Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Stab stitching tutorial

This is a tutorial for my currently favorite book making method. A Japanese style stab stitching cook, it's perfect for making small notebooks, sketchbooks and albums, as well as bigger hard cover books (though I personally haven't tried those.

The benefits of stab stitching books are - since all the pages are stitched together, there are no signatures and so you can bind any number of pages together. Also, there is no glue involve which make this craft a lot less messy (though you won't be able to judge that by how the studio looks right now.

A rubber ballet or a hammer, paper cut to size, I used about 25 pages for this one, nice paper for the cover and pack cover, also cut to the same size at the pages inside, an awl, a ruler, craft knife, pencil, floss, needle, 2 clips.

Step 1. Attach all the pages together using the clips, put the clips in about a third from the top, leave at least 1"-2" clear to work on.
Step 2. with the ruler and the pencil, mark a straight line on the top part of the book (where the stitching will go). Mark 5 points in equal intervals.

Step 3. Using the awl and mallet, puncture 5 holes where you made the marking. make sure the awl made it all the way through all layers of paper and that the holes are nice and even. If you down have an awl, this can also be done with a nail.

Step 4. make a knot at the end of your floss and thread it through a needle. Start by passing the needle through the center hole from the back of the book to the front, then loop around the top part of the book and insert the needle again through the same hole.

Step 5. Then, pass the needle through the hole to the right of the center hole, and loop around the top part again. turn the book to the back part and move to the next hole to the right (the last one) and loop around it as well. Loop around the side of the book and insert the needle through the first hole to the right again. Then stiched back to the center.
Step 6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 to the left side of the book, then tie a knot at the end and trim the floss.

Ta-Da! the book is done, you can decorate it with rubber stamps, bits of paper, beads, drawings or whatever you like. Or, if you are too lazy, you can hop on to my store and buy one. Writing the instruction is honestly more complicated then actually making one, there are very few options to where the needle can go and it's really really easy to make.

More book binding information
Book binding glossary
The how to make books book
Japanese book binding
Center of book art
The Arm - a wonderful gallery and letter press shop, that offer classes and is just a great place to visit.


OMB said...

Great tutorial. Looks like I may be able to pull it off. Thanks for sharing.

High Desert Diva said...

Hey...that was great! It doesn't look so hard...hmmmmm

Andi said...

Thanks for the tutorial, it looks so easy! I'll have to try it soon.

decadentdiamond said...

Great tutorial, I've always wondered how it was done!

Anonymous said...

Hello Aya!

A fantastic tutorial, thanks for taking the time to make it. Just a quick one to let you know that I've added your tutorial as a resource in our latest 'Top 10 Japanese Stab Binding Tutorials on the Internet' -

Thanks again and keep up the good work!

~ Paul