First of all, here is what you'll need:
|A box that you want to make into your book|
So first thing you do is to cut off the top and bottom pieces of your box, and then cut one side out, so you have a three-sided book cover.
|You may be lucky and not have to modify your spine|
|Measure width of signature|
|Make new, good creases at new spine locations|
When using the bone folder for making your crease, always start at the center of the fold and go outwards, towards the outer edge of your signature. This will ensure that have straight creases, and no wrinkling.
|The jig: six columns (one for each signature)|
Then you will punch your holes in the spine, through the jig, being careful not to make the holes too large. You just want the holes to be large enough for the needle. In fact, if you don't have a blunt-ended needle or an awl, you can use your sharp needle to make the holes, that way you know that the holes will be perfectly sized for your needle.
|Six rows of stitches (always an even number of rows)|
Punch through the template and the signature, keeping the pages together, and making sure that you're going through the spine. Do this with each group of signatures, making sure that you keep them all organized, if your holes are not symmetrical. You want them to all line up exactly so when you're done punching, so that they perfectly match the jig on your spine.
Next, measure out your thread: stretch the thread from one end of your spine to the other, and count off the number of signatures that you have, adding about 6"-8" for safety and knotting. (I had help with counting, as you can see.)
Thread your linen thread onto your book-binding needle, and make a knot at the end, so that you can keep a taut thread as you work. You will start at either top or bottom, as long as you start with the outer-most hole. From the outside of the spine, go into the book, through the corresponding hole in the outer fold of your signature (the mountain) and coming out into the inside (the valley).
Proceed going into and out of the signature and the book's spine, threading together the signature to the book. You will always end up outside the spine if you correctly made an even number of holes. (Let's hope you did!) And when you come back in from the top or bottom, put another signature inside, and repeat the process until you have sewn in all the signatures, and are back up (or down) across from where you started. As you go, check that the threading is taut... not pulling too much, just making sure that there isn't a loopy spot that is too loose.
|To finish off, weave through the top loops.|
|Over/under until you get to the starting point.|
|View of signatures from bottom.|
|View of signatures from the top.|
Tying off the remaining thread, you can either make a knot right at the opening, or you can do as I've shown above, and weave through the top stitches, until you get to the first point of entry. Then tie off to that thread. You're done stitching your signatures into your box cover! You can now decorate the box, or add something to the inside cover, or you can create a closure for your book! It's all up to you!
This was my first tutorial, and I'd appreciate any constructive criticism! Was it clear? Did I show enough photos? Were the photos clear? It was hard because I had cats all over me and only two hands. I used a tripod and timer for the photos that show both of my hands! I hope you enjoyed this!
To give credit where credit is due, I got this idea years ago from this awesome book by Esther K. Smith, How To Make Books. So you mustn't think I'm brilliant or anything. It was so long ago that I've since made my own changes, and expanded on her ideas, but that is where it started! Also, I want to credit Christine Cox of Volcano Arts because that is where I took my best book binding classes!! She's brilliantly talented and knows EVERYTHING about book binding, paper, etc.... If you ever get a chance, you should totally take one of her classes! They're a lot of fun, and you get to be creative for a week, eight hours a day!