Art · bookbinding

Fabulous Resources for the Beginning Bookbinder

I love books. I learned to read when I was five, and from that moment on you could frequently find me with my nose stuck in a book. My dream job was working in a bookstore (which I accomplished) and, when I retired from the bookstore, I started making my own books, because I couldn’t stay away.


I’ve also written a guide on how I make my ring bound upcycled journals-you can find that here. And here are some pretty in-progress shots of me making one of my handstitched journals:

And this was taken today:


I’m making mini keepsake paper books so I have a lower price point to offer. I’m having fun! And spending too much money, but we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about resources.


Handmade Books by Gabrielle Fox

I didn’t think the visual aids were very helpful in this book, but the ideas and the written instructions were wonderful. She also included examples of variations for each project, so you could see how others had improvised/made the design their own.

Bound: Over 20 Artful Books by Erika Ekrem

This is the book I started with, and it’s my favorite. Visual aids, precise instructions, and she is the one that introduced me to the concept of upcycling antique covers and giving new life to those wonderful old covers.


I use waxed linen bookbinding thread. I typically order from this shop (classicbead) on Etsy; at the time I was doing price comparisons (just within Etsy) she was very competitive and she had the widest selection of colors.

Small Tools

I bought my awl and needles (both blunt and sharp) from They also offer thread, paper, bone folders, mats for cutting … I use cardboard, my t-shape ruler and other hacks because I really do try not to spend all my money on supplies;) The other tools I’ve picked up from various places throughout the years, and you can find them at any hobby store.


Micron and Faber-Castell artist pens. I also buy these from paperinkarts or from Hobby Lobby/Michaels.


So I buy this heavy drawing paper from Amazon, but I’ve also used heavier printer paper. For covers I’m using Strathmore’s Mixed Media 400 series, and I buy that at Hobby Lobby or Michaels and use their weekly coupon.

Antique/Vintage Covers

I highly recommend Michele over at RedCottage on Etsy. She almost always ships the next day, and I don’t know what kind of pull she has with USPS but I have always received my first class packages super fast. Plus it’s like library crack, looking at the goodies she has in her store.

So there you are, my friends-everything you need to get started! If you wanted to see what else I’ve made you can hop on over to my shop, No affiliate links were used in this post, I really do buy what I’ve linked;)

Happy Hump Day! If you have any other bookbinding resources please do let me know in the comments; I’m still learning and am always eager to have new sources!

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