Whether you’re new to bookbinding or you’ve been creating journals for years, there are many reasons you may want to learn how to make your own bookbinding tools.
Perhaps you’re on a budget and are looking to save money by using recycled materials. Maybe making handmade books is a new hobby for you, and you don’t want to invest too much until you know you’ve been hooked. You might be teaching a class and need to provide several sets of basic items. No matter the reason, you can save money and resources by learning how to create your own tools. All you really need is some time and a few simple items you may already have on hand.
I can show you how to create three DIY bookbinding tools: a punching cradle, an awl, and a bone folder.
A punching cradle allows you to properly punch holes within the folded part of your signatures (pages). It’s important to have the holes nice and straight to prepare for sewing your binding. To make a punching cradle, all you’ll need is some thick cardboard, some book cloth, PVA or white glue, and a few basic crafting tools.
An awl is the tool you’ll use to create those holes in paper and your cover material, like board and leather. To make the awl, you’ll need a champagne cork and a needle.
And the bone folder is quite simple, but it will become one of your most-used tools. (Watch and see!) Check out the video below to learn how to make these three simple DIY bookbinding tools.
Comment below and let me know what journal-making tools you’ve made!
Hi! I’m Ali Manning
Years ago, I learned about handmade books, and ever since then, I’ve been hooked. I love creating new designs, learning about different techniques, and expanding my collection of paper. But what I love most about bookmaking is the community.
Through Vintage Page Designs and the Handmade Book Club, I’ve met thousands of other passionate bookmakers, mixed-media artists, and crafters. We all share a love of book arts and crafting, just for the joy of it.
I believe that bookbinding and book arts are for everyone, regardless of skill level or equipment. All you need is a little creativity and, of course, paper!