I got my instructions from How to Make Books which has so many great and easy ideas in it!
For this booklet you need: sheets of 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" white paper (I cut 8 letter sized pieces in half); 2 sheets of 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" card stock paper in a color (I only had off white at home but the kids will get to choose from green, burgundy, tan or gold); embroidery thread, book binding needles or long sewing needles; beeswax (optional); scissors, ruler, bone scorer (or substitute a closed ballpoint pen); a heavy-duty paper awl; binder clips; label stickers (optional); calligraphy pens (optional).
1. First stack the papers between the cover papers and clip together with the binder clips.
2. Decide if you want a horizontal format or a vertical format. Nathaniel's teacher wanted a vertical format for reasons I'll show you in a minute.
3. Measure out how big a binding edge you want. For my book it was small (1/2"). If you want to try fancy stitching, you'll need a wider binding edge. Mark lightly with pencil the top measurement and bottom measurement and lay your ruler in line with this.
4. Using your bone scorer (or a closed ball point pen) follow the ruler with the point to make a scored line on the front cover only. This is how the book will open neatly, on the folded line.
5. With your pencil lightly mark 3 evenly spaced dots on the binding edge.
6. With your paper awl, stab those dots through to the back page so there's a hole to sew through. Make sure to put something under your project so you don't damage the table.
You can see the paper awl and the clips on my booklet.
Here is my needle book, beeswax block, paper awl, bone scorer and metal ruler.
This beautiful needle book was made by jenn maruska.
7. This is the fun part for me: Choose the color of embroidery thread that you'd like!
I've had these threads since a fiber arts class in college!
There are lots of fancy binding stitches to do... the choices seem almost endless!
8. We're doing a simple binding stitch:
a. Rub the thread across the beeswax block so it is easier to work with.
b. Thread your needle and pinch the thread together under the eye of the needle. Don't knot!
c. Starting from the back center, sew through the middle hole to the front, leaving about a three inch tail in back to tie off later.
d. Wrap thread around binding and sew through the same hole, the same direction again, from back to front.
e. Go to the top hole and sew through it from front to back.
f. Wrap thread around binding and sew the same hole again from front to back.
g. Now going across the back of the binding, sew the bottom hole from back to front.
h. Wrap the thread around the binding and sew the same hole again from back to front.
i. Go to middle hole and sew from front to back. Now tie off with a knot. You're done!
back (I tied a bow)
9. With your calligraphy markers you can write a title on the address label before adhering to the book, that way if you mess up, you can do another without ruining the book! You could do stamping or drawing too, to add more decoration. Be creative!
10. Here's an option the kids in class are doing: Some of their pages will open out to show a map, so I put in a folded 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper but cut off the edge of one of shorter sides to allow for the binding and so that you could grab it and open it...
11. Another option is to make a pocket. You make this the same way as above but just cut the top part off of the thinner side of the paper and then tape together the bottom and the edge to make the pocket. Now little things can be included in here!...
12. Share it with friends!
This would make a great trip journal for the kids! You could bind photographs this way also. Or use good art paper inside, vary it, and use a heavier chip board on the outside. Now you know how to do stab stitch binding!