Tying Your Work Together: Artist Aurora Cacciapuoti Introduces Japanese Book Binding

Below is a simple demo on how to make a book using Japanese Book Binding.

You can use this to tie all your work together or to make a sketchbook for either of the Draw Together Assignments.

You Will Need

Paper

Scissors

Waxed Thread

Large, Sharp Embroidery Needle

A Book Binding Awl

Bull Dog Clips

What you will need for Japanese Book Binding
What you will need for Japanese Book Binding

 

Below, artist Aurora Cacciapuoti introduces the method in a simple, step by step video.

 

Select Paper

Either gather drawings that you'd like to bind together or an assortment of paper that you like.

Cut pages so that they are all the same size
Cut pages so that they are all the same size

 

Make sure that the paper is all the same size.

Cut to the same size if necessary.

Make a Template

You will now make a template so that when you make holes into your book for the purpose of binding (sewing) them together, that the holes will be evenly spaced apart and you will be able to easily thread them together:

Take a piece of paper the size of the book that you'd like to make.

Fold the paper in half 3 times.

Screen shot of video above of Aurora folding paper to make a template
Screen shot of video above of Aurora folding paper to make a template

 

Screen shot from the video above of Aurora folding the template again
Screen shot from the video above of Aurora folding the template again

 

and fold again
and fold again

 

Unfold the paper and mark a dot 2 cm down on the first fold (panel).

Measure 2cm down from the top of the page
Measure 2cm down from the top of the page

 

Then mark a dot, the same distance down, on every two panels/folds (that's two panels apart from each other) as shown in the photo below.

Finished template
Finished template - with first panel and then every other panel marked with a dot

 

Making Holes

It's easier to work with small piles of paper so divide your paper up into manageable piles of about 5/6 pages. Take a small pile and align your template over the top of it.

Secure the pages together with bull dog clips.

Align paper and then secure with a bull dog clip
Align paper and then secure with a bull dog clip

 

Use the template as a guide to make holes all the way through the pile. Use a book binding awl for this job. If you do not have an awl then you can use a sharp embroidery needle instead.

Repeat this process through all the pages including the front and back covers.

Making a hole through pages with an awl
Making a hole through pages with an awl

 

Making holes through front and back covers of the book
Making holes through front and back covers of the book

 

Threading the Book

Cut a piece of waxed thread approximately 5 times the length of the book.

Working out 5 X the length of the book in thread
Working out 5X the length of the book in thread

 

Once you have threaded an embroidery needle, with the right length of thread, take your pages and find the second hole along.

You can use bull dog clips again to secure all the pages, neatly, together.

Hold the pages together and open the book about half way open. Take the needle and thread down from the open part of the book and pull the thread all the way through leaving about five cm of the end the thread in the middle of the book.

Pulling the end of thread through the middle of the book
Pulling the end of thread through the middle of the book

 

Later, once you have finished binding (sewing) the book together, you will tie the two ends of thread together and the ends will be hidden in the middle of the book.

Now close the book again and this time thread all the way up and over the second whole, wrapping around all the pages, binding all the pages together. Make sure that the stitch is tight.

Sewing all the pages together all the way up through the second hole
Sewing all the pages together all the way up and around the second hole

 

Snapshot of video of Aurora sewing pages together through the second hole
Snapshot of video of Aurora sewing pages together through the second hole

 

Then go down through the next hole, wrap around and back up.

Snapshot from video above of Aurora sewing down through the next hole
Snapshot from video above of Aurora sewing down through the next hole

 

When you get to the end, wrap around the corner, making a stitch at a right angle to the other one as in the pictures below.

Snapshot from the video of Aurora coming up through the last hole
Snapshot from the video of Aurora coming up through the last hole

 

Snapshot from the video of Aurora sewing around the corner
Snapshot from the video of Aurora sewing around the corner

 

And work your way back up and down through all the holes to the other corner.

Snapshot from video above of Aurora working her way back to the other corner
Snapshot from video above of Aurora working her way back to the other corner

 

Once you have wrapped around the other corner work your way back to the second hole again, where you started. Go up half way and find the other end of the thread. Pull the needle through at this point and pull the thread all the way through the middle of the book.

Snapshot from video of Aurora finding the other end of the thread in the second hole in the middle of the book
Snapshot from video of Aurora finding the other end of the thread in the second hole in the middle of the book

 

Tightly tie the two ends of thread together. Snip if necessary.

Pull the needle half way up the second hole again to find the other end of the thread
Pull the needle half way up the second hole again to find the other end of the thread and tie

 

Now enjoy your very own book!

Stitched book
Stitched book

 

 

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