You don’t need to be a professional in bookbinding to make a great quality notebook.
Maybe the first test doesn’t reach a perfect result but you will be surprised how easy the improvement goes and how fast the mistakes are solved. After two or three notebooks done there is not room for bad quality. Excellence is the goal, not perfection. Perfection is impossible and it’s not welcome in a handmade artwork.
The notebook made by yourself offers a higher level of satisfaction than any other. You add the passion and love for it, your favorite paper and details. You add a part of yourself in it. Unfortunately it’s not possible get that from the shops, where an industrial notebook is done by a bored worker, probably Chinese or robot, who is paid per hours and produces hundreds of them every day. Your dear and loved notebook is just one more. On top of that the quality standards in the notebooks paper used to be poor nowadays. Endless variety of brands and styles, more than ever, with poor quality. And expensive. Only about 15 sheets of paper are needed to fill a pocket notebook, which is less than 1 EUR even for high quality paper.
Bookbinding is an old technique and there are many methods. I’m showing here how to fill a Moleskine notebook with your favorite paper, that’s what I use in my last notebooks and was a clear milestone in my journals evolution. You can also make the cover in real leather, which is even easier. I will show that in a separated post.
Bookbinding is a relaxing task. Bookbinding is perfect for meditation.
-Good quality paper.
-Thread and needle.
-Adhesive for bookbinding (elastic, neutral PH if possible)
-Cotton fabric for bookbinding (used over the spine)
2.) Folding the sheets. Cut the A4 sheets in A5 size. Only 15 sheets A4 from 100g/m2 paper are enough for a Moleskine pocket. Fold them and make groups of 3 sheets each. Press them properly.
3.) Binding. Perform 5 holes with a needle and a template. Sew applying the method you like.
The easy method I apply will be explained in a next post.
4.) Paste the stack. Press the sheets in order to apply glue only on the edges. Set the cotton fabric and apply more glue. Release the stack and paste the wings of the fabrics to the paper. This will avoid tiny clearances between the sewn sheets.
Keep the stack under weight for a time while become dry to keep the paper full flat.
5.) Cutting the paper. Cut the edge of the stack to fix into Moleskine dimensions. Use the sandpaper to shape the corners.
6.) Remove the paper. Kill the Moleskine. Do not suffer or produce too much tears. Cut the paper from the second pasted pages (front and rear part of the notebook). Reuse the register tape and glue it in the new paper.
7.) Insert the new paper. Paste the stack made with the new paper into the cover. Apply glue only on a small area of the external sheets, not in the edge.
Voilá! New notebook is ready for all kind of inks.