My Simple Bookbinding Kit
I'm a bookbinder. That's one of the many hats I wear in my creative life. I love to construct and craft handmade journals. I probably make some kind of handmade book two or three times a week. If my hands see paper, they want to fold, stitch, and bind it into a book. I really can't help myself.
So after almost 10 years of making handmade books, I've found the tools that I love and the ones I just can't live without. Of course I own TONS of other supplies, materials and tools that I use, but I thought I'd share the ones you might find in my bag if the zombie apocalypse started today!! :-)
What's In My Kit?
First of all, let me just say that this is not the kind of post where I tell you all the possibilities out there. I'm going to give you the basics, the bare minimum, the quick-down-and-dirty. So, let's just establish here and now that I know there are other things that you can use for each of the tools I'm going to share!
And of course there's some kind of paper necessary for making books, but that's for another blog post. For now, let's just say paper is readily available and move on to the other goodies in my kit.
One of my bookbinding pals once told me that in order to get the job done, you just need the right tools. I agree with her, so here are the tools that every bookbinding kit needs:
Okay. That's it for what's in my basic kit.
Of course I'm cringing a little because there are at least ten other things I want to add to this list. Fountain pens, watercolors, spacer bars, micro-spatulas, t-squares, triangles, a cutting mat, etc, etc, etc, But in all honesty, if the list above was all I had, I could make a few simple (but badass) journals!!!
This is the kit that I require my in-person bookbinding students to purchase because it's great to start working with your own tools and making them your own. Some tools will bend and shape to your hand, your energy, your weight. For example, my bone folders are definitely MINE -- the way I grip them and push them is embedded in the way they curve and bend. My x-acto has a groove in it right where my fingers rest.
So if you ever take an in-person class with me, be sure to bring your kit.
If you have a kit, I'd love to hear what's in yours. Leave me a note below.
10/13/2017 05:24:45 am
Great post Kiala. I’m SO guilty of just using ordinary needles, and I’m getting bored of waxing ordinary linen thread. I must get on with it and just buy the things already!!
1/7/2018 04:52:46 am
thanks for this list!! i signed up for ppp18 - i do have some waxed threat here, but 3ply, saw that the mentioned above is a 5.. does that make much difference or will it work just as fine with 3? thanks
2/10/2022 12:00:17 am
I appreciate that this post mentioned that when looking to have our books binded, it is important that we use the right tools. It makes sense as in doing so, it ensures that the books are properly binded. I will definitely keep this information in mind when I look to have my books binded.
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I'm Kiala, a student of life first and foremost. And I'm also a published poet, book binder, fountain pen collector, Life Alchemist & Intuitive Soul Guide. I make things, paint things, and write things. I love teaching & empowering women to live with intention. Please, grab a cup of your favorite warm drink, a fountain pen, and your favorite journal. Let's connect!
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