Repurposing a hardcover book – I finally figured it out

Yay, I figured out how to both repurpose a hardcover book and also how to sew multiple signatures to make a thicker book.

The pamphlet stitch is the baby food of bookbinding. It’s the basic, one-stitch-does-all. But it’s a simple stitch so you can’t make a huge book using it, because a thicker book uses multiple signatures, which are bundles of folded pages. The trusty pamphlet stitch can only hold so many pages before it weakens and the thing falls apart. Think, using twine to lift a table.

I had always thought that to make a thicker book I’d need to use a complicated stitch to first sew the signatures together and then sew that bundle to the cover. But this way, I use a pamphlet stitch to sew each signature separately onto the cover!

I’d prepared a hardcover a few weeks ago, ripping out the book and using just the cardboard cover to repurpose for a journal I wanted to make later. I collaged the inside front and back and painted the front and back exterior. There is sat until I could figure out the rest.

Then I watched a tutorial on making a junk journal, and lo and behold at the end, she taught how to sew individual signatures to a hard cover using the pamphlet stitch (with one modification. So here it is!

My repurposed hard cover
three signatures
inside back cover, collaged

I’m excited. I bought a hard cover book for a dollar today, it’s a bit thicker so next time I’ll make 4 or 5 signatures. The cover is plain red so when I collage and paint it I will not have to compete with an underlying design that is already there.

Anyway, success!

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