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Paper-Arts is a group dedicated to art created with paper. Origami, paperchildren, book binding & bookmaking, papercuttings, selfmade cards - everything you can create with paper.

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Searching for origami, papercuttings, papercraft and other paper art? Do you search for something you want to buy or do you want to try it yourself? This group is for everyone who creates art with paper and for everyone who is interested in it.
Founded 6 Years ago
Sep 24, 2010


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A reference guide on bookbinding types

When I tell people I'm a bookbinder they often think I make only one type of book; the library kind. That, however, is only one of the many ways an artist can create a book. For me, it's a fun challenge to pick the right binding style to go with the purpose of the book. Whether it is a novel that needs to look really classy or medieval, a sketchbook for a graphic novelist or a paper about connections that lets me show the binding. In this article I'm going to tell you a little bit about all the types of bookbinding that I know. I'm not going into details but, if possible, I will link to images and tutorials that do.
If you're here for inspiration: this guide is pretty long. I recommend scrolling through the images first!

To make a start...

The different ways of binding books can be broken down into two general groups: adhesive bindings and non-adhesive bindings. Adhesive bound books are the books you usually buy in bookstores: pockets, hardcovers, etc. Non-adhesive bound books almost always show the way they are bound; they have open spines or show the binding thread on the outside of the book. This last group is called non-adhesive bindings because they can be achieved without using any paste or glue. This is, however, not a necessity.


Signature - A signature is a set of papers folded one time.
Book block - A book block is a set of sewn signatures or a stack of glued single sheets that make out the inside of the book.
Endpapers - Endpapers are sheets of papers, folded once, attached with a little bit of glue at the spine-side at the front or the back of the book block.
Headband - A headband is a band made out of thread looped around a rope or strip of leather. Headbands can be machinemade and glued at the head and tale of the spine of a book. They can also be handmade by sewing them onto the signatures.
Hinge - The hinge of a book is the place near the spine of the book where the cover folds open.
Rib - A rib is a thickening on the spine of a book. This thickening is created because there are ropes below the cover material. Sometimes fake ribs are created by placing strips of cardboard below the cover material.
Slot - A slot is a cut in the paper, creating a place for the glue to adhere to or the thread to go through.

Non-adhesive bindings

Non-adhesive bindings #1: Pamphlet stitch

Styles-08 by Marenne
Three-joint Pamphlet Book by PestilentialCreatureLeather Sketch Journal by Gutshot4570Tiny Flower Sketchbook by BartonTheBookbinder
Pamphlet Stitch by eloquentELEPHANTshaving cream pamphlet book by thebreathingRoom

The pamphlet stitch can be used to bind single signatures into pamphlet. A string is sewn through 3, 5, 7 or up (depending on the size of the paper) pierced holes in the fold of the signature. Both ends of the string always end up in the middle, creating the opportunity for easy finishing by means of a single knot.
While it could be argued if a single signature can be called a book, I've included it in this list because the pamphlet stitch itself can be used in combination with other binding techniques (such as the Concertina fold) to create multiple signature bindings.
The pamphlet stitch is sometimes used to bind two signatures together. The cover will have a double Accordion fold in the middle with a signature sewn into each inner pleat.
- Pamphlet Stitch Tutorial by ThePressGang-ink, deviantART tutorial

Non-adhesive bindings #2: Stab-bindings (or Japanese bindings, Album bindings)

Styles-09 by Marenne
handmade book 25 by darkest-redAnimals and Balloons by littlepaperforestDots on the horizon journal by nihilistic-hun
Memorial Book by woodizgoodRefillable Hardback Book/Journal - Full Book by snazzie-designzNature Trail Journal by nihilistic-hun
Baby album by blende13Gift for Duckie: Japanese Bind by DeannaEchanique

