Hinged Book {Tutorial}

If you have never tried book binding, I would encourage you to do so. Handmade books give you the opportunity to choose the perfect size, colors, papers.  You can make a notebook, a photo album, a sketch book all using variations of the same techniques.

As promised, here are some photographs that illustrate how to make a simple book with a hinged cover.   I used 4 sheets of 12 x 12 scrapbook paper, grosgrain ribbon, acid free book board (from Hobby Lobby), glue, a bone folder, my favorite craft knife and a metal ruler.

I don’t use the ruler to measure, I simply use the pages that will fill the book to determine the cuts in the chipboard.  Lay a page on your book board and mark where you will be making your cuts.
A hint about cutting chipboard this thick with a craft knife:  Don’t try to go all the way through with your first cut.  Allow the knife to do the work and go back over your cuts, each time getting progressively deeper until you have a nice, clean cut.
Next, measure 1″ along one side.  This will become your hinge.


 I decided I wanted the outer corners rounded – an easy job for the Zutter “Round-It-All“, which I got at Archiver’s.

Now lay your cover on your scrapbook paper, leaving approximately 1 board’s width between the two pieces as shown below.  Trace around the outside of your cover. 

This will be where you will apply glue.  I spread my glue with my fingers.  In the past, I’ve used a wonderful paste brush, but was neglectful with proper cleaning and it went by the wayside.  This glue is easy to wash off. 
 To get those nice rounded corners covered, use your craft knife and cut as illustrated below, giving you small pieces you can individually press around the corner.  Not illustrated, but at this point, you apply glue to the paper that extends beyond the edge of your board.  Spread it carefully and then fold the paper over the edge and adhere to the back of your board.
I use the bone folder to carefully press out any air bubbles and to ensure the paper is adhered to all parts of the board.
Now we are ready for the inside.  Cut paper to size, about 1/8 of an inch smaller on all sides that your cover.
 I use tissue paper under pieces that are being glued to keep my work surface clean.  Here you can see the back of the cover and how the cover paper wraps around the edge.  To the left is the back of the lining paper, ready for glue.
After the covers are constructed, I take a break and allow them to dry.  I place them under a sheet of glass that is heavy enough to keep them flat while drying.  When they are dry, it’s time to punch holes in them and assemble the book.  To punch holes, I use my Crop-a-dile (also purchased at Archiver’s) because it goes through thick materials with very little effort. 
With your holes punched, it is assembly time.  This sounds a little tricky, but it is a very secure way to bind your books.  
First, the ribbon goes from the front of your book to the back, through the center hole.  (I’m holding mine upside down, ie, my book is face down.) 

Second, it goes from the center back hole back to one of the outer holes, coming up through the front.

Third, take it all the way down the front to the other outside hole, front to back.

Fourth, now bring it back to the front, going through the center hole again.

Fifth, with an end of the ribbon on either side of the ribbon that extends from one outer hole to the other, tie in a bow.

Here’s what the back will look like (although maybe you will be neater than I was with keeping your ribbon untwisted 🙂

And the front:

The hinged covers make a nice book, perfect for making an old-fashioned photo album.  That will be my next project.

 Total time in going from paper and chipboard to a nicely bound book – just under 2 hours.

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