Book Binding

Category: Developing Talents

Duration: 1-2 sessions (One session if you just want to teach the binding methods, two sessions if you want to give them time to decorate their books, turn it into a gratitude journal, etc.)


  • Regular white sheets of paper
  • Colored cardstock (at least two for each girl)
  • Hole Punch
  • Yarn or String
  • Pipe Cleaners- cut in half – one for each girl
  • Garden shears (strong scissors may also work) for cutting each bamboo skewer in half
  • Bamboo skewer – one for every two kids you have
  • Scissors for each girl
  • (Optional but recommended) Samples of books with different binding techniques. At the very least, you can find a hymn book (caterpillar binding), larger paperback (adhesive binding), and a smaller paperback just secured with staples (pamphlet binding).
  • (Optional) Hymn books or books from the church library in need of repair, and tape to repair them.
  •  Look over the book binding activities prior to the activity – Bamboo Rubber Band Book and Japanese Binding Book. (For the Japanese Binding we are skipping the lunch bag and just using cardstock. Otherwise you will be following the instructions laid out on the site).
  • If you have a large number of girls or girls who are slow at crafts, you may want to consider cutting the paper to size and/or punching the holes in advance.
1. Explain that for centuries, humans have been developing methods to create and bind paper in order to share ideas, knowledge, and inspirations with each other and with future generations. The craft of creating books has evolved over time, but the basic human need to share words and pictures has stayed the same.
2. (Optional) Investigate the binding of several different books.
3. Make the Japanese Binding Book, subbing card stock for the lunch bag.
4. We ran out of time at this point, but if you have time (or while the girls are waiting for their parents to come get them), you can repair some hymn/church library books that need repairing.
More Ideas:
  • Learn paper making before or after this activity.
  • Instead of using blank paper, ask that each girl find an inspirational story (from the news or the Friend) that they really like, and email you the link. Print off the text version and make enough copies for each girl to have the inspirational stories made into a book.
  • Learn calligraphy before or after this activity. (And here)
  • Learn how to make a pop up book before or after this activity.
  • Learn about fonts before or after this activity.
  • Bring a book collection and have them sort into book binding categories.
  • Interview or visit a book artist or bookbinder. Many colleges offer courses in book arts, and the teachers may share some knowledge with you.
  • Visit a library and tour the book repair area.
  •  Learn these bookbinding terms:
    • Spine
    • Joint
    • Board
    • Hinge
    • Paper stock
    • Endpaper
    • Jacket
    • Flap
    • Gilt edge
    • Chain stitch
    • Saddle stitch

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