MAKE YOUR OWN 5"x7" French Gutter Book!! On this webpage, I am going to show you how to bind your own 5" x 7" book, with step by step instructions and pictures. To make these books, you will need book board (or thick card board), nice thin paper for the covers and white paper for the inside filler paper, 2 sets of 1/4" posts and screws, a hammer and awl (to poke holes through the book board and paper), and glue/paste. (I have found spray adhesives to be the easiest to work with.) You can obtain posts and screws, nice paper, book board, and an awl, if you need them, from the University of Washington Book Store, among other places. The UW Book Stores delivers. (The screws are 20 cents per screw top and bottom currently, in July 2007.)
These are some books that Kirsten has made, with sewn book board and book cloth binding.
The above pictures are steps in making a stab and sew book. The inner pages are folded in half and sewn together at the spine so each page is doubled...then an awl is used
to poke holes through the covers and pages, then they are sewn together with bright threads!
These are perfect spine (aka paperback) books, before binding and after...Kirsten wrote all the articles, then printed, cut and bound these paperbacks with
These are blank books bound with book board, handmade art papers and metal post and screw sets...these books have classic "French gutters."
You can make your own blank books.
You can make your own spiral bindings of your essays...
And you can print out graphics or clip nice pictures, then make your own notepads with cardboard, paper, and glue.
Bind Your Own Books! I recently spent a good amount of time researching my personal book binding options. I came up with a collection of book
binding techniques, each with unique attributes. The types of book bindings I found I could do myself at home were 1) Perfect Spine Bindings (Paperback Books), 2) Stab and Sew
Bindings, 3) Coil Bindings, 4) Book Board & Cloth Bindings and 5) Miscellaneous Art Bindings, such as Altered Books. Most people don't think much about book bindings, even though
they regularly use books, but now that I have spent time researching this, I look at the bindings of books really differently. I see binding itself as an art
This is a picture of some of my binding tools...from left to right: Acetone to clean brushes, ModPodge glue, small and big awls, waxed binding thread, glue for binding pads,
binding needles, box cutter, bone folder, exacto knives, binding tape, holographic glitter, paper cutter, brushes...
Some altered books in progress...
Altered Books as Utilitarian Art I first stumbled on "altered books" in the binding section of a national bookstore. "The Altered Books Workshop," by Bev Brazelton, was the first book I read on the subject, and I found her work to be fascinating. She glued everything from pennies to Scrabble tiles, to old stamps, vintage photos, antique fabrics, etc. onto the pages of books she altered. She is also big on making "windows" where she cuts through one page or more, revealing an image on a page below. She also incorporates folding techniques to offer layers and pop-up effects, as well as rubber stamping, collaging...Her altered book covers often have a window cut in them, with adornments such as jewelry, novelty trinkets and toys, etc. glued to the corners and ledges. She pastes sheets of music over pages in a book, then pastes pictures and text onto the sheet music. Sometimes she glues blocks of pages together, and then imbeds objects into wells created by cutting into the stack of pages. She also takes a block of pasted pages the width of a matchbox, then cuts a hole for a matchbox in the side edge, and pastes a matchbox in the hole, along with a little bead handle on the front of the box, so the matchbox now slides in and out of the side of the book! She plasters two pages with old "Holden Red Stamps," (similar to "Blue Chip Stamps" that were around in the 1960's) and it makes for a very kitsch look. Seeing her altered pages made me start collecting everything from my Seattle bus transfers that change color daily, to stamps on mail I get from around the world.
SPIRAL/COMB BINDING: I own a "Wilson Jones Manual Precision Binding System" which is just a small plastic unit, about the size of a briefcase, that has the ability to punch holes in and
bind papers with spiral coils. The unit that I have DOES NOT USE ELECTRICITY (so you can bind in the woods if you want!), it punches holes in 15 pages at a time, it can bind up
to 175 pages, and can use up to 3/4" coils to bind with. My machine came from Office Depot and cost approximately $175.00. The coils are really cheap, at approximately $7-$30 per 100,
depending on coil/comb size. I have no complaints about this unit so far. It is ridiculously easy to use. One part punches the holes, the other part is just
a button you turn to uncoil the combs. You put the punched paper onto the coils, then you turn the button and it is closed. This is the quickest and easiest form of binding I
have ever done. I find myself binding all kinds of things with this unit. Calendars and cookbooks are an obvious use, but I like to bind articles of a similar vein, etc. into my
own collections of articles, and I have even used spiral binding on an extensive resume of my writings that I turned in with a portfolio once. I like the way you can punch
holes in things not all the same size or thickness, binding different mediums together. There really are a lot of things you can do with manual comb binding equipment.