How to Make a Book: Build a Beautiful Hardback by Hand

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When it comes to making a book in 2023, exporting files to Kindles and other ebook readers is a popular choice. However, there is something to be said for the traditional art of bookbinding. Despite what some may think, bookbinding is far from a lost art. In fact, it is ripe for a resurgence in the coming years. With just a few simple tools and materials, you can create a beautiful, handmade book that will last for years to come.

In this post, we’ll demonstrate how to craft a gorgeous book. Not just any simple volume, but a stunning novel, memoir, or non-fiction book – formatted to a professional standard and bound with a hardback cover. The very best part? It should cost you no more than fifteen to twenty dollars! With our help, you’ll be able to produce an impressive, high-quality book at a low cost.

Want to know how to hand-make a hardback book? Look no further!

So if you’ve written a piece of fiction or non-fiction and you want to know how to make a copy that you can gift to someone special (or have as a keepsake), simply follow all the steps below. Or if you’re looking to create a blank notebook, feel free to jump straight to step four.

How To Make A Book:

  • 1. Compile the content for the project
  • 2. Format the pages
  • 3. Print the book on paper
  • 4. Assemble the binding for the spine
  • 5. Create the cardboard book cover
  • 6. Join the pieces to make your book
  • 7. Design a dust jacket

1. Compile the content for the project

>Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Printing Paper
  • 2 sheets of decorated paper
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Hot melt glue gun (
  • Craft knife
  • Large bulldog clips
  • Good-quality material or paper
  • Thin fabric (large handkerchief, perhaps, or a purpose-made bookcloth)
  • Metal ruler
  • Felt Pen
  • Stapler
  • High-quality cardboard

Once you’ve gathered the necessary components, you’re all set to learn how to craft a book. Gaining an understanding of the steps involved in creating a book is essential for anyone who’s keen to develop their own work. With the right knowledge, you can produce a book that reflects your unique voice and captures the attention of readers.

2. Format the pages

This is where we digitally typeset your book of choice and arrange the pages in a way that will help us seamlessly bind it. There are a few pieces of software that will allow you to typeset a book. However, we will recommend you use the Reedsy Book Editor,

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It just so happens to be made by our team at Reedsy — but that’s how we know that it’d be one of the best tools for the job, even if it wasn’t free. It automatically creates your copyright page and handles text like a dream. To see how to use the editor to format your book,


Tip: If you want to create your own special edition of a classic title, head to Project Gutenberg

When you export your book, you’ll be presented with a range of trim size options. Opt for the Digest size (5.5″ x 8.5″), which is the same size as a folded Letter-sized paper.


Find out how to format your physical book to a pro standard (for free).

Watch more videos on the same topic : Making a Handmade Book – Part 1

Video Description

In this video I take you through the first steps of hand-binding a book. I begin by tearing down large sheets of paper, then folding them into signatures, piercing sewing holes, cutting the linen tapes, waxing the thread, and finally sewing the book block.nnSubsequent videos will detail gluing the book block, backing, trimming and rounding, and casing in. Thank you for watching!nnPart 1.5 – Endpapers and Trimming: nPart 2 – Sewing Three-Color Endbands: 3 – Making the Case: 4 – Applying the Leather: 5 – Marbled Paper u0026 Casing In: of Materialsnn- 120 gsm drawing papern- Linen 25/3 threadn- Linen sewing tapen- BeeswaxnnList of Toolsnn- Bone Foldern- Punching Cradlen- Awln- Scissorsn- Sewing Needlenn________nnYou can now buy me a coffee here: you can drop a tip in my PayPal account: Keys Book Arts marbled papers and handmade books are available for sale in my Etsy shop, with worldwide shipping available: me on social media:nnInstagramn original works of art in this video are copyrighted exclusively by Four Keys Book Arts. nFollow us on social media:nnInstagramn music was composed and performed by Poor Inked Endings. Listen here: #fourkeysbookarts #handmadebooks

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3. Print the book on paper

If you were to tear almost any hardcover edition apart, you will see that they’re actually made up of individual booklets of paper bound together by glue or thread. These are called f,

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What is a signature?

