Adding Some More Room To Write

Photo by mahdi yousefi on

We want to add a bit of something extra to our Grimoires.

We are going to do that today by making a small pamphlet stitch-bound notebook.

Gather up:

A piece of decorative paper. This could be scrapbooking paper, but it doesn’t have to be. Cardstock is fine. So is music paper, old book pages, or even your children’s drawings or written notes.

Four or five sheets of paper that you want to use as the pages in the notebook.

A ruler.


An awl or something to punch holes with.

Thread of some sort. You can use embroidery thread, waxed thread, twine, ribbon, yarn. It doesn’t need to be that strong or sturdy as this is a small notebook that you will be tucking into a pocket of your Grimoire or maybe clipping onto a page with a larger paperclip.

A needle with an eye wide enough for your chosen thread to make it through. It does not need to be a sharp needle at all.

Bone folder. You can use instead the back of a butter knife, or the back of your scissors.

First, decide how big or small you want your notebook to be.

I think I am going to make a notebook about four inches tall and three inches wide.

I measure and mark each piece of paper that will go inside my little book.

I cut my pages that will go inside the cover to 4 inches by 6 inches. If you want to give your pages a little extra flair you could tear the pages down to size.

  • If you have distress ink or even a bit of paint, you can gild the edges of every page, if this is something you want to do.

The cover paper needs to be cut about 1/4 of an inch bigger all the way around so that there is a touch of overhang to cover the inner pages. You can cut or tear your paper.

You do not have to treat the cover paper the same way as the inside paper. So, if you tear one, you are not required to tear the other. This is your project. Make it your own.

Next, you fold the pages in half so that they measure how you want them. This includes the cover.

My inner pages are currently 4 inches by 6 inches. I fold each page so that they end up as a 4-inch by 3-inch folio.

As you fold each page and the cover, use your bone folder (or whatever you are using) to really make sure that the crease is crisp and flat.

A folio is a single folded sheet of paper that will become a part of a signature.

A signature is a collection of folios that will make up the inner pages of a book.

Our little books will have only one signature.

Once each piece of folded and well-creased, tuck each inner page inside the other so that they nest together and create a single signature. Put the signature inside the cover.

Now, take a scrap piece of paper that is the height of your book. This scrap paper doesn’t need to be too wide. Maybe an inch or two wide. Fold this scrap in half lengthwise. We are going to use this to mark where we want the holes.

A quick way to find where to put holes is to take your scrap paper. Mine is 4 inches tall and roughly a half inch wide. I fold the top of the scrap to the bottom of the scrap and crease it with my bone folder. Now my scrap is two inches long and half an inch wide. Now, I fold it the same way again. Again I crease it with the bone folder.

Unfolding the scrap paper, I now have three creases. I unfolded the scrap paper so that it is an inch wide again.

Slide this scrap into the center of the book, as if it is another folio you are adding to the signature.

Make sure your cover and pages are all well-aligned. And your scrap paper guide is as well.

Now, take your awl and gently punch a hole from the inside of your book, using the creases on your scrap paper to put them in the right place. The awl should go all the way through the cover. Be careful not to punch a hole in your hand or finger.

When you are done, set your scrap paper aside. You can use it as a punching guide again if you make more booklets this size later on.

Take your thread and measure it against the height of your book. You want to have three times the length of your book in thread.

Don’t bother making a knot at the end of your thread after you thread your needle.

Do you want your thread tails to be on the inside or the outside of the journal?

If you want your tails on the outside, start with the center hole of the spine going into the inside of the book from the outside. Hold the end of the tail, with three or four inches of tail, to the outside of the book so it doesn’t slip through to the inside of the book.

From the inside of the book, go to the top hole and go through to the outside of the cover.

Don’t let go of that tail.

Now, that your needle and thread all the way to the bottom hole. Go into the book there.

Next, from the inside of the book, take the thread up and through the middle hole. As you come to the outside, make sure one end is on one side of the thread that goes from the top to the bottom hole and one thread goes to the other side. Now, tie two or three knots using the two ends. Tie the knots tightly, but not overly so. Trim the tails to the length you want them.

If you want the tail ends in the center of the book, you do the exact same thing, except that you start inside the book from the center hole instead of the outside center hole.

If you are so inclined, you can add decorations, doodles, color or anything else to your little book to make it more special to you.

Now, your booklet is complete.

What are we going to put in this little book?

Are you going to use a belly band, a tuck pocket, or stick this book inside your Grimoire in some other way?