Lights are put up, trees are bought and decorated, scented candles are strewn around home… you know what that means: holiday season and the season of giving. This coming holiday, maybe creating a present instead of buying a present is on your agenda. Here, you can put together a plain hardcover book for someone full of creativity and ideas.
For this project, the materials can all pretty much be found at home (but if you lack the material, go to your local hardware store or Amazon online). You will need 2 sheets of 8.5×11 paper (white or any other color), PVA glue, paint brush, thread, paper for pages, book binder’s board, sheet of paper (cut to 5×4⅔ in), and tools of bone folder (search up on Amazon, $6.53), awl, thick needle, ruler, craft knife, and cutting mat.
Here are the steps to perfecting your very own handmade hardcover bound book.
1. Take your book binder’s board and cut 2 rectangles (5×4 ⅔ inch) and 1 rectangle (5×1 inch).
2. For the hardcover exterior page, paste down the boards to letter-sized paper with a paintbrush and PVA glue. Ensure they’re evenly spaced and that the smaller spine piece is in the center. (You should have a vertical division symbol but with thick rectangles, instead of circles, on either division bar.)
3. Cut off 4 corners (of the letter-sized paper), and 4 slits (on either side of the width of the spine, from both top and bottom of the hardcover page).
4. Fold the flaps, and glue all of them to then paste onto the hardcover.
5. Take a bone folder tool smoothen them flat. You should now have a complete hardcover for the DIY book.
6. Now, as for the inside pages cut the paper pages to 8×5 in. Include inside front and back pages to add a special touch if you want, this is your creation so do with it as you will.
7. Gather all your pages and stack them so that they almost resemble a singular thick page (basically push them together very closely). Then fold them in half vertically.
8. With an awl tool, poke two holes in the center (spine) of the pages.
9. Thread your needle and sew the centers of the pages together.
10. Cut a 3x6in rectangle from the second letter-sized paper, glue the outside of the spine of your pages, and put them together so that there’s a slight overhang on the top and bottom of the back of the pages.
11. Glue the spine of the pages and stick it to the spine of your cover.
12. For the inside cover, trace the cover onto a sheet of paper. Cut. Then cut that in half.
13. Glue it down to either side of the inside cover.
And tada, you have a holiday gift to give to someone. While your friend is surrounded by manufactured presents, they’ll have that one specially made hardcover book by you. While constructing this, don’t be too hard on yourself and have fun. Add personal touches here and there so your friend can appreciate the hard work put into their present. Holiday season is upon us as well, so add colorful lights around the border or an adorned tree.