Stab bindings can be used to bind single (not folded) sheets into a book. Stab-bound books will not be able to lay flat when opened in the middle. In Japan, these bindings have been used for centuries. 4 major sewing patterns can be identified in Japanese stab-bindings: The Noble binding (Koki Toji), The Tortoise-shell binding (Kikko Toji), The Hemp-leaf binding (Asa-No-Ha Toji) and the 4-hole binding (Yotsume Toji). Covers of stab bindings may be sewn together with the rest of the papers, or folded over or around the book block, making the binding invisible before opening the front cover.
Instead of sewing the pages, they can also be held together using book screws, the so called nuts and posts, creating an album stab-binding. An added bonus of this variety is the ability to add or remove pages, or to change the order of the pages, making it perfect for photo albums, recipe books, collecting books, etc.
- The Four Hole Bookbind by pdtnc, deviantART tutorial,
- Japanese Stab Binding by lexarch, deviantART tutorial,
- Japanese Bookbinding Tutorial by Tuteate, video

Non-adhesive bindings #3: Long stitch (or Medieval limp binding)

Styles-10 by Marenne
Why Did I Kiss That Girl by sweet-travestyThe Hawthorn Diary by svenmarieButtonhole Sketchbook by usagibrian
Paper Doll Strap Book by sweet-travestyOrange Trifold Journal by sweet-travestyStar shape handmade journal by mjdaluz
RedGold Exposed tape book by zar33nRibbon Books by MarenneGeometric Journal by Salix-Tree
Journal for my Father 2011 by FolksagaChevron Pattern and Vitnage Maps by sweet-travestyLeather Journals - the next batch by Bluelisamh

The long stitch binding method is a quick sewing method that binds the signatures and cover together with the same single thread. The cover can be slotted or pierced before sewing, or pierced during the sewing procedure. Because the thread will go in and out of the cover, and in and out of the signatures; two variations of sewing can be used. One variations will see all the outside thread on the same line while the other alternates between slots. Sometimes thread patterns are created by crossing over to different signatures during the sewing process.

Stitch variations on the long stitch binding method include:
- The buttonhole stitch, where alternate slots will be removed to create exposed parts of the signatures, and the signatures will be locked together using the buttonhole stitch at the head and tail of each slot.
- The link stitch, where the binding will not be looped through the ends of the signatures but instead a link stitch will be used at the outside of the cover, creating a sort of chain-binding at the head and tail of the spine.
- Sewing onto tapes, where we sew around tapes instead of cover-slots. These tapes will then be attached to the two separate covers.   
- Sewing onto cords or ropes, where we sew around a cord and then go back into the same pierced hole. The cords will be attached to two separate covers. Sometimes two cords are placed tightly against each other. 
- Rainbow Book Tutorial by Marenne, deviantART tutorial

Non-adhesive bindings #4: Coptic bindings (including the Caterpillar binding)

Styles-11 by Marenne
Caterpillar Binding by a-perplexing-puzzleCoptic Binding Handmade Book by zhabooksCaterpillar Coptic by mouse2cat
Coptic Binding by a-perplexing-puzzleLaser-cut Coptic-bound Book by DracoLoricatusNewspaper by Exoe
Flowers by kinga76Midnight Rainbow by liesanTravel Diary by Marenne
DIS order by yohabrohaoh, don't leave me here alone by vannycakesNotebook by DeathOfParadise
Music by kinga76Riune Notebook by annwinhandmade book 45 by darkest-redThe Pink Lady - Coptic Stitch Blank Journal by Pikithins

The Coptic binding is an appealing exposed spine sewing method. The thread will come out of a pierced hole, loop around a piece of thread from the previous signature, and go back into the same hole. Getting a tight and even binding will take a little practice, but is certainly worth the effort. The binding does not have to be straight, it can be sewn criss-cross or smooth or in patterns. Covers can be made out of folded sheets that may be glued together or from stiff cardboard. It's important to make the covers the exact same height of the pages. The binding is not strong enough to keep the signatures from sagging, if they can not rest on the shelf during storage.
The Caterpillar binding is a variation on the coptic binding using paired holes. Threads coming out of both holes come together in the middle, creating the illusion of a caterpillar with a million legs, crawling over the spine and the covers.
- Coptic Bookbinding by mouse2cat, deviantART tutorial

Non-adhesive bindings #5: Secret Belgian bindings

Styles-12 by Marenne
VHS-tape-books by MarenneGame of Thrones Belgian Journal - Lannister House by GatzBcnbelgian glass - blank book by yatsu
Spirit Rock Dream Journal by nihilistic-hunRecycled Paper Dragon by crocodiledreams
Kite book by Marenne
Insert your dreams here... by yagarasuHandmade Journal Coffee Time by GatzBcndo the twist by vannycakes

The way the secret Belgian bound books are made was only recently rediscovered. This binding method is wonderful because it creates the illusion of a full hardcover book, while you can create the front, back, and spine boards separately. This creates the opportunity to use unbendable materials like plastics and wood for the entire book. The special sewing method binds all three cover-parts and the signatures together in one go.

