Bookbinding Tutorial: Greeting Card Notebook

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Would you like to sew up your own blank book, but a little more quickly than what I covered in my recent bookbinding tutorial? If so, this project is for you! In the interest of starting where you are, and using what you already have, I present the Greeting Card Notebook.

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I’ve received many cards in my life that made me laugh or feel loved; but that didn’t save them from being relegated to a box or a drawer, doomed to spend the rest of their existence in the perpetual twilight reserved for things kept for sentimental reasons. I firmly believe that if you love something you should use it, interact with it, honor its place in your life with at least a smidgen of regard. So how to honor the spirit of love and joy embodied in the humble greeting card?

Well, why not make one into a book? The folded greeting card makes a perfect cover for a small, single-signature notebook. And then you will have no excuse but to keep them all around the place, for anything from quick jottings-down to deep meditative thinks in written form. When you care enough to keep the very best…

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Greeting Card Notebook

Materials

Greeting card

Printer paper, 8 sheets

Bookbinding thread (or other thick thread, embroidery floss, et cetera) - 2.5 times the height of your card

Needle, whatever size works with your thread

Optional, but Helpful

Pencil

Scissors

Binder clip/paper clips

Awl


Fold each sheet of printer paper in half lengthwise (this is the grain direction of most printer paper) and crease firmly.  Nest sheets inside each other to form a signature.

Place the signature inside your card; mark the height of the card on the signature. You’ll use this as the cutting line to trim away excess paper. [NB: You can save the trimmed section to make yet another, smaller book, with something else as the cover. Be creative!]

Nest signature inside card; clip or hold them together. Mark holes for sewing (5 in this case) on inside fold. Use an awl or your needle to poke each hole through both the signature and the card. Assign the holes numbers 1-5 (mentally or otherwise).

Sew together in this order: Beginning on the inside at hole 3, pull your needle through hole 3 to the outside, leaving a 2-inch tail. Sew through hole 4 to the inside. Sew through hole 5 to the outside. Sew through hole 4 to the inside. Sew through hole 2 to the outside. Sew through hole 1 to the inside. Sew through hole 2 to the outside. Sew through hole 3 to the inside. Knot the two ends of thread around the long stitch in the center, and trim the excess.

And that's it! You made a book--the first of many, I imagine, as bookbinding can be seriously addictive. If you're interested in more detailed pamphlet sewing instructions, including an explanation of grain direction in paper, see my pamphlet sewing tutorial.

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Go forth and bind!