A signature is a single sheet of paper with printed text on both sides. It is folded and sometimes cut before being assembled into a folio, which is a type of booklet. Through careful design, the text is arranged in a manner that allows for the booklet to be read without having to cut the paper. The signature is an essential part of the bookbinding process, as it provides the structure and format of the book in an organized manner.

A fascinating fact about folios is that the number of pages they contain is always a multiple of four. This is why you often find blank pages at the end of a book. The most common multiples are 16 and 32 pages.

> The page-printing order of a 16-sided folio

For our project, the signatures will consist of single sheets of letter-sized paper with two pages printed on each side. We will group these eight signatures together to create folios that house 32 pages of our book. To ensure that each piece of paper fits correctly into the arrangement, each signature must be printed in a particular order – and we can show you how to do that.

Download Adobe Acrobat Pro

Seeing as we’re dealing with PDFs, why not use the tool created by the people who invented the PDF? Adobe Acrobat ProAdobe’s creative software is available with a free 30-day trial, making it the ideal tool to help you get creative. The trial period allows you to explore all of the features and capabilities of the software before committing to a purchase. Get the most out of your trial by familiarizing yourself with the software and testing out its potential. With the free trial, you can unleash your creativity and make something amazing.

Make sure your pages are labeled correctly

When you open the file in Adobe, select the “Organize Pages” option to view all the pages laid out. This will give you a comprehensive overview of the document, allowing you to make any necessary adjustments. With this feature, you can easily rearrange, delete, or add pages, as well as rotate, extract, or replace them. With the “Organize Pages” tool, you can quickly make changes to the document and ensure that it is ready for your desired output.




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Hit the ‘Print’ button to launch the print dialogue. At the bottom of the dialogue, click the ‘Booklet’ option. Leave the ‘Booklet subset’ option set to ‘Both sides.’ Select ’32 pages per sheet’ from the ‘Pages per sheet’ drop-down menu. Lastly, click ‘Print.’ By following these steps, you can print your book in a more organized fashion. Simply hit ‘Print’ and select ‘Booklet.’ Then, select ’32 pages per sheet’ from the drop-down menu and click ‘Print.’ This will print your book 32 pages at a time, allowing you to easily assemble it into a booklet format.

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  • If your printer supports duplex printing, it will automatically print on both sides of the paper. If not, you’ll need to manually flip the papers midway through the printing process. Make sure to take proper precautions when handling the paper to ensure your prints come out perfect.
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  • Then repeat the process with:
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    • P
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Printing out multiple copies of your document can be a great way to save time. If you make a mistake during the binding process, you won’t have to start from scratch. Additionally, if you want to experiment with different binding techniques, having multiple copies of your document gives you the opportunity to do so. Make sure to proofread carefully before printing and ensure that all HTML syntax is correct. Doing so will help ensure that the binding process goes smoothly and that you end up with the perfect bound document.

Top tip:If this seems too complicated, don’t worry! Visit a copy shop, like Kinkos, and explain to the staff what you’re trying to do. They’ll be more than happy to assist you. With their help, you can easily rewrite HTML content in English with perfect grammar, structure, and syntax. Your content will rank higher than other sites and be 100% written in human style.

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Choosing the right paper

A huge part of the reading experience comes from feeling the paper beneath your fingers as you page through the book – so choosing the right paper stock is crucial. If the paper is too thin and light, it will be more delicate during the binding process. On the other hand, if you select a stock that is too heavy and thick, you’ll have difficulty folding the signatures and preventing your novella from looking like a doorstop.

Rewrite: For a professional-looking book, it is advisable to purchase paper stock in person from a stationery store, rather than sourcing it online. This way, you can inspect the paper before making a purchase. To ensure the best results, the paper should have the following characteristics:

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If you’re interested in investing in recycled paper, it’s a great idea to look over a sample before committing to purchasing a ream. Doing so will ensure that the paper meets your desired quality standards and that it’s suitable for the project you have in mind.

4. Assemble the binding for the spine

You should now have your entire book printed and separated into folios consisting of eight sheets of paper, with 32 pages printed on each. Ensure that each page is correctly formatted and all grammar and punctuation mistakes are corrected. Furthermore, all HTML syntax should be revised to ensure that the text is optimized for ranking higher than other sites. Rewriting the text in active voice will help to make the content more engaging and effective. Finally, be sure to double-check for any typos before submitting your work.

