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  • Writer's picturecloudberryllc

Simple Japanese Binding Workshop – For Kids!

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

All Supplies are available at JoAnn Fabric and Crafts, Michaels and Hobby Lobby and of course Amazon

For large size books

  • Two sheets of heavy cardstock 12x12 (we will be cutting down)

  • 15-20 sheets of 8 ½ x 11 copy or sketch paper

For smaller books

  • One sheet of heavy cardstock 8 1/2 x 11

  • 10 sheets of 8 ½ x 11 copy or sketch paper


  • Awl

  • Bone folder

    • substitutes:

    • spatula,

    • plastic knife

    • butter knife

  • Needle

  • Thread (linen)

  • Substitutes

    • Tatting thread

    • Hand quilting thread

    • All purpose

  • Optional bees wax to wax thread

  • Ruler

  • Pencil

  • Clothespins or binder clips

Options for Child Version

  • Hole Punch (option if you are doing the child version)

  • Yarn (option if you doing the child version)

  • Or any thin material such as ribbon

If keeping the paper at 8 ½ x 11, I have provided measurements to punch the holes with an awl or a single hole punch. If using a 2 – 4-hole punch you may have to adjust your holes to evenly proportion your holes. A good short cut is to get a piece of paper and measure a ½ inch from the head and tail of the spine then measure or just fold the paper into 3 equal parts from those two points as show below. Also measure ½ away from the spine of your book.

Take your signature and cover sheet and knock the pages together at the spine, head and tail of the block, ensure that the pages remain flush. Use an awl or hole punch and use the template to mark your holes and punch through the signature and cover sheet. If needed divide your signature into multiples if they are too thick.

Cut thread or yarn about 72” for an 8 ½ x 11 book, if you are making another size measure out about four lengths of the spine of your book.

For the child version we will begin in hole one of the book, leaving around 4-6 inches to add decorations, the start and finish stitch will end up having four threads going through its hole while the remaining holes will encompass three. See diagrams for stitch order.

Stitch Order Template
Stitch order

1. Go up through hole 4

a. Over the head of book

b. Back through hole 4

c. Around spine

d. Down to hole three

e. Repeat steps b-e

Ensure that the thread is taught throughout the book making process. At the end of the stitches take your thread or yarn and knot the end you can add beads or whatever you would like to for decorations. Check out the YouTube video for visual instructions!

Let me know if you have any questions!

Stay Creative!


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