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5 mins

Finally, a project that didn't take me all day!
I've been hardbinding books, but I thought an easy paperback would be fun. Lucky for me, I found this excellent site that shows a really, really easy method. No sewing or anything. <3 I am so happy with this!

Five minutes to do, not counting drying time. Did I mention easy?

Posted by Violinagin D. from West Monroe, Louisiana, United States • Published See Violinagin D.'s 9 projects »
  • How to decorate an altered journal. Paperback Book - Step 1
    Step 1

    Pick a desired size for the book. I like 5.5 by 4.25, or a quarter of a standard 8.5 x 11 piece.

    I cut regular copy paper in half, and then folded each piece until I had a stack about the size I wanted.

    I just got a bone folder. Excellent if you plan on doing a lot of paper craft. And fairly cheap too!

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Paperback Book - Step 2
    Step 2

    I chose a blue color for the first and last pages to give a bit of contrast to the orange/yellow cover I'm going to put on this one. Cut it the exact size of the rest of the paper.

    This isn't a step you need to follow, but I think it adds something to the finished piece!

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Paperback Book - Step 3
    Step 3

    For the next step I use two pieces of thin and smooth particle board, binders clips, and E-6000 glue. You can use paint sticks to help hold the book together instead of the small pieces of board. 5 minute epoxy also works great instead of E-6000, but I'm trying to use up the last of it and it works fine. Any flexible bond glue will work great.

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Paperback Book - Step 4
    Step 4

    Here is everything set up. It takes a little bit to get just the right amount of paper to stick out of the edge.

    Once you get here, put the glue on. I like a little bit of water on the edge first, and then the glue. This is actually my brother's book. Instead of blue, he chose a green!

    And the hardest part of the whole thing:

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Paperback Book - Step 5
    Step 5

    Wait. Wait a long time... :(

    While waiting, decide what you will use for the cover. Cardstock works great, and comes in pretty colors. Yesh. Cut the cardstock to the height of the book, leaving it long enough to wrap around the front and back and spine. I just usually leave it all on there and only cut the cover after it's glued on.

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Paperback Book - Step 6
    Step 6

    Using the book as the measuring guide, score the cardstock and fold.

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Paperback Book - Step 7
    Step 7

    Use the book to figure out the width of the spine. Score the cardstock and fold.

    Glue! And then wait again.

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Paperback Book - Step 8
    Step 8

    Take an exacto knife and cut down the cover piece after the piece is dry. You can also even up the edges with a really sharp blade or guillotine cutter. Be careful!!

    Your book is pretty much done! Give it a bit of time to dry. It's usable, but the spine is just not at full strength.

    Make many, many books. Especially if your brother writes Zelda fan fiction. Help him out and make him feel proud of his writing! (Without actually having to read all 15 chapters... *Shifty eyes*... if he gets an account, I'll have to erase that bit)



Jessica B.
Jessica B. · Redding, California, US · 5 projects
What I'd a bone folder?
Gracie T.
Gracie T. · Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan, US
Uhmmmm with the paper do you fold it all together (so all the v's of the folds are in each other) or all separately? or is there a happy medium?
thank you!
and this looks amazing :3
evee -.
evee -. · 19 projects
great tutorial! you books look great, i've tried making books before but they never turn out right ^^;

by the way, did you make that zelda book?
Violinagin D.
Violinagin D. · West Monroe, Louisiana, US · 9 projects
The E-6000 I left alone for about an hour and a half. It held up good for the rest of the steps. I didn't put much stress on it for another day though. Five minute epoxy shouldn't take too long at all (about five minutes) though I'd still give it a bit before really testing the strength of the spine. I had some glue that took over 24 hours... Gah! Completely not worth it.

CO + K User

Love the tutorial, clear and it's a really cool idea.. I've been looking for a way to make paperback books.. But just 1 question.. How long does it take to dry? You only mention it takes very... very.. long.. Happy
I get that it may vary, but maybe an estimate?
Cat Morley
Cat Morley · London, GB · 1432 projects
Great job, it looks very professional!

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