Today I made notebooks

I began a frenzy of notebook binding a couple of days ago. Today I have a little collection of handmade Japanese stab bound books.

I got the inspiration from a back issue of my favourite magazines Oh Comely:

Oh Comely, Issue 16
Click here to see Oh Comely, Issue 16

Alice Morby wrote a piece on Japanese stab binding, turtle pattern. It rekindled my love of making books. I took a course on fine bookbinding a few years ago and loved it but haven’t done anything since, until now…

First I made this notebook with a pad of parchment paper and hard card i’d scavenged from around the house. I covered the card with some beautiful paper from one of my colouring books.

I messed up to start with and I made the card the same size as the paper.
I messed up to start with and I made the card the same size as the paper.

I very carefully unwrapped the board and cut it to the right size so it sits nicely next to the stab binding. I glued the first page to the cardboard and placed it in between a couple of very heavy board games and left it there over night.


Next I made a little notepad from a round poster and an early draft of my novel. I trimmed the coaster to fit the notes and glues it the same as before to the front. I trimmed the excess paper from the notes and pressed it.


For my third notebook I tried a variation of the turtle pattern. it ended up a little messy but it’s nice nonetheless.  I used thin card, by this time I’d run out of thick card to ferret out. I covered the card with fabric, using fabric glue, it would have been better if I used bookbinding Pva glue because it’s Ph neutral and wouldn’t leave marks.


The final notebook I made is similar to this one but with the simple turtle pattern and thick cartridge paper. I covered it in a jaunty nautical print. I’m sure there are much better ways to fabric bind books which i will look up at some point but for now I’m very happy with all my notebooks.

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