Today I want to show you three easy ways to make a book. These are super simple bookbinding techniques that use everyday materials like index cards and rubber bands. But the resulting handmade books are an adorable start for a million creative writing, drawing, journaling endeavors!
One thing I love about these particular bookbinding techniques is that the materials they require are so simple. There’s no awl to punch through layers of card stock or sharp needle. (Although I love those bookbinding methods too!)
I’ve got three methods to show you so you won’t need all of these supplies for every type of handmade book. But I know you’ll want to try them all!
Here’s what you’ll need to make your book…
-Rubber bands- different sizes and colors
The simplest of the simple bookbinding for kids…
This method of making a book is the simplest and also my favorite. It’s so clean and easy- and adorable. Start with any size and variety of index cards. Play around with your combinations a bit as this will add a lot of variety to your books. These are so easy I know you’ll want o make more than one.
Four index cards is a nice amount. Too many will make it hard to cut through the layers. Fold each index card in half separately. This give a more accurate fold than doing them all at once and it only takes an extra minute! Then place all index cards inside each other, like a book.
Give your book a spine….
This step is the same for every single book making method I describe here. Use a ruler or a straight edge and place it about 1/2″ from the folded edge. (This measurement can vary depending on the size of your book.) Fold all the layers to create a crease. Turn the book over and fold the crease the other direction. This sharp crease will allow the book pages to open and close easily.
Make a rubber band book…
This bookmaking method is the simplest of the simple. All you need is index cards, rubber bands, and a scissors.
Cut a tiny notch though all layers of your book, right on the crease. Make another cut about 1/4″ closer towards the spine of the book. Make a small cut to remove that tiny chunk of the book spine. This is a spot for the rubber band book binding to rest. Do the same thing at the other end of the spine of the book. Stretch a rubber band, laid flat, from one notch to the other.
That’s it! You made a hand made book!
Make a bamboo skewer book….
I love the look of this book- so simple and neat! All you need to make this book are index cards, a bamboo skewer, a hole punch, and a rubber band.
Start by folding index cards in half, one at a time. Stack up the index cards and fold to create a sharp crease at the spine as shown above. Measure the skewer to about the height of the book, or slightly less and trim off excess with sharp scissors,
Use a paper punch to punch a hole at each end through all the layers of the book. I punched a hole through four folded index cards but this may take a bit if experimenting to see what your paper punch is capable of!
Thread one end of a rubber band up through a punched hole. Loop it around one of the skewer to hold it and keep it from popping back through! Pop the other end of the rubber band up through the bottom hole and loop over the other end of the skewer.
On one side of the book you’ll see only rubber band. I think of this as the back. On the front you should see see the bamboo skewer, anchored my rubber bands.
Paper clip and rubber band books…
These rubber band bound books start the same as the other two books. Fold your set of index cards in half, crease sharply. Stack all the pages together and use a straight edge to create a sharp crease along the spine of the book. This will allow the pages to open easily.
Use a paper punch to punch holes through all the layers at each end of the book, on the spine. Thread a rubber band up from the back of book through each hole. Instead of hooking the rubber bands around the bamboo skewer, as in the last book, this one uses a paper clip to anchor the rubber bands.
Thread the rubber band around the paper clip and then so the same with the other end of the rubber band and adjust!
Why index cards…
Index cards tend to be made of heavier than average paper, more like card stock. The weight of the index cards holds up well to being folded and punched and doesn’t buckle under the rubber band binding. Making these books from copy weight paper would probably result in crumpled books!
Using index cards means you’re starting with paper already perfectly cut to size and you get to skip the measuring and cutting step! If you don’t have index cards substitute any card stock cut to a small-ish size!
Ideas for using your handmade books….
These little books make such a fun place to write and illustrate little stories, practice spelling words, sketch, or even math facts!
The index cards you choose for your hand made books will have a huge impact on what they’re suited for. I love these colorful striped index cards. The resulting little books would be perfect for keeping lists or practicing words.
But my favorite find in this book making project is these grid index cards. They fold up and make perfect miniature bullet journals. And… index cards now even come in the “dot grid” pattern so popular in bullet journaling. Come on…tiny, adorable, handmade, bullet journals!