Non-adhesive bindings #6: Piano hinge binding (or Skewer binding)

Styles-13 by Marenne
Piano Hinge Book by LuckyCloverArt Salamander's Book of ... by wee-beastie Dutch Public Transport Book 1 by Marenne
Piano-hinge Damask Book by msjbass natural Book- page one by mademoisellemelli

The Piano hinge binding is a very sculptural binding method. It uses pins to bind papers together by inserting them into alternating slots at the bend of the (very thin) signatures. When this kind of book is opened, a dovetail hinge can be seen. 

Non-adhesive bindings #7: Compound bindings (including the Concertina binding, the Dos-à-dos format and the French doors format.)

Styles-14 by Marenne
Concertina Style Book by PestilentialCreatureSerial Killer Book Spine by slashmy-soulDream House by vinegartom23Bookmaking: Accordion album by queenmari
Flower People handmade book by MajnounaDos a Dos book by picture-in-a-frameSeaside - dos a dos journal by ThePressGang-ink
Handle With Care_02 by torn-heart-xoConcertina Photo Album by zellychanLa Voz de la Mano by mysticnova7

Compound bindings incorporate two or more binding types into one book. The most common of these compound bindings are the concertina binding, the dos-a-dos format and the French doors format.
The Dos-à-dos format binds two separate books together, sharing one back-cover. Because the spine surfaces face away from each other, these two books can not be read at the same time.
The French doors format also binds two separate books together, only this time, the books can be opened at the same time, much like opening facing balcony doors. The book on the right side would be paged through (comparing it to a normal latin book) from the back to the front.
The Concertina binding is a compound binding where signatures of the book are sewn into the inside pleats of an accordion fold. The outside pleats of this fold may left to fan out, or may be sewn together using any of the stitches motioned above. The advantage of the Concertina binding is that it will open flat, even if the 'signatures' are made from thick materials, materials of varying thickness or are single sheets. The simplest Concertina (or Accordion) book is only a long strip of paper, folded into pages.

Non-adhesive bindings #8: Rare bindings

Japanese Journal - Springtime by GatzBcn Japanese Journal - Butterfly Dance by GatzBcn

- Japanese Retchoso Binding (Multisection Journal), where two threads cross over each other inside the section and when they exit, go into the next section without making any kind of knots.


Non-adhesive bindings #9: Contemporary single sheet sewings

In the past decade, several sewing methodes have been developed to bind together single sheets of thicker material. What they all have in common, is that they all have pierced holes at the spine side. These holes, however, are not binding holes like in signature sewings. The actual sewing happens in the hinges between the sheets, making the holes in the sheets merely places for the thread to loop through. Because the hinges are between the sheets, these books can open flat.
If you're interested in these kind of sewings I highly recommend Keith A. Smiith's Sewing Single Sheets, Volume 4 of his Non-Adhesive Binding series.

Adhesive bindings

Adhesive binding #1: Perfect bindings (or paperbacks, soft-cover books, rubber-back binding, double-fan binding)

A book bound with a perfect binding is a stack of papers hot-glued on one side. The cover is then folded around the stack and the glue is re-heated to make it stick to the spine. In some cases several slots are carved out of the spine surface to create a stronger bond. Perfect bindings are usually created by machines, however they can be made by hand using regular bookbinding glue by bending the stack of papers at the spine side in a way that a millimeter of every paper is exposed, glue the exposed surfaces and then bending it the other way and repeating the process. This is called 'Double-fan binding'.
A paper backed book can also consist of sewn signatures instead of a stack of loose papers.
There are a lot of tutorials on making paperback books by applying (hot) glue on a pressed stack of paper. In my experience, this won't result in a long lasting binding but can be easy and convenient.

