New twist on ancient book craft

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 January, 2012, 12:00am


Books, notebooks and albums are all mass-produced in factories these days. But the traditional Italian handicraft of bookbinding still appeals to Louise Garnaut, founder of Bookworks in Sheung Wan.

Here, Garnaut demonstrates how to turn an average notebook into an exquisite hardback.

What you'll need:



Book cloth or binding tape

Double-sided tape

White glue


Cutting mat





1. To cover the spine, cut a strip of book cloth to the length of the notebook but five times its thickness. Apply glue to the cloth and fix it along the notebook's spine.

2. Take the cardboard and place the notebook, closed, against one edge. Draw a border with a 5mm gap around the other three edges. Cut along the border. Cut out a second identical piece.

3. Cover one side of each cardboard piece with double-sided tape. Flip them over and place double-sided tape only on the edges.

4. Cut out two pieces of fabric which are 1.5cm larger on each edge than the cardboard. Secure the fabric to the side of the cardboard covered with tape; make sure all air bubbles are pushed out. Fold the remaining fabric neatly under. Stick to the double-sided tape on the edges of the underside. Pinch the folded corners and trim.

5. Cover the notebook's front and back with double-sided tape, leaving the spine bare. Stick the fabric-covered cardboard on the front and back, leaving the spine uncovered so the notebook can be opened easily.