This is part 1 of the simple book binding tutorial. The first step in any new endeavor is to make sure you have the right supplies. So, I thought I would start this process by explaining what tools you need and their purpose.
First, you need paper. I will devote another post entirely to how you pick paper. For now, the paper in the picture above is Arches Text Wove paper I marbeled. For those of you following the give away, one of the upcoming ones will feature paper, so stay tuned!
Second you need a ruler. If you are afraid of measurements, you can skip measuring, but the ruler is great for scoring STRAIGHT lines, which is really helpful when you’re making a book. If you aren’t too intimidated by measuring, get yourself a good architectural ruler. Actually, I think you should have one of these anyway.
Third, you need a bone folder. You can buy cheap ones at the local craft stores, but it pays to get a good one. The tip of the bone folder is what you score with. The thiner the tip, the better the score. If you are gluing paper to covers, you use the bone folder to burnish your paper to your cover boards. Cheap ones are good for that.
Fourth, you need an awl. Again, you can buy cheap ones of these in the craft store in the leather working section. You can buy better ones at leather supply stores. If you want good ones, you can buy them at a store that sells bookbinding supplies or online.
Last but not least you need needles and thread. The needles you want to use are needlepointing needels with big eyes and dull points. You don’t want a needle with a sharp point or you’ll poke holes in your paper where you don’t want them. The thread most bookbinders use is linen. You can use waxed linen or non-waxed. The black thread in the picture is waxed. The cream thread is non-waxed. Waxed is easier to deal with when you are learning. For smaller books, you can use crochet thread in a pinch. I have also used Coat’s and Clarks’ hand quilting thread. The thinner the thread, the more likely it will rip through your paper so you really don’t want to use hand-sewing thread.
For book supplies online, you can go to Talas, http://www.talasonline.com/. They stock everything I’ve listed here. You can also check your favorite online art supply store.