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Bridesmaid Booklets DIY Tutorial

Some of you may remember these booklets I shared earlier in the year that I created for all the bridesmaids in my friend’s upcoming wedding.  All of the girls loved them and thanks to all your sweet comments, they were a big hit on the blog as well.  Since that post, I have been meaning to write up a tutorial, sharing the process I took to put these together. 

Just recently I was contacted by a bride who loved the idea of the booklets and wanted some advice so she could make them for her DIY wedding.  Instead of writing everything out in an email just for her, I decided to post a tutorial and share it with everyone.  So here is my tutorial for the bridesmaid booklets (long post to follow).  Not interested in making bridesmaid booklets?  Use this same process to make programs, cards, or little notebooks…anything that you want to bind paper together.  For this example, I sized it 4"x5" but follow the same steps for any sized booklet.  My original booklets were about 5 ½” x 8 ½”.  

What you’ll need:

◦ posterboard

◦ metal-edge ruler & x-acto knife

◦ bookcloth – I got mine from Paper Source, they have many different color options

◦ pencil

PVA glue

◦ sponge brush

◦ bone folder

◦ decorative paper, for example Paper Source’s Japanese Yuzen paper

◦ cardstock to print the booklet pages out on

◦ heavy duty thread – I used button & carpet thread

◦ needle

◦ scissors

Cut down two pieces of posterboard to the desired size of your booklet, my two pieces are 4” x 5”.

I used white bookcloth that I found from Paper Source.  Cut the bookcloth down to size.  I left a ½” border around the posterboard pieces.  I also left an ⅛” gap in the middle of the posterboard (to provide space for the pages you’ll insert later).  So my bookcloth was cut down to about 9 ⅛” x 6”.  Use pencil to mark where the posterboard will be placed (I showed these guidelines in blue).

I bought this special bookbinding glue from Paper Source.  Apply it with a sponge brush.  If you keep this glue in a dark place it should keep for months and you can use it for all kinds of paper projects later.  

Crop the corners of the bookcloth at a 45 degree angle.  Using the pencil marks as a guideline, fold over the flaps on all four sides.  Use a bone folder to create crisp edges.

Dab PVA glue onto one of the posterboard pieces.  Place the posterboard onto the bookcloth.  Apply pressure with your hands.  Glue the other posterboard piece and place on the bookcloth as well.

Run your bone folder over the bookcloth to help bind the posterboard and bookcloth together and to smooth out the surface.  Place this underneath a few heavy books for awhile to let dry.

Apply glue to the flaps.  Fold the flaps over and hold in place, applying even pressure with your hands.  Also use the bone folder to smooth out the surface.  

Find some kind of decorative paper to use as an inner liner for the booklets.  Paper Source has a huge selection of Yuzen fine papers that work perfectly for this.  The paper I used was the White Swirls on Blue Paper.

Cut the decorative paper down to size.  It will need to be slightly smaller than the bookcloth/posterboard cover.  For example, mine was about 7 ⅞” x 4 ¾”.  Dab the back of the paper with glue.  Dab it carefully because the paper is delicate.  Apply it to the back of the booklet cover (covering up the posterboard).  Smooth it out with the bone folder.  Run the bone folder in the center (between the posterboard pieces) to create the crease.

Print out your pages onto cardstock (my cardstock was left white for this example).  Cut them down to size if need be and fold them in half.  Place them inside of each other.

For sewing the cardstock into the cover, I used heavy-duty thread that I got at a local fabric store.  I used Coats & Clark Button and Carpet thread.

Place your pages inside of the cover.  Cut a long length of thread and thread it through a needle.  Do not tie a knot at the end of the thread.

On the front of the bookcloth cover, at the seam, mark three dots with pencil.  One mark should lie in the center and the other two should be ½” away from the edges (shown in blue).  

From the outside, insert the needle at the center dot.  The paper is thick but you should be able to push it through with your fingers.  Pull the needle up from the inside but don’t pull the thread all the way through.  Leave a tail of it for tying off later.  

Bring the needle down through the top dot (shown as #1).  Then bring the needle back up through the middle dot again (#2).  Then bring the needle down through the bottom dot (#3).  

Once again you’ll want to insert the needle back through that center dot from the outside.  I did these steps twice so that the binding would hold the book together.

Come up through the middle (#1) and back down at the bottom dot (#2).  Come straight up the middle again (#3) and then thread through at the top dot (#4).

You’ll come up through the middle one more time.  Thread the needle underneath the binding and push the needle back out the center dot.

Tie the two thread ends into a double knot and then tie into a bow.  Fold the booklet up.  It may be a little stiff and want to stay open but leave it under some books overnight to keep it closed.

And there you have it!  You can make your own little booklets now, whether it is for your bridesmaids, your wedding, or just for yourself.  Did all of that make sense?  The threading the needle part may have been a bit confusing.  Feel free to ask me about any parts that were unclear.  

I know this was a long post but hopefully this will help some of you in crafting booklets in the future.  The process really isn’t too difficult and if you are making multiples, you will get in a rhythm after one or two.  Good luck and feel free to share your results with me if you make your own booklets!  Happy Thursday!                 

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Reader Comments (3)

One thought: this is FABULOUS!!! I cannot thank you enough for posting this beauty!! I love love love it, and cannot wait to start this DIY for my girls!

July 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercasey

This is so wonderful and we've bookmarked this tutorial! As always, fun project, Lauren!

July 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAleah + Nick Valley

This is great tuttorial. Thanks a lot.

July 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMädchen für alles

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