Adhesive binding #2: Bound on boards

Styles-02 by Marenne
477235 10150747796505799 757467832 O by MarenneLooking for the whales by Jezamin

A book that has cardboard (or any other thick material) covers but not a cardboard spine is 'bound on boards'. The binding is done as a paperback binding with one exception, the book needs endpapers to attach the boards to the book block. The material that covers the spine is glued on the boards, covering it in its entirety or only an inch or so at the spine side. Sometimes the material that covers the spine is glued on the bottom of the board, if the board has a visual value.

Adhesive binding #3: Case bindings (or case wrapped books, hardcover books)

Styles-03 by Marenne
BMO Mini Book - Adventure Time by MyFebroniaCathedral notebook by edheene''Kanji'' Book by mbahSelfmade book for Chala by Himbeerschnee
A gift for a friend from Spain by cihanoguzdemirciWorld Travel Book: Steampunk Edition by Traumfaengerin-WishLeaves and roots by Drakonee
Cherry blossom wedding album by BlueShadowMMothersday book by picture-in-a-frame'Old Blouse'  Book by liesan
Tape by abimael83Any Colour You Like by abimael83Libretas, NoteBook, SketchBook, Encuadernacion by abimael83
This binding uses the word 'case' because the book block and the cover are created separately. The cover is then attached to the book block by 'encasing it'. The book block is glued to the cover with its endpapers. The resulting books look very similar to the German bound books but are less durable. Case bindings are the go-to bindings for graphic industry as well as the hand bookbinder because they look very professional and are relatively easy to produce.
This is also the adhesive binding that gives you the most creative opportunities. The 4 bindings below, if created traditionally, have some very strict guidelines to follow. Case bindings, however, can be covered with paper, cloth, leather, etc. They can have either flat or round spines. They can have headbands, bookmarks, pockets in the back and closures. There isn't any rule on how to bind the book block. Sometimes its sewn on tapes or ropes, sometimes its sewn with an unsupported stitch. You can read more on stitching methods in the non-adhesive binding section above.
When you're searching for bookbinding tutorials, chances are great you'll end up with a tutorial on making a case binding. Some tutorials use only basic materials, and some explain how to use advanced machinery. I recommend looking through a few tutorials before settling on one. There are many variations on how to make corners, what measurements to use, sewing techniques, cover materials etc.
Bookbind Tutorial by lenoki, deviantART tutorial
Bookbinding Tutorial by JamesDarrow, deviantART tutorial
Book Tutorial by Swashbookler, deviantART tutorial
How to bind a book by IsBreaLiomCaife, deviantART tutorial
The binding of Dogs of War by Marenne, deviantART tutorial
Miniature Book Tutorial by trixi-b, deviantART tutorial

Adhesive binding #4: German bindings (or Bradel binding, Bonnet binding, Bristol Board binding)

Styles-04 by Marenne
La legende de Melusine by VerteRillBradel Bound Journals by usagibrianBrown Millimeter Binding by Folksaga
Faelish by versarnwenThe book of Ada Byron by BlueShadowMA Camper Logbook by Marenne
Blue Birthday Journal by usagibrianBlack and White Journal by usagibrianparchemin by lilithofchaos

The German bindings most identifying marks are the deep grooves along the hinges of the book. They look very similar to case bindings but are constructed in a completely different fashion. Instead of encasing the book block with the finished cover, the cover-material will be added when the boards are already attached to the book block. Traditionally, the book block will always be sewn on cords or bands and the spine will be rounded. Traditional cover materials for this binding are cloth, imitation leather, parchment and luxury paper.

Adhesive binding #5: French bindings

Styles-05 by Marenne
nice one by KarrakasAstrology book by Joshua-MozesClassic French Binding by FolksagaLeather Notebook by Mitsukuni-Sempai
French Binding -  Grand Albert et Petit Albert by AtelierOcarinahFrench Binding by picture-in-a-frameModern Half Leather Binding with French Technique by Folksaga

The French binding's characteristic is the hinge on the outside of the book. In contrast to the German binding, there won't be any visible grooves at the hinges of a French binding because the boards are positioned tightly against the shoulder of the book (this is a fold in the signatures that can be created when the spine is rounded). Traditional French bindings will always be bound on ropes. They are covered with either leather or parchment (fully or only the corners and spine) and the spines are either smooth or enriched with fake ribs.
I haven't yet found any online tutorials on French bindings.

