Pamphlet Stitch

I have a problem.  I love bookbinding.  I love making lovely books.  But when I’m done, I can’t do anything with them.  I love them too much to give them up, and they’re too pretty for me to risk marring their pristine pages with writing or sketching.  So I have about thirty very nice, very blank books taking up precious space on my desk (too nice to put with the books on the shelf where they could be damaged by a certain 3-year-old.  I kind of got over it with this book:

But it was the least pretty out of all the books I’ve bound.  So I decided to make a bunch of books that are really quick and made with inexpensive materials:

It's a very versatile medium.

They’re all bound with pamphlet stitch.  Pamphlet stitch is so simple it’s barely even bookbinding.  But after making a bunch, I realized how freeing a cheap book could be.  It’s like a little steno pad–a completely risk free, non-daunting format.  I’m loving it, and I’m already filling them up as fast as I can write.  They’re the perfect size to fit in my scriptures case to take notes at church or to slip in my purse to write when inspiration strikes while I’m about the town.  And so easy.   You just fold a stack of paper, give it a cardstock cover, and sew it up like this:

Pamphlet Stitch

Give yourself an odd number of wholes and start in the middle.  I like to start from the inside so my knot and tails are on the inside, but if you start from the outside and make your tails extra long, you can wrap the string around the book to keep it closed.  When you sew back down the spine, note that you skip the middle hole until you come back up.

To secure the book thread, tie a square knot over the thread around the thread that spans across the middle whole, like this:

The knot goes around the string that spans the hole.

If you’re worried about the knot coming undone, you can wax up your thread using a candle and it won’t ever come undone unless you want it to.

About sappling

When God created the world, he did it in six days and rested on the seventh. I always wished there was just one more day in the week, an eighth day just for me to pursue the thoughts in my head and translate them to the physical world. There are only seven days, however, so I steal my creative moments in between being a mom and my work binding books and making boxes for clients all over New York City. I love working with my hands, learning new things, and I'm here to share those lessons with you. There are only seven days in a week. Why not eight? Guess I'll ask when I get there.
This entry was posted in Arts and Crafts, Bookbinding, Paper Arts, Scrapbooking. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Pamphlet Stitch

  1. Ki says:

    I would recommend selling them as journals and sketch books on or Or maybe finding an art fair. (Though I would not be surprised if this had already occurred to you.)

    • sappling says:

      You know, I did. I’m just waiting to finish some leather-bound books so I have a wide variety since you get the best exposure when you first open up shop.

  2. Jacqueline says:

    Beautiful, inspiring thank you!

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