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What Are the Best Tips for Making a DIY Book?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2016
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A great way to personalize a gift to another person or to take advantage of unused materials in the home is to make a DIY book. The first and most important step of making a DIY book is determining what will be included in the book. Choose the content carefully, and decide how the content should be laid out within the book. This will help determine how large the book must be, as well as what types of papers, bindings, and inks should be used. Once those factors have been determined, it is time to start researching the different bookmaking techniques.

The bookmaking process will vary depending on what type of DIY book project one is undertaking. The process, for example, of making a hardcover book will be different than the process for making a paperback, and it is best to decide beforehand what type of finished product is desired before purchasing any materials. Several websites or books can recommend the best materials for making a DIY book in the style desired, and these resources will also recommend the best tools to have on hand. A cutting implement, such as a box knife, will be necessary, as will a hard edged ruler. Beyond that, the required tools may vary.

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Use high-quality papers and glue if possible when making a DIY book. This will help prevent the book from degrading prematurely, and it will provide a more pleasing aesthetic overall. A strong glue will keep the pages from pulling away from the spine, and it will also help prevent seepage into the pages of the book. A trip to a crafts store will often give the crafter a good selection of glues, papers, cardstock, and so on to choose from.

As the glue dries, the book's binding will need to be held together to ensure the pages and the glue bind properly. Some people choose to place weight on the book--stacking other books on top of the newly bound book is an option--though a more efficient option is a wooden vice or a jig. Jigs can be made fairly quickly and easily if the DIY book binder has some carpentry skills. Otherwise, an inexpensive vise or clamp can be purchased at a hardware store to place pressure on the book once it is bound and ready for drying. This will ensure a more attractive finished product that will look professional rather than homemade.

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backdraft
Post 3

My husband and I made a DIY guest book for our wedding. We were going to buy one but all the cheap ones look bad and all the nice ones are ridiculously expensive. We had both been so wrapped up in the wedding that we had somehow forgotten that we both love making books. Why not make our own we thought.

It was bound in our favorite colors and we designed a print that was stamped at the top of every page. It was not perfect or crisp or professional looking but it worked as well as any other guestbook and it came from us both. It seemed like a nice symbol for our wedding.

truman12
Post 2

I love DIY book binding because it is such a rich creative project. Making the book itself is kind of like a sculpture. There are lot's of creative ways that you can work with the physical materials of the book.

Once the book is made you have a collection of blank pages that you can fill up with whatever you want. There can be pictures, text, musical notations, poems, stories, whatever. There is the potential for anything. Book making allows you to do just abut every kind of art.

jonrss
Post 1

Book making has always been one of my favorite craft projects and there are lots of easy bindings you can do with materials anyone has. Here is one of the easiest.

You take a few sheets of paper and fold them in half. Then you find something made of a thin cardboard like a case of soda or a cereal box. You cut a length of cardboard about an inch thick and the same height as your paper. Fold the cardboard over the crease in the pages and then staple down the length. Fold you binding back and forth a few times to get all the pages worked in and voila, you very own book.

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