Book Binding – my new hobby

I have a shiny new hobby - book binding. I was first introduced to the concept by my friend and author Heidi Kneale who printed and made her own novels at the May book fair. I immediately wanted to do it and tried to arrange a workshop but it fell through. So I turned to You Tube. Sea Lemon has a whole channel that goes into DIY book binding. My first thought was to do some little promotional books with the first chapter of each of my books in them, but I got distracted by the journals.


I love all sorts of writing journals: hard bound, soft bound, ones with locks or ties, leather covers and more. ​

The first step was to decide on the paper to use. I wanted to do lined paper so I could use it for writing, so I played around in Microsoft Word until I had a template and then printed out the required amount. After I had folded and stitched it together using kettle stitch, I found some pretty paper for the inside covers and glued it all together. Oh, and I added a ribbon bookmark too, because all good journals need a book mark.

By this stage I was down to using one hand after my little accident last weekend, so I called my mum in to help with the hard cover. She also has the most amazing sewing studio with basically ever fabric imaginable and I knew she'd have a few scrap pieces she could donate to the project. We chose a fabric and made book cloth which was quite easy to do. We just had to iron on tissue paper to the fabric.

Making the hard cover

I didn't have any book board for the cover but a trip to the craft store netted me some two millimetre thick cardboard which I thought would do the trick. ​Mum cut it out for me and we glued it on to the fabric. 

This whole project takes a bit of time because you need to wait for glue to dry. So it was the next day before I could trim the excess fabric and finally add the cover to the insert.​

I'm quite pleased with the result. It's not perfect. If you look closely, I should have left a bit more fabric on the corners because you can see the cardboard underneath, and the cover isn't 100% even all the way around, but I think it's a good start. ​

I've got a whole stack of ideas for journals to make for an exhibition in January. I was going to write a short novella but I like the idea of experimenting with designs and inserts for journals. I've created a board on Pinterest full of ideas. I'm really excited by it. Now I just need my finger to finish healing so I can use two hands and you won't be able to stop me!