Binding a book yourself

I bound a book myself and how I did it I’ll show you further down in the post. Plus tips for book& Paper emergencies. Who still knows a bookbinder and what it’s like behind the scenes at the bindery? There won’t be many of them, because bookbinding is not a profession with its finger on the pulse these days. But don’t worry with your ignorance you are not alone. Until recently I had no idea about bookbinding and even less did I know what an artisan bookbindery looks like from the inside.

In connection with the series of articles on handicrafts, I got to know Julia and Clemens Strandl and their artisan bookbindery in Linz, Austria. A young, dedicated team, the two Strandls. With new product and service ideas and the help of new media, they are determined to bring their craft of bookbinding into the fast-moving and hip 21st century.Century. Where values and demands are shifting, but sustainability and DIY are very much in vogue.

Clemens Strandl master bookbinder and specialist framer

The bookbindery

Workshops from the inside always fascinate me. They tell so many stories and you get immersed, in the personal life of a craftsman. The gaze wanders enthusiastically from one machine to the other with a number of question marks. There are materials, such as paper and cardboard, the finest sorted and there are book treasures waiting for revitalization. I quickly dive into the almost forgotten world of bookbinding. Just now I realize how infinite the creative possibilities are to design a book and how noble the result can be. And I am still overwhelmed by this very result today, because I had the opportunity to bind a book, a – no my personal, customized blog book.
Genius opportunity – genius book.


Not all books are created equal

"We tie a fauxdori." Julia tells with full enthusiasm. One faux what and the next question marks are on my face. That with the Doris is terrific I notice. Midori or Fauxdori are sustainable books. Refillable, because the so-called book block, that is, the inside of a book, the blank pages are intended to be replaced. And the cover can be reused. In addition, due to the type of binding also have loose slips of paper place or even z.B. the passport can be inserted. This type of book originated in Japan with the initial idea of a traveler’s notebook, i.e. travel diary. It can also be a sketchbook, tour book, diary, art journal, bullet journal or in my case a blog book.

Craft bookbinding is characterized by: inexhaustible creativity and very good quality workmanship.

Fauxdori or Midori

Paper is patient – 4 practical tips for books& Paper emergencies
  • Blood stains on the paper: dab carefully with chlorinated water
  • Dog-ears: iron dry with damp blotting paper
  • If the book gets wet: put blotting paper between the pages and let it dry. While doing this, weigh down the book in a dry place for some time.
  • Book pages glued together: put the book for a few minutes at moderate ! Put heat in the oven. Then put it in the sun for a few hours and now you can turn the pages again one by one.

If all this does not work, Clemens Strandl will be happy about your call. Surely, and I am sure of it, he has the necessary measure at hand.

I bind my book

bind a book yourself

1.Cut paper

I cut the paper, in this case with a paper cutter, from large sheets. size 300 x 210mm. We use high quality paper with 150g/m². The paper scraps are immediately collected in a box and given to the kindergarten for crafting. Waste is almost non-existent in handmade bookbinding.
For you: use A4 size paper

2.Fold the paper

6 x 6 sides are folded in the middle. Smooth the edge from one side to the other with a fingernail or a folding leg. Never start in the middle, this is where you get an unsightly crease.

Tip: paper has a running direction. Paper consists of fibers and these should be parallel to the spine when folded. If this is not taken into account, there will be wavy pages or the pages will be difficult to open. You can see the direction of the paper by folding it. In running direction it is easier and a nice folded edge is created, across the running direction more resistance is noticeable.

3.Book cover

My book cover was made and prepared with a lot of love and attention to my blog. Thank you very much for that. ;-). The binding must have
Dry overnight in a book press.
For you: use a cardboard with 350g/m² with the size of 330 x 220mm and glue it outside and inside with the same material z.B. printed linen, leather, raw linen or denim.

4.thread stitching

For the stitching we use a bookbinder’s twine (triple twine made of 100% linen) and a larger needle. A block with 6 pages inserted into each other, we cut out with a template and an awl point from the inside still before. In total there are 6 holes. To do this, place the block with the folded side on the edge of a table and weigh down the pages with a weight. glue two staple carriers with approx. 8 cm length I have prepared.
For you: a strip of fabric or linen can also be used.

The first stitch from the outside to the center, then out again and after the tape back to the middle of the booklet. Inside to the next band and after the band again to the middle. At the end again from the inside to the outside. Repeat with all 6 booklets. At the end of each notebook, knot it to the previous one. And the book block is created.

Thread sewing

5.Glueing the book block

The book block goes briefly into the book press. Now the notebooks are glued to the spine. With cold bookbinding glue, it stays elastic and does not break. After drying, I cut off the stitching on both sides and my book block is finished.

Press book block and glue book block


Use an embossing stamp to emboss the individual lettering on the book cover. For the lettering, I embossed "Villa Helika" on the cover using an embossing die.

Lettering by means of embossing sujet

7.Drilling holes

Drill holes with a special drill for the rubber bands. on the spine of the booklet 3 at the top and 3 at the bottom and one in the middle.
For you: this also works with a hole punch, then the hole should be made in the middle at the edge

8.Rounding the cover

It’s best to carefully bend the cover over a round table edge or rolling pin to create a nice curve.

9.Threading rubber bands

For the middle hole, make a rubber band (diameter approx. 2mm) with the length 300mm thread through twice and make a knot inside. Thread another longer rubber band from top to bottom, so that 3 strands are visible inside.


Drill holes and thread in rubber bands

Now I put the book block into the book binding and thread it behind the rubber bands. And yay ready is my self-bound book, blog book. The joy of having your own imperfect, but individually designed workpiece formed with your own hands is indescribable. At the moment I am the happiest person on earth.

If you want to experience this feeling, book a course with Julia and Clemens Strandl . The materials for your own book are also available in the store of Buchbinderei Strandl .


The sky full of books

The sky full of books

May electronic readers have their justified uses here and there. But holding a book in your hands, with all its special feel, traces of use, smell, history alongside the story to be read, is quite something. And how many steps it takes to make a book. Incredible.
I like books, even though I don’t own many books that are worthy of craftsmanship. The blogger day at the bookbindery and specialist framing Strandl has opened my eyes to the beauty of books.
Do you feel the same at the moment?


Gin Bar "Medusa Sinful Gin

The necessary culinary refreshment between and after the bookbinding as well as a "Medusa Sinful Gin" tasting came from Hard Candy Shop . What a candy bar is and how you can make it yourself you can learn from Daniela Wokatsch.

Gladly read on and see the world of bookbinding from the point of view of wildr_ , travel.summer.sea and kingandstars experience.

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