masking tape. So you're going, Teoh, take your cord. I took six pieces and are going to tape them where you hope to the holes into the signatures you were going to be sewing around the court. We're going to flip over all of these signatures except for the very bottom one, because we're going to be starting with one signature. Go ahead and take your a needle and thread. It's a tie, a knot at the end of her thread. Make sure that you tie a big enough. Not so that it won't go through the whole, and we're going to start on the end. Take your needle and go through the first hole from the inside of the sketch been, bring it around the cord to the other side and go back into the same hole and make sure you pulled tightly. Keep this in mind throughout the whole process of sewing, So then you're going to go into the next hole from the inside of the sketchbook, go around the cord and back into the same hole again, pulling Titan. So as you can see, it is simple. It's not hard to do this sewing. I have seen many sketchbooks have super complicated sewing, but the cord sowing method is one of the easiest. You're just going to continue to do this until you get to the very last strand of cord. So once I go around the last chord and back into the hole, I'm going to bring it through the front once again. And then I'm taking the needle through the cord, pulling tightly, and then you can just do that a couple times and then cut it off. This will keep it all together. But you don't have to worry about time like any knots or making it super secure because we're going to be gluing the spine later on. So now you are going to flip one of your signatures over and add that to the stack. You are going to need to cut new thread once you add a new signature on. So once again, you're going to go through the first hole from the inside of the sketchbook, go around the cord and then back through the same hole and then into the next hole from the inside of thes sketchbook again doing this until all of your signatures have been so it on . Okay, so once you are done, you can go ahead and cut the cord and remove the tape, and then this is what it should look like. 7. Cord Sewing Method: Gluing the Spine: So once all of your signatures have been so together, you're going to place your book onto the edge of a desk or table, and once again you were going to place some weight on top of it. You're going, Teoh, take your glue and apply that to the spine, using a brush just like we did for the perfect bound sketchbook. And once that's dry, I am doing a second coat of glue. I just left it overnight so that it would set completely. 8. Making the Book Covers: So finally on to making the book covers. So for the covers, you're going to want some thick cardboard. I am using the backs of some notebooks I had. So you're going, Teoh, measure your sketchbook, leaving a little bit of a border around the edge. So once you cut that out, I am placing it over more cardboard so that I can cut it out to the exact same size. So once you have your two covers, you're going Teoh takes a decorative paper or whatever you are going to use to cover your book covers and measure that with the borders being about an inch so that you have extra paper to fold over, apply glue to the cardboard and then you're going Teoh. Place your paper onto it, and I'm leaving that to dry underneath a stack of books that dries flat, doing the same thing to the other cover and then also letting that dry. So once you have these two covers, this is what it should look like. You're going, Teoh cut off the corners so that we can have a nice fold. I'm just squaring the edges with the dull side of an Exacto knife so that it's easier to fold the paper over. Apply your glue to the edges and fold that over. Make sure Teoh do the opposite sides at the same time. So you see, I'm doing both of the long side schooling those at the same time. And then I'm doing the top and the bottom, folding those at the same time, because this will help to stop the glue from warping the paper and then like pulling it to a certain side. Okay, so if you happen to cut off too much of the corner and it leaves a gap looking like this, it's an easy fix. So just go ahead and take one of the corner clippings and cut it and trim it to this shape . It will fit perfectly in that spot, and when you do it, you can really even tell you did that. So once you have these two covers, you're going to take a sheet of copy paper and measure the spine of your book. We're going to make that little bit wider, couple inches wider than the actual spine, and fold that around the spine to cover it. This is optional. If you don't want to do this, but I just think it makes everything look nicer. And then you're going to cut the same size out of your decorative paper. This is going to cover the spine of the book. So I'm placing the spine onto this sheet of paper and marking it with a pencil. This'll just kind of lets you know where you need to apply the glue. So you're going to apply the glue to both sides, and then you're going to attach the covers to this paper, Make sure not Teoh. Place the covers too close to each other because once you have your paper inside, it won't be able to close flat all the way. I made this mistake the first time, so I had to separate the covers a little bit further away from each other. So keep that in mind when gluing this. So now what times to glue the paper inside. So you're going to apply glue, Teoh both the covers and place the first page down and then do the same thing to be back cover, placing the last page on to that. And then I'm just going to let this strike by placing a book on either side, and then this is what it should look like afterwards. So now this is also optional, but it helps to keep everything looking professional. So I'm taking a different piece of decorative paper cutting to the sides of the cover and gluing that on the inside, covering up that white paper and that's it. 9. Thank You!: Thank you. So so much for watching this class. I really hope that you enjoy this class. I hope that it helped you and inspiring to make your own sketchbook. Don't forget, Teoh. Start class project by letting me know which method you're going to be using for your sketchbook. And don't forget to post pictures. I would really love to see what you guys make. Please follow me if you want to be updated on new classes. I tried to post one monthly, so thanks again for watching.