Interested in bookbinding but not sure where to start? I can recommend this simple, well-explained tutorial for a Five-Hole Pamphlet Stitch which I had saved ages ago in my Pinterest bookbinding board and now am finally getting around to sharing. It’s easy (really!) and does not require any fancy materials or tools.

The materials I used:

  • copy paper
  • scrapbook paper for the cover
  • scissors (good sharp ones)
  • ruler
  • needle
  • mattress needle
  • pencil
  • embroidery thread

Here’s a few things I did differently from the tutorial while winging my first attempt:

  • I do not have a bone folder (yet) and while it is not crucial to making small pamphlets I can see why it would be necessary for larger projects with more pages or if you were going to do a lot of these. You need to make good folds and your fingertips will get sore. However if you’re just starting out, don’t worry about it just yet – just make one of these and see how easy and satisfying it is and then worry about proper tools.
  • I also do not have an awl. I used a needle to pierce the holes.
  • I do not have a bookbinding needle. I had a mixed pack of assorted needles and found the curved “mattress needle” to be the best suited for stitching this project.
  • I took three A4 sheets of paper and cut them in half, therefore starting the project with six A5 pieces of paper, reason being that I preferred a smaller size pamphlet. You can use any size paper, just make your holes equal distances apart.
  • I used scrapbook paper for the cover – this gets stitched along with the pages of the pamphlet.

Cutting and folding the paper was the most tedious part, and the stitching took about five minutes. I was really pleased with the finished product of my first bookbinding attempt! I ended up using my new notebook for planning this blog, jotting down ideas, words, lists etc.

My first attempt at bookbinding, the five-hole pamphlet
My first attempt at bookbinding, the five-hole pamphlet

Give it a go, get creative and get inspired to challenge yourself with other techniques.