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The Pamphlet Two Ways!

Welcome back to class 2 Bookbinding Mondays! Today we are going over a quick review of a pamphlet stitch. I will be showing you two different stitching techniques, the first will be the three-hole (stitch) and the second will be the five-hole (stitch) pamphlet.

We are starting out with the pamphlet stitch as it is one of the first bookbinding fundamentals to learn prior to building text blocks. This is an extremely versatile method and gives you endless number of projects to have fun with!

We will start with the three- and five-hole stitch, the more sheets you have the more stitches you will want to enforce the spine of your pamphlet. Below I have added material and standard measurements for a 5 ¾ x 8 ¾ pamphlet.

Here is the youtube video I posted to follow along with with a review of the materials and further below is detailed instruction:

Pamphlet Materials –

  • Paper: 20/50 (75 gsm) multi-use paper 70 Ib(100 gsm) paper, cut down to 8.5 x 11

  • 3-hole stitch – 10 sheets of paper

  • 5-hole stitch – no more than 15 sheets


  • One sheet 80 -120 lb cardstock or decorative cardstock – they come in 12x12 pads at your local are stores

​Bone folder





  • Irish Linen Thread

  • Unwaxed

  • Lightly wax

  • Doubled All Purpose Thread

  • Tatting Thread

  • Crochet Thread

  • Embroidery Thread


Sewing Needle


Sharp Edge:

  • X-ACTO Knife

  • Box Cutter

  • Scalpel

  • Paper Cutter/Guillotine

You can create your folios one by one or create a signature of 4-5 sheets. This is done by folding the sheets of paper in half with a bone folder or equivalent. Ensure that the fold is nice and crisp. Once this is done, combine your signatures to make one text block of 10+ pages. “Knock” the sheets together to try and get the sheets as even as possible.

The cover can be cut down to the same exact size of the sheets or you can make the allowance to be a ¼ inch around as shown in the video.

Depending on the size of the signature:

  • Select a template and mark the holes inside the middle fold.

  • Use awl to puncture the holes from the inside to the outside of the signature.

Use cutting tool to create a clean edge of the pamphlet if pages are uneven.

Measure thread to about 2-3 times the length of the spine of your pamphlet.

Pull your thread thru the center hole from the inside of the pamphlet, leaving a tail about 2-3 inches long. Go up and over to the second hole, skip the center hole, poke your needle up thru the third hole and back down through the center hole. Ensure that the thread is not pierced as this will prevent you from tightening your stitches.

Tie a simple knot or a reef knot to complete the pamphlet. This is done by securing the thread over the base thread tying the ends with the over und and under over procedure, trim the tail within one inch of the knot.

The 5 Hole stitch is done within the same manner:

The order of stitches for the 5 hole stitch would be:

· Center = 1

o 1-2

o 2-3

o 3-3

o 2-4

o 4-5

o 5-4

o 4-1(center)

It is not as daunting as it seems and fairly easy when you get the hang of it.

Please ask any questions if you have any and check out the video below, here are the templates for the holes. An easy way to create the 3 hole template yourself is to take a scrap piece of paper the size of your spine, fold it in half then fold it in half again. Now you have three perfectly spaced holes!

pamphlet stitch template
Download PDF • 1.23MB

Stay Creative!



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