Handmade Monday: Japanese Stab Binding Notebook with Doodled Cover

Happy Monday! As promised, I spent a little time this weekend turning some doodled pages of a favorite book into the cover of a 5.5 in x 4.25 in notebook.  The notebook is bound in Japanese stab binding style and it was so easy to make this time around. Why? Well, I’m a big advocate of being creative with the materials you have and finding a way to make it work, but I can’t deny this fact: IT’S SO MUCH EASIER TO DO A JOB WHEN YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TOOLS! It really is. For this project, I put my genuine Japanese screw punch (pictured at the left in the photo below) to work,  (I was warned not to be fooled by the inferior imitations, so this one is the real deal!) and it absolutely expedited the whole process.


This punch really is a bit of a beast. It makes a beautiful cut through multiple sheets of paper, binder’s board, or leather (apparently…I haven’t tried that one). It also comes with nine different interchangeable punch bits of different sizes, ranging from 1.0 mm to 5.0 mm. For this project, I chose the 1.5 mm screw punch bit and it worked quite nicely. I goofed slightly with the paper cutting, so I did have to use my awl (pictured in the center of the photo above) to expand some of the holes a bit, but apart from user error, the screw punch did a great job. I think it’s going to earn it’s keep! Okay, enough of that. On to some photos of the finished project!

To give the cover some extra thickness, I glued two book pages together before doodling on the front side. The inside of the cover is unaltered text, no doodling. I think that lends a nice literary touch. Honestly, I didn’t love the way the doodling looked on the full page, but I think the book is cute, so all’s well that ends well :). I also turned a scrap of extra paper from the page into a tiny bookmark, pictured below!


Here is a doodle close-up shot…


Another look at the bookmark…


And a slight variation I threw into the binding, double looping the two middle holes.


Next time I think I’ll do a little research and find a more complex binding pattern. I’ve seen some beautiful variations out there and I’d love to give them a try! Any suggestions?



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