Basic bookbinding techniques.

Books come in all types, shapes and sizes.


Paper Sizes-A
This chart shows the different measurements of various A format paper sizes.

When a sheet of paper is folded in half once, it becomes a folio. When folded in half again, it is called a Quarto and if folded again, this is known as an Octavo. These could be any size paper from A0 to A5.



When two or more folios are joined together, it is known as a ‘Section’.

The books i am going to be explaining are, Slit Sheet, Concertina, Stab Stitch, Pamphlets and Perfect Bind Books/ Journals.

Slit sheet binding

This type of binding is often used by charities or organisations who need a quick turn around in order to share whatever information they want their book to hold.

It is very simple to make. All you will need is a sheet of A4 paper (or bigger if you wish), scissors (or a paper cutting knife, a bone folder and perhaps a ruler.

1. To start with, position the paper in a portrait format. Fold your flat piece of paper through the centre lengthways and then equally four times width ways (so you end up with four equal sized square folds.

2. From the end of the first quarter to the beginning of the fourth cut a slit in the paper (lengthways).

3. After this, hold the top and bottom of the paper and push together.

4. Finally pull around the sides to create the book. You may want to sharpen the folds using a bone folder throughout the process of making this book.

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Snake book.

For this book you will need the same equipment as above.

  1. Place the paper landscape and fold lengthways in half and in half again so you have four columns.
  2. Fold width ways into thirds. This will result in 12 equal sized squares.
  3. From the top of the bottom third cut above three of the squares from left to right. Repeat this from the bottom of the top third above free squares from right to left.
  4. Collect the paper together to form a book and attach the covers.


For the next book binding techniques I’m going to discuss, you will need a needle and thread. When using a needle and thread, there is a way to thread it so that it doesn’t come unfastened whilst you are working.

  1. Thread the needle and pierce it through the thread.
  2. Pull it all the way through


Pamphlet Stitch.


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Perfect binding. 


  1. Using crocodile clips, hold together 20 sheets of paper (12cmx15cm)
  2. Brush 4 layers of PVA over the spine (allowing time to dry in between each coat)
  3. For the cover, measure (12cmx15cm) x2 from a piece of card.
  4. Add an extra 0.6 mm in the middle to cover the spine
  5. To the left of that, mark off 15mm and fold evenly through the width.
  6. Glue the card cover to the section and hold together again with bulldog clips

Back stitch. 

  1. Cut a piece of A1 card width way to 21cm and fold in half using a bone folder.
  2. Place your punch guide in the middle of the card and continue punch holes into the cover.
  3. Combine the inside pages with the cover and sew them together using back stitch (shown below)
  4. Fold the back cover into position and use bone folder to flatten the fold.
  5. Measure 10cm out from the fold like and cut. Seal it with double-sided tape to create a pocket.
  6. Round the corners using a corner punch.

Backstitch 2

Concertina/ Accordian bind

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 10.16.45Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 10.17.00Stab stitch (4 hole).

  1. French fold a paper block.
  2. Place card on the paper you are using as a cover and draw around it. (Do this twice for front and back.
  3.  Cut around the mark and glue the first board in line with inner marks.
  4. Cut covers corned (leaving 3mm gap on each corner.
  5. Using a piece of card, glue opposite ends in turn and fold over
  6. Place end paper accurately on board and allow 3mm between edges and cut.
  7. Glue to board and use bone folder to remove any creases.
  8. For the second board, cut a 2mm gap in the board (this will be the hinge). Measure 1.5 cm from the foredge and additional 2mm. Cut between the lines.
  9. Glue the small strip to outside of the lines marked on the cover material. Glue the larger board to opposite outside edge of the marks on the cover material.
  10. Glue and before and use bone folder.
  11. Place end paper in position on covered boad and allow 3mm between edges, mark and cut end paper.
  12. Position paper, cut side flush with the left hand edge and 3mm gap top and bottom.
  13. Position from board in line and secure with bulldog clips.
  14. Divide the width of hinge strup by 2 and lightly make a vertical line.
  15. Measure 0.75cm from the left edge and the same from the right edge.  Measure the difference between and divide by 3. Make total of 4 holes using japanese hole punch.

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