Bookbinding Chain Stitch


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The bookbinding chain stitch is a beautiful binding that is perfect for handmade books and journals. You can use scrapbook paper, gift wrap paper, handmade paper, or I am using a paper from a wallpaper sample book. I just love the texture on this paper!

Instructions for the Bookbinding Chain Stitch:

Cut your paper to 8-1/2 inches by 11 inches. Cut a piece of scrapbooking cardstock the same size and glue or adhere it to the back of your decorative paper.


On the non-decorative side of your decorative paper mark 1/4 inch in from each edge. Fold each edge over to the far edge's mark. This will give you a 1/4 inch spine in the middle of your book.

Cut 10 pieces of paper just a bit smaller than your cover for the inside pages. Fold in half and nest them together to create a signature. For this handmade journal I used 5 pieces of vintage typing paper and 5 pieces of graph paper, alternating them.

Using the signature punching template punch holes in each signature in the fold line.

Using the spine punching template, punch holes in the spine of the handmade book.

To bind the handmade journal you can use waxed linen thread, embroidery floss, or whatever you have on hand. Measure it to four times the length of your spine.

Start on the inside at the first hole. Insert the needle and thread and leave a 3 inch tail. Insert the needle into the second hole. Tie a knot and trim the tail before moving on.

Go back out the first hole and back in the second hole.

Go back out the third hole, then slip your needle through the thread between the first and second hole and re-enter the third hole.

Now go out the fourth hole, slip the needle through the thread between the second and third hole and back in the fourth hole. Repeat this process until you go out the last hole in the signature and cover. Put needle through thread between the last two holes and then slip needle through loop that forms to create a knot. Trim excess thread.


Once you've completed the mini scrapbook made with the bookbinding chain stitch you can create a unique closure. I used a Making Memories Shaped Clip to hold this journal closed. You could also use a button and thread or other closures. I also rounded the corners with a corner rounder.

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