Make a book

You will need:

  • single sheets of paper for the inside of the book
  • decorative paper or fabric for the cover
  • decorative paper or fabric for the inside cover and endpapers
  • two sheets of thin card for the cover slightly larger than the inside pages
  • coloured thread (strong) or ribbon and needle with large eye
  • elastic bands or clamps
  • PVA glue & brush
  • drill and fine drill bit or hammer and bradawl to make holes


  1. Protect your working surface with newspaper or an old cloth. Wear old clothes or an apron.
  2. Put a sheet of decorative paper at the front and back of your inside pages and choose the edge that will be the ‘spine’ of the book. Get all the edges level and use clamps or bulldog clips to hold them
  3. Apply a thin layer of PVA to the spine edge and leave to dry on a sheet of plastic or clingfilm. (you do not want the glue to stick your book to the table!)
  4. Place the fabric or paper for the cover face down and lay one sheet of thin card on top. Cut the corners of the decorative paper down
  5. Apply a thin layer of PVA to the outer edges of the decorative paper. Fold the paper over to the inside of the card making the corners as neat as possible
  6. Repeat for steps 3 & 4 with the second piece of card. Make the insides tidy by gluing on a sheet of decorative paper or fabric cut slightly smaller than the cover
  7. Cut a strip of decorative paper or fabric long enough to cover the spine of the book and overlap the edges. Apply a thin layer of glue to the back of this strip
  8. Place the strip over the spine of the book and then neatly fold down the long sides. There will be a flap at the top and bottom of the spine. Glue this down
  9. Remove the clamps. Glue the covers to the book using a thin line of glue along the sides of the spine. The covers should be ‘flush’ with the spine and overhang the other three edges. Allow the glue to
  10. Using the drill or hammer and bradawl, make four holes in a parallel line that is 1 to 2 cm from the spine. Thread the needle follow this link on how to stitch. Tie a knot at the final hole and hide the knot by pushing it into the hole.


Download make a book – japanese style – instructions (pdf)