Adhesive binding #6: English bindings (or Classic binding, Gothic binding, Medieval binding, Renaissance binding)

Styles-06 by Marenne
Still learning the trade by MeliadhorBookbinding medieval style by Joshua-MozesMiniature book 27 by trixi-b
Ledger of the Cosmopolitan by BCcreativityLivre des Ombres - Book of Shadows by MilleCuirsRoyal Rapscallion by BCcreativityDream Catcher Healing Journal by BCcreativity

The English bindings most identifying marks are the real ribs on the spines, created by the thick ropes the signatures are sewn on. Just like the French binding, the English binding has no grooves at the hinges of the book. The ropes that hold the signatures together are woven through the thick cardboard (sometimes even wood) covers. This technique is really sturdy, as can be proven by many surviving monastery bibles still to be seen in musea and special libraries. If you're planning on making really thick and heavy books, this is the way to go. The traditional English binding will only be covered in leather or parchment. 
Text Block Construction by BCcreativity, deviantART tutorial

Adhesive binding #7: Springback bindings (or Ledger binding)

Styles-07 by Marenne
ap book by daveystardustSpringBack Journal by molsssGargyBook by myceliaetoxic rainbow book by daveystardust
Leather Springback Ledgerbook by pipedreamer78Eye Of Ra Book by versarnwenButterfly Journal by moberry-tea

The thing that makes a springback binding different from other adhesive bindings is the fact that when the book is opened, the spine of the book block will spring up, creating a gap between the enforced rounded spine of the book and the spine of the book block. The book, when opened, will lay perfectly flat. The hinges of these books will be farther away from the spines than those of other adhesive books. The basic bookbinding instructions are not very different from French or German binding, except where the spine is involved.

Adhesive binding #8: Overcast block sewing (or Whip stitch).

Globe Puzzle Dictionary Rebinding by MarenneBehind the eye of by MarenneCollectors Cookbook by Marenne

This sewing method is perfect when you have a stack of printed pages that need to become a normal book that can open flat down the middle and you think using only glue on the spine won't do. First, a thin layer of glue is applied to the spine side of the stack of papers. Next, a row of holes is drilled about 5 millimeters away from the spine of the books. 'Signatures' are then created by cutting off stacks of 6 to 10 pages. These signatures are then sewn together with a whip stitch. This process is extremely time-consuming but is the best way to create flexible book blocks from single sheets by sewing.

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kyomoncraft Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you for accepting me :-) 
Amber2002161 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I tried submitting my "Mew Papercraft" to this group twice already. And both times, the timer expired. Can I get an explanation as to why?
snazzie-designz Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2015   General Artist
My submissions to the group expired too. I guess the admins aren't active in the group at the moment?
structure-of-chaos Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer

Important news to all Origami fans!!! New scientific project called Origami BioBandage has been started! If you are interested in how two 18-years-old girls use CELL ORIGAMI method to revolutionize the medicine, you definitely must check out our fanpage…. Our project’s website will be published there tomorrow!

And merry xmas everyone :)

BlueTF Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014  Hobbyist
Hi. I meant to submit my deviation (Origami Handbag Collection) in the Origami folder, but there was something wrong with the Internet connection, so it's now in the Featured folder. I'm really sorry about this. Can the admins please remove my deviation? Thank you. 
AviZhu Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student Photographer
Thanks for accepting me in your group!
KiaSuee Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
Why is there nobody to moderate the papercut section? I'm always trying to upload some work in this folder but it always get's the update: "expired" after two weeks.. But whenever I check out the new deviantarts added to some groupes, there are "paper-arts"-updates in it.
akville Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013
Thank you for accepting :) :)
Marenne Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
So, I would love to help this group out, but I have no idea what I could do to help. I get only messages in my inbox. I'm a contributor but can't help on voting. What would you like me to do?
Otherwise, can I just become a member again?
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Professional
is anyone here voting on submissions? Cause mine just has expired for second time :/
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