One of the best ways to use up scraps of material is to make a 3-hole pamphlet stitch journal! The pamphlet stitch is a simple stitch that can be dressed up by the materials you’re using. In this tutorial, Ali shows you how to make this fun book with bits and pieces that were lying around her studio.
Step 1: Gather Materials
You only need a few materials to make this book. Here’s what Ali used:
- Khadi paper for signature
- Canvas for the cover
- Decorative paper
- Scrap of ribbon
- Eyelets (optional)
While these worked great for Ali’s journal, you can use whatever materials you have around.
Step 2: Prepare Signature
This signature is about 1/4″ shorter than the canvas cover, and the pages are varying widths. Ali folded the ends of the longer pieces over.
Ali folded the extra piece of blue paper around the signature and clipped everything together with some clothespins.
Step 3: Score the Spine
Because the signature is quite thick, Ali wanted to have a 1/2″ spine for her pamphlet stitch journal. An easy way to do this is to use a 1/2″ bar—just line it up against one edge of the cover and bring the other edge of the cover to the bar.
Use a bone folder on the fold and repeat the process on the other side. Now you have your spine!
Step 4: Punch Sewing Holes
This is a simple journal with only three sewing holes. On the signature, mark a hole at the center and a hole 1/2″ from the top and bottom. Using a punching cradle or phone book, punch the holes with an awl.
You can use the signature to punch the holes in your cover. Lay the cover flat (make sure to protect your work surface) and line the signature up in the center of the spine. Repunch through the holes into the cover.
Step 5: Sew
Ali measured three times the height of the journal to determine the thread length. Begin sewing by entering the middle hole from the inside of the book, leaving a tail. Enter through the top hole and exit through the bottom hole.
If your needle gets stuck, you may need to widen the holes in your signature.
Reenter the middle hole and tie a couple of square knots. Cut off the excess thread.
Note: if you wish to have knot and threads on the outside of the book to embellish with beads, begin and end sewing on the outside of the book.
At this point, Ali folded the edges of the blue paper inward and glued them down with a glue stick.
Step 6: Closure
For this closure, Ali first punched out a hole in the back and front covers using a Crop-A-Dile. She added an eyelet to each hole and then tore the scrap of ribbon into strips. After tying the strips on, the 3-hole pamphlet stitch journal was complete!
To finish it off, Ali filled in the stencil on the front with a Posca paint pen and sewed on the typewritten sentiment “Create everyday.”
One of the most exciting parts of bookmaking is that there are all sorts of books to make, and there are options for every skill level. The 3-hole pamphlet stitch isn’t complicated, but it’s the perfect journal structure for using up scraps, getting started with bookmaking, or creating gifts for friends and family.
Another easy project is our free long stitch journal. To try the class, just sign up below!