Remember this post on 3 ways to make lined pages for your Filofax or ring bound planner? Remember how I said I had something else up my sleeve regarding that DIY? Well here it is! How to sew a small notebook! Ever since I decided that I'd start of 2015 in a Fauxdori style planner (video walk through to be up soon!) I knew I'd need to make my own little notebook inserts. However, this little DIY is perfect to create any little notebooks to supplement your current planner set up or just to carry around with you. You don't have to be a planner addict to appreciate this DIY. I am including a free, blank month on two page insert in case you do want to make your own little calendar.
My first introduction to making a book was in college. I took a book binding class and really did not care for it. It takes a lot of time and planning and neatness to make a hardback, hand bound notebook. I made about three in my life time because they were so annoying! I'm a more of a big picture person and less of a detailed person if you know what I mean. But I did really like making simple, saddle stitched pamphlet style books. They are simple and still look really nice. Here's how to make one:
Supplies :: printed pages or blank pages to bind (I used a standard 8.5x11" printer page), scrapbook paper, scissors, paper trimmer or ruler and blade, scrap printer paper, awl or something equally pointy (I used a pottery tool), thread (cotton crochet thread, embroidery floss, etc), needle.
First, print your pages back to front. I find that about 10-12 pages make a good book that's not too thick and is easy to bind. You can used lined pages from this tutorial, plain white printer pages, colorful printer pages, this free calendar printable, or any pages you'd like to bind together. This would be fun to use up some scrap patterned paper to make a smashbook style notebook.
Next, trim down your scrapbook paper for the cover. Use a paper cutter or scissors to trim down your covers to fit your page sizes. I found some 8.5x11" scrapbook pages from Michael's a while ago so I didn't need to trim mine down.
Gather your pages together and fold the stack in half making sure the printed pages are sandwiched between the cover pages. You should end up with a small booklet measuring 8.5 x 5.5".
Now we need to make the guide to punch the holes. I always take a spare piece of the printer paper and cut off about a 3" strip. Fold this strip in half to make a thin 1.5" strip. Unfold the strip. Fold the strip in half so you have a smaller 3" strip. Then fold that strip into thirds. Where the folds cross will be where we punch the holes to bind the book. I always decide that one end of my guide will be the top so I tear a little slit in it so I don't get confused.
Next, place the guide in the center of the pages + covers you wish to bind making sure the slit you've torn in the guide is at the top of the book. Using your awl, gently punch through the guide and all pages in your booklet. Be careful here, that shit is sharp! Move your finger out of the way! I start at the middle then work my way to one side and then the other. Repeat on all booklets. Remove the guide before you begin to sew in the next step below.
Now for the sewing. Using your thread we are going to saddle stitch the pages together. Starting on the inside of your booklet insert the needle in to hole 1 (as noted in the photo where you punched the holes into the signature) leaving a small tail on the inside of the booklet, moving to the left insert the needle down into hole 2. From the inside of the booklet insert the needle into hole 3 and then moving to the right, insert the needle back into hole 2. From the inside of the booklet insert the needle into hole 4 and then moving to the right insert the needle into hole 5. From the inside of the booklet insert the needle back into hole 4. Finally insert the needle, from the outside of the booklet, back into hole one. Using the two tails, tie a knot around the long string between hole 2 and hole 4. Take your time and I'm sure you'll be able to complete this step. You're done!
You can use a ruler and blade to trim down your booklet to have straight edges but the raw edges don't really bother me. I used mine in my Fauxdori planner system for 2015:
Hope you have fun making a zillion little notebooks for all your little needs. Keep a look out for my Fauxdori walk through on the YouTube channel soon.