As part of our narrative section of our course we partook in a bookbinding workshop. From just using the materials, paper, card, glue and cotton we were able to make our own 8 page A5 books. I found the whole process very satisfying, and really quite simple to achieve with access to the right tools.


To start with we made the pages of the book which are called Signatures. To create these we had to cut down the paper to the right size using a tool called a shoe knife. Its not very sharp and basically glides though the paper where you make a fold.

To make the size paper we desired , we first fold the paper using another tool called bone folder, which creates a nice crease in the paper ready for it to be cut with the shoe knife. Once the cutting and the folding part of the process was finished we were left with four sheets of paper which worked out to be around A4 in size. This then made 8 of A5 sheets when all folded in half.

Then by measuring 1.5cm from each side of the outer edge of the middle of the 4 sheets of paper and marking with the dots, then measuring and marking in the middle of the two dots, so you end up with 3 dots in total. These are markers for using the Awl, this makes the holes for which is needed to sew the pages of the signature together.

We used waxed thread and bookbinding needles to sew the pages together. Starting from the outside of the signature in the middle, then threading to the top, then bottom holes, back to the middle. Making sure that you have thread left out at the start and the of the thread to tie altogether around the thread that has been sewn, to create the signature.

The next part of the process is to make the cover to bind the book together. A piece of material needs to be cut to cover half of the cardboard for the front and back of the book. Then using a mixture of ova glue and water the material is stuck to the cardboard, creating the cover as shown above. To then attach the signature to the cover we took a different coloured sheet of paper, cut to size using the bone folder and shoe knife. This was then stuck to the front cover and the first page of the signature, binding them altogether to create to finished book. img_1967


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