A while ago I printed a couple of Instagram photos. I stuck them to my wall for a couple of months, but I decided I wanted to put them into a tiny booklet. I’ve researched a couple of ways of doing this and I decided to make a tailor-made booklet.
This tutorial might look a bit intimidating, but I’ve come to really like sewing booklets. It takes only a bit of practise to get the hang of things and before you know it, you’re making your own sketchbooks or notebooks. Read the tutorial through to the end before attempting to make a booklet, this will make making one a lot easier.
Materials needed for a super cute photo booklet:
- A bunch of Instagram photos
- Sheets of paper, at least 200 g/m²
- Utility knife
- A thick needle and (waxed) thread
- Pieces of card board
- Pencil and ruler
Start putting it together
Start by cutting the sheets of paper to the right size. I used 210 x 150 mm. I cut 18 in total, making sure I could fit in all my Instagram photos. I also added two extra sheets, which are used as cover and end paper. Fold all the pieces in half.
Next mark where you want to make the needle holes. I started 1 cm from the upper and lower edge of the paper. Then I added four more marks, starting at 1,5 cm from the first marking and another at the same distance. I left a bit more space in the middle and did the same at the lower part of the paper, starting from the mark closest to the edge of the paper.
Next, I glued all my photos to the pages of the booklet. The photos will add a lot of extra thickness to the booklet. When you first sew the pages together and then add the photos, it’ll put a lot of strain on the thread. Make sure you put your stack of papers in the right order.
Sewing the pages
I wanted to use the Coptic stitch I used on my 2015 day planner again, but the booklet we’re about to make has a loose cover flap and only the last page is glued to the cover. This means we’ll have to adapt the technique from the planner so we can use it without the sewn on covers.
Start by putting the needle in one of the holes closest to the edge of the last paper of your booklet. Put your needle from the outside of the spine into the hole, to the inside. Make one long stitch to the other side of the paper. Make sure you leave a long enough piece of thread at the starter side.
Take your second piece of paper and put your needle in the first hole. Make a stitch to the second hole. Put your needle through the corresponding hole of the first piece of paper and make a loop around the thread inside. Put your needle through the same opening again to the outside.
Put you needle in the space between the two pieces of paper and make a loop around the stitch that connects the two pieces of paper. Make a knot. Then put your needle in the hole in the upper piece of paper. Inside you make a stitch to the next hole.
Repeat the last couple of steps for each new opening working your way to the last hole in the paper. Then make a knot with the loose piece of thread and the piece of thread on your needle.
Take the next piece of paper, put your needle in the first opening and make a stitch to the next opening. Then start to reap the process explained above again. When you keep on doing this for each sheet of paper, you’ll get something like the picture below.
Making the cover
Now, we’re going to make the cover. Take your sheet of cardboard paper and cut two pieces the same size of the folded stack of papers. Cut an extra piece of cardboard for the spine of the booklet. Measure the height of the book block. This will be the width of the spine (maybe at a couple of millimetres for good measure).
Tape the pieces together with some tape. Don’t put the pieces of cardboard to close together, make sure there are a couple of millimetres between the pieces of cardboard. This way it’ll make a neat fold in the cover.
Make sure the cover fits the stack of papers by putting it around the book block. Better to measure twice before starting the finishing touch!
Finishing the booklet
How you finish the booklet is up to you. I had a bunch of white self adhesive vinyl lying around and I decided to use that for finishing the cover. I cut a piece for the inside and another for the outside. It’s a bit like putting a wrapper around school books. When you’ve put you wrapper around the cover, glue the back of the book black to the uncovered piece of cardboard on the right side of the open cover. You’re finished!
I also added the years in which the photos were taken on the first page and added an elastic band. This band makes the booklet stay shut and keeps the book block (which is quite heavy) from ripping itself loose from the cover should the booklet fall.