Sewn Tapes Binding
(And Fabric Book)

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The sewn tapes binding can be used for all kinds of books.  I usually use it on hardbound upcycled books, but for this tutorial I am using it on a fabric book.  I am going to include the tutorial for the fabric book as well, because I am kind of in a fabric book binge right now.  So you will be getting two tutorials in one here.

Fabric Scrapbook Tutorial:

To create the fabric book cut two pieces of felt the same size as your book board.  I used 6 by 6 inches on mine.

Use mod podge to coat one side of each of the book boards.  Adhere the felt to it.

Cut two pieces of fabric slightly larger than your book boards.  I cut mine to about 7-1/2 inches all around.  Lay your book boards, felt side down, onto the wrong side of the fabric.  No need to adhere it or glue it down.

Trim the corners of the fabric as shown above.

Fold your edges over and using tacky glue adhere down to the book board.

Optional is to include some lace.  This would be the point to adhere that down to one side of the book board on the wrong side.

Here is what your two book boards will look like once they are covered in fabric.  Note that the back sides do not need to be covered as you will be adhering your inside scrapbook pages to those and that will cover them.

Sewn Tapes Binding Tutorial:

Now for the instructions on the sewn tapes binding.  You can use this with any type of covers you want.  Cut 20 pages of scrapbook paper or whatever you want to use for the inside pages.  The size of these will be the same size height as your book and double the width.  So for my 6 by 6 book, my inside scrapbooking papers are 6 by 12.  Fold them in half.  Nestle them into signatures with two pages each, so you will have 10 signatures.

Make a small hole punching template.  I just use a scrap paper and make it the same height as my book (6 inches) and about 4 inches wide.  Lay whatever you are using for your tapes.  I decided to use decorative scrapbook ribbon for this book because it is on the smaller size, but I mostly use actual fabric strips that I cut with my pinking shears and sew all over.  I will show some examples of some of my other books at the end of the tutorial that will show this style.  Now you will mark one pen mark towards the top edge of the template and one mark towards the bottom edge.  I usually do this about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in, depending on the size of my book.  It's just an eyeball estimate - no need to get overly worried that it is not exact.  Now mark one pen mark on each side of your ribbon or fabric strips.  I sometimes use 3 ribbons or fabric straps if the book is larger.

Nestle your template into your first signature.  Make sure to mark one end of your template as the top and always punch your holes and stack your pages with the top on the top.

Punch your holes into each signature.  Measure out your book binding thread.  I always measure out 10 times the height of my book and I always have more than I need.

Start with your first signature.  I always start on the right and I always know that that is my top.  It may seem a little backwards to you, but I am a leftie and sometimes think backwards.  You can just start the other way if that works better for you.  In any event, go into the first hole, leaving a tail of about 6 inches.

Weave in and out of the first signature until you get to the end.  Now stack your next signature directly on top and go up into what is the bottom hole of that signature, as shown above.

This is when I go ahead and slip my tapes into the binding.  From now on you will be weaving in and out around these tapes.  When you get to the end of the second signature you need to pull all of your threads tight (but not so tight as to rip your paper) and sort of press down on your signatures to make them nice and tight together.  You get better at this with lots of practice.

Then you want to tie a knot with the first and second signatures at this point.

Add a third signature to the top of your book and go up into the first hole of that page, going in and out along the spine, around the tapes as you go.

When you get to the end of this signature you are going to lock it in place.  To do this take your needle and slip it between the two threads directly below the current signature you are working on.  Make sure all of your pages and your bookbinding thread is tight right before you do this.  It is not so tight in my picture above, or I wouldn't be able to show you where I am sticking that needle. 

You will get a little loop as you pull your needle through.  Go through this loop to make a knot. Pull the thread tight after you feed it through the two threads and the loop.  You will now do this at the end of each row when you are adding another signature.

After you have sewn all of the signatures together, on the last one you will go back into the middle of the signature as shown above.  Feed the thread under the last stitch.  See how there is a loop now made with the thread?

Go through that loop with your needle and make a knot, pulling it tight as you do this.  I do it twice just be sure.  Then snip off the excess thread. 

That's it.  You are done binding your book.  Now we need to adhere your covers.

Spread a bunch of Mod Podge all over the front cover and carefully place your cover on top of it. 

On the inside of the book press and smooth out any wrinkles.  I use a towel and smooth it out nice and smooth.  I put something heavy on it to let it set up.  Then I do the back cover in the same way.

After I have glued both my front and back covers on, I glue down the fabric tapes with tacky glue.  You can trim these at this point to a bit smaller size, which is what I always do. 

The flower embellishment on the front of this sewn tapes binding book is from my friend Jaine's Etsy shop

Other Books I with Sewn Tapes Binding:

Here are a couple of other books I have made with the sewn tapes binding.  These were hardback children's books, which are one of my favorite things to make with this binding.  I gut the whole inside and use new scrapbook papers, plus recycled papers such as sheet music, wallpaper, gift wrap, etc.

Here is another one sewn tapes binding books.  These are just fabric strips and I mentioned above.

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