Thursday, July 29, 2010

By Popular Demand

How to rebind the Arthouse Co-Op sketchbook

Okay, so I didn't have a clue what I was doing, I will just point this out up front. I took it & ran with it, keeping my fingers crossed that I didn't destroy it beyond repair :D

I cut out the threads holding the pages in place, & took them out of the papers.

I set most of the papers aside, keeping one as a template for the original holes

I took a bunch of cardstock (15 pieces), folded them in half, then laid them flat again. Using the piece of paper I set aside, I put it on top of each individual piece of cardstock & marked dots where the sketchbook was originally bound down the middle.

I used a needle to poke holes in each piece of cardstock, where the marks were, then lined them up as best I could, put the cover on top, & sewed it all together with some thread. I doubled up on the thread through the needle (just like as if I was sewing cloth or something), & went through each hole twice (mostly... I ran out of thread & patience about 4 holes from the bottom, so I figured it was good enough)

A lot of the holes didn't line up & had to be re-made as I went along, & it was a LOT of hard work... I broke a lot of needles trying to push them through... I ended up with my boyfriend helping out with a lot of it because my fingers were so sore from pushing needles through (they hurt for a few days after as well)

All in all, it took me about 10 hours divided between 2 days to finish, & it was a pain in the ass. But I know if I sign up for this project again (which is VERY likely), I'll probably do it all over again

If anyone has any tips that would make it easier, I know I'd love to hear them (& I'm sure I'm not the only one!!!)

Also... Ubuntu & I have made piece & are staying together for the children mutual dislike of Windows XD


  1. Thanks for the insight. I toyed with the idea of rebinding my sketchbook, but decided to save that for next year.

  2. Hi there! Wow, major congrats to you for re-binding your book. I was to afraid to take it apart so I'm dealing with the thin paper.

    This is just an idea, but a company called Bazzill Basics Paper makes needles specifically to go to through paper and heavy-weight cardstock. It's especially easy when you place your paper on top of a piece of cork and push your needle through. Now, (because I'm totally curious) I just put a bazzill needle into one of my Fiskars craft drills, as opposed to a bit; I stacked 10 pieces of heavy-weight cardstock on top of eachother (would be easier with second set of hands to hold the paper down and in place) and drilled through with the needle all ten sheeets, pretty easily. You'll need to drill all the way through the paper (go slowly and you'll feel it once you hit the cork) and then drill in reverse to get the needle out (again second set of hands helps). I measured on the moleskine and the binding holes seem to be about 1/4" apart. You could either measure them on your cardstock or Bazzill and another company called "Timeless Touches" make "piercing rulers" for guides. After you drill all of your holes, they should line up pretty well since you were able to "poke" them all at the same time.

    I hope that makes SOME sense or helps someone!

  3. Don: It's a hassle, but even so it's really worth it :D Good luck with it next year (I know I'm going to need it as well XD)

    Sara: I'm going to have to look into those products, because I want to do this project annually & I know I'm going to be rebinding it again next year *laughs* Thanks for the tips!
    I was worried when I tore it apart, but I was gentle enough with the original paper that I figured I could always put it back together the way it was if I messed something up (the cover is sturdy enough that I wasn't too worried about it)
    it's a shame about the paper being so thin though

  4. Well done on taking the plunge and rebinding – the paper was so disappointing hey?
    I rebound my sketch book with watercolour paper. I cut all the pages to size (some of the centre ones I cut a bit narrower so they didn’t sit out to far in the middle. I used a big long set of thick needles I picked up at the art supply shop (pack of three). I made my own holes (just 3 of them) using the needles, but sort of hammering them in (I can’t remember what with – perhaps the spoon I had used for pressing my creases?). I left the needles in the hole as I made the other holes so the pages stayed aligned. Then I took the top needle (still in the hole) and threaded it with waxed thread (once again from the art supply shop – pricey, but it’s really strong and will last). The threading was pretty easy, I did use a pair of pliers t help me pull the needle through. After it was all rebound I glued scrap canvas over the whole outside cover and trimmed it to size, I also glued a folded sheet of watercolour paper to the inside of the cover and front page (also the back page) to cover up the ugly inside bit near the spine you could still see and to make to cover a bit stronger. Now it’s all done and perfect and I haven’t had the guts to put a mark in it! – I really must get started!!
    Sorry for the epic comment – but this is what I did, perhaps some little part of it will help you next year or give courage to someone else contemplating rebinding….

  5. No need to be sorry - I love hearing how other people rebound their sketchbook, as I know I'll be participating again next year & the way I did it this year was a pain - if there's easier solutions, I'm all for hearing them :D

  6. I'm so glad other people are taking the leap to rebind the sketchbook too! The paper was really disappointing.. I did the same and immersed myself in a two-week adventure consisting of internet-rummaging for info on binding a book.I'm working on a tutorial on how to bind a hard-cover sketchbook right now, which I'll hopefully put up in the next few days. -excitedness- I signed up for "I'm a scavenger", what about you?

  7. I look forward to seeing your tutorial - I didn't even look up the information online, I just looked at the sketchbook, said "I can sew!" & went to work *LOL*
    I tend to do that with most things though, just wing it XD

    I signed up for 'Happy Thoughts', although I almost wish I had waited because some of the new themes are pretty neat too, but I'm happy with what I've got :D

  8. Just got mine today, and am thinking about how I want to rebind it. How many pages of the cardstock (and/or other papers) did you end up with?

  9. I ended up with 30 pieces of cardstock folded in half (so technically 60 pages to draw on) - I probably could have gotten away with more or less, but not much