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Easy Bookbinding for Students: Home

PLEASE NOTE: Some of the videos linked on this LibGuide are via YouTube and may not work on Chromebooks because YouTube is blocked on school issued devices.

Why bookbinding?

When students make their own books they:

  • take ownership of their work
  • create an artifact they are proud of
  • are able to share their work

Student-made books can be used for:

  • Journaling
  • Creative writing (fiction & non-fiction)
  • Activism
  • Documentation
  • Research
  • Reporting
  • Art-making
  • Note-taking

RGL Resources

These titles are available in the Middle School library.

Projects to try

Here are a few easy projects to try:

  • Small 8-page booklet from a single sheet of paper
  • Notebook with a sewn pamphlet binding
  • Accordion book
  • Portfolio from a file folder 

Bookbinding techniques

Scoring and creasing: Use your bone folder to score paper for folding or for marking materials for cutting

  • To score paper, press and run the pointed tip of your bone folder along a straight-edge
  • To crease a fold, use the side of your bone folder and press along the fold; trying going in both directions to make a very sharp crease
  • To mark for cutting, press the tip of your bone folder at the point where you need to cut or fold and make a small impression

Fold-and-tear: You can break down pages for a text block using this technique or use it instead of measuring with a ruler

  • Fold your paper by lining up edges (and following any marks you have made to measure) and then press with your fingers
  • Use your bone folder to crease your fold; go over it several times
  • Open the fold and slowly and carefully tear along your crease

Other areas to explore

There are many avenues to explore in the world of book arts.  Here are a few.

Bookmaking across subjects

Local Resources for Book Arts

There are many places in Richmond where you can further explore the book arts!

Other resources

Bookbinding tools

  • Awl: a pointed spike used for punching holes in a variety of materials
  • Beeswax: used to wax sewing thread to reduce friction which allows thread to glide easily as you sew and prevents fibers from fraying
  • Bone folder: a dull edged handtool used to fold and crease material in crafts such as bookbinding, cardmaking, origami and other papercrafts where a sharp crease or fold is needed; often made from the leg bone of a cow, deer, or similar animal, there are also synthetic alternatives made from plastics