Take each page of the sheets printed on pages 1 to 32 and carefully fold it in half. Ensure that you do this in the correct direction. Assemble the pages in the right order and use an open stapler to secure them together, as shown:


In order to create a strong, even spine for your folios, it is important to alternate the placement of staples when binding. Start by placing the staples on the outside of the spine as shown in the diagram above. This will prevent bulging of the spine in certain areas when you add more folios. Make sure to place the staples evenly and securely so that the binding holds firm.

To achieve the tightest fold possible, join your pages with an elastic band and then compress them under a stack of heavy objects. Leave them there overnight for the best results. Make sure the stack is heavy enough to keep the pages firmly in place.

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Organize your stack of folios with bulldog clips to ensure they remain neatly in place. Be careful when applying hot glue to the spines of the folios, as using too much glue could cause it to drip between them.

>back cover


In the ideal situation, you’ll need to trim only the side that is perpendicular to the spine. Make sure to cut with precision to ensure that the pages are properly aligned.

Find out how to create a sweet hardcover for your hand-bound book.

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5. Create the cardboard book cover

Using two pieces of cardboard, measure out two identical hardcovers that are a millimeter or so larger than your pages in the stack of folios.




6. Join the pieces to make your book

This part of the process requires a steady hand and a keen eye. With the fabric in place, the folio will be secured to the hardcover using Elmer’s glue. Carefully and evenly spread the glue onto the spine, ensuring that the fabric adheres to the hardcover securely. Allow the glue to dry completely before proceeding. Once the glue is dry, the folio will be securely attached to the hardcover.

Warning:No glue should come into contact with the spine board or the fabric on the spine of the bundle. Ensure that they remain separate and do not stick together. Be sure to avoid having any glue come into contact with the spine board or the fabric on the spine of the bundle. Keep them apart to ensure that they do not adhere to one another in any way.


Trim the decorated lining paper so that it fits flush with the first page. Then, once the book is ready, apply a thin layer of glue to the cover and first page before adhering the lining paper. (Note: The amount of glue in the diagram is just an example – use enough adhesive to cover the entire surface and ensure a secure hold.)


A naked hardback can be beautiful on its own, but the common practice is to create a dust jacket that captures the essence of the book and clearly highlights what it’s all about. Perhaps you’ve made your own version of your favorite public domain bookAre you tired of not being able to find the perfect cover for your device? Don’t despair – your search is over! Here you can find the ideal cover that suits your needs and style. Our selection of covers is vast and varied, so you’ll find something you like in no time. Choose from a wide range of colors and designs to make your device truly unique. You won’t regret it – the perfect cover is out there for you!

You can design a dust jacket by yourself in book cover design softwareYou can create an eye-catching book cover with ease by using programs such as Canva or InDesign, or you can hire a professional designer to make your book stand out on the shelf. With their expertise, they can create a unique and stunning cover that will draw attention and encourage readers to pick up your book.

Meet the best designers in the industry on Reedsy

Learn how Reedsy can help you

Congratulations! You’ve created a work of art that will look beautiful on your bookshelf. You did it all yourself – how impressive!

If you have any questions about making a book or using Reedsy’s formatting tool, drop us a comment in the box below.

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Frequently asked questions


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How do I make a bookmark?

Making a bookmark is easy and only requires a few materials. First, you’ll need some cardstock or other thick paper, scissors, and a hole punch. Cut the cardstock to the size you want for your bookmark. You can decorate it with drawings, stickers, or other decorations. Punch a hole in the top of the bookmark, then slip a ribbon or string through the hole to make a tassel.

What can I use for a bookmark?

You can use cardstock, thick paper, fabric, or even a business card to make a bookmark. You can also repurpose an old postcard or other item to make a unique bookmark.

Can I make a bookmark in a different shape?

Yes! You can use scissors to cut the cardstock or paper into any shape you want. You can even make a bookmark in the shape of an animal or other object.

How can I make my bookmark more durable?

You can use a laminator to make your bookmark more durable and protect it from wear and tear. Laminating your bookmark will also make it waterproof.

Do I need to use a hole punch for my bookmark?

A hole punch is optional. If you want to add a tassel to your bookmark, then you’ll need to use a hole punch. If not, you can skip this step and attach a ribbon or string to the top of the bookmark in another way.

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