A Simple, Strong, Secure Bookbinding Method
You can bind your own Bible and books using this easy bookbinding method. It uses the old time saddlestitch (in today's bookmaking, "saddlestitch" refers to a staple in the spine. This saddlestitch is a simple, old time, secure sewing technique). This method could also be used on three-hole punched paper in order to tie together a year's worth of schoolwork for archiving, but that does not make for a comfortable book like it does with an adequate number of holes. If you want to bind using a three-ring binder, click this link for a recommendation for a sturdy binder. You can also use this method AND a three-ring binder (for more information, see "Optional" below under the "Materials Needed" section).
***If you are binding your Authorized King James Bible printout (Pure Cambridge Edition)***
If using regular printer paper, the Bible will be fairly thick (two-sided about 273 pages--a ream of paper is 500 pages) but it can be done pretty easily. Utilizing this technique, I have bound the New Testament and groups of Old Testament books as well as the entire Bible (see link below pictorial).
- Printout of your Bible (2-sided printout preferable, it is half the thickness of single sided.)
- File folders/posterboard/thin cardboard for covers
- Yarn (two to four times the length of the folder depending on thickness of the book (I leave extra for a bookmark at the top). I've used whatever I have had on hand but much prefer the cotton kind one might use to crochet a dishcloth. It has a four strands twisted together to form it. It seems like it might be gentler to the paper than acrylic and I like the feel of it.)
- Two (2) yarn needles (and threader, if needed)
- Clamps (I purchased a pack of assorted sizes (plastic from about 2" to 7" long) from a hardware store for under $20)
- Binder clips like what you get at an office supply store
- 19-hole GBC punch (mine is manual, GBC CombBind C110. Costs about $200 - $300 and has been well worth the money.) (Electric machines go out when the electricity does, I like manual) OR BUY 19-HOLE PRE-PUNCHED PAPER AT AN OFFICE SUPPLY STORE. (AT STAPLES 500 SHEETS COSTS $12.29 as of 10-17-10) I read that a drill with small bit or a thin awl may work, the point is to make a number of holes in the stacks of paper so that you can sew them all together.
- OPTIONAL: three-hole punch. You can three-hole punch your paper and covers AND THEN use our bookbinding method. Then you can easily place it in a three-ring binder to protect it when you want to travel with it. I have done this recently.
Detailed instructions follow the pictorial.
1 This is what GBC hole-punched paper looks like. 2 3 4 5 /
- GBC punch your printout.
- Take your two file folders--one will be the front cover, one will be the back cover of your Bible. GBC punch them. [Put strong clear packaging tape over the edges and over the whole surface on both sides if you want a durable cover. I DO NOT PUT TAPE ON BINDING EDGE UNTIL AFTER I GBC PUNCH SO IT DOESN'T GET STUCK IN THE MACHINE. I THEN POKE HOLES IN IT WITH THE NEEDLE BEFORE I SEW IT. [Note: I use only one file folder for little-used books. I cut it in half for front and back cover. I do not cover with packaging tape. Also, file folders often have one side with little ridges on it for expansion. I use that side with ridges for my front cover near the spine and fold and manipulate it so that the front cover will stay open better. If I have to place a paperweight on the front cover to keep it open at times, I do so.]
- Put your covers on your printout, lining up the holes and clamp it in place with binder clips or between two hard boards to keep it in place. [You can look at pictures of what we did when we binded the Bible.]
- Take your yarn and thread through both needles. One needle will be at one end of the yarn, the other needle at the other end.
- Put the clamped book between your knees with the spine upwards toward the ceiling.
- Now it is time to sew. You are going to sew an oldtime shoemaker's stitch called a saddlestitch. Stick one needle through the hole closest to you. Pull the yarn through until half of it is on the left side and half on the right side.
- Take both needles and go through the very next hole--the needles will be going in opposite directions and will cross each other in the hole. Pull them all the way out. Continue this process, with a medium tension, until you get to the last hole at the top of your book. Come back down and tie off at a convenient point. Don't sew too tightly. Use a medium tension.
- Label your Bible.
- Update: For the spine, we used duct tape to cover it. We cut strips the length of the Bible and overlapped them long ways so that they would form a spine and used it to cover the spine of the Bible to protect it. [Aside: We also use duct tape to reinforce areas of regular 3-ring binders that can wear out with much use (covers can come off).]
- We used this method for binding the whole Bible, Old Testament and New Testament, in one volume. Go here to see pictures of how we used this method for binding the whole Bible.
- As you get used to this binding method, you will develop your own way of tying off and your own prefered amount of tension, yarn, etc. You may want to start at the top and sew down, etc. You can even sew manilla folder books, fill out the tab like a regular file folder, and file them in a file drawer like regular files. I have used this sewing method on three-hole punch papers for archiving--it is not too comfortable for reading but keeps the papers together. I use manilla folders for these archives. For thick books, the page margin would have to be about 1". Our KJB download has the perfect margin size for this method. Long, cut up manilla folders make good bookmarks for this Bible.
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