Make a Leather Wrap Sketchbook

June 24, 2018

Have you ever wanted to make a leather book? Now you can. Here's how.

 First, here's what you'll need.

- your leather cover

- graph paper for drawing where your stitching holes go

- waxed linen thread

- pencil

- hole punch


 First cut out out the cover. Lay the text block down on the leather. Then move the text block along until you have 2½ or 3 widths. That's your width.


For the height measurement cut close to the top and bottom of the block. See the 3 leather covers and the text block (white paper below).


Fold your cover in 3 to give yourself an idea of what your book will look like. Resist the urge to stop while you're ahead.


 You want to make a pattern for the stitching. I use graph paper to mark the holes with. The graph paper is great for keeping the lines straight and the holes even. Don't just draw the holes on the leather. Graph paper you can throw away if you make a mistake. Leather.. not so much.


 HINT - I use mylar to cover my stitching pattern. It won't smudge and will last forever. After you punch the holes you can use just the mylar for punching holes in the leather. This way you can see exactly where you're punching.


1 - Mylar

2 - graph paper

3 - mylar stuck on graph paper using adhesive dots


When you're punching holes keep them small. The stitching  will look tidier.


Where do I punch the darn holes?


Lay your pages down on the far left edge of the leather (the straight edge).  Directly to the right of the text block is your first line of holes. With each line move further away from the text block.


You'll need a line of stitching for each signature (group of folded papers).


 Use your punching pattern as a guide to punch holes in the signatures. Make certain that the guide and signature are snug against the top of the punching cradle. Otherwise the holes will be uneven. Think waves.




 Thread should be the height of the book x number of rows. I have 6 rows so the length will be height of the book x 6. I always add a little bit extra.


 About ½" from the end tie a knot. Then starting from the outside of the book put needle through leather and 1st signature, then back out again. You'll see the stitching pattern start to appear. At the bottom of that row the needle should be outside the leather. Put your needle through the next hole and start up the 2nd row.


 Once you're back at the top again you'll see the tail from the first row. Use the 2 threads to tie a knot, then start on your 3rd row. Carry on until you've reached the end.


 Good luck and let me know how it turned out. If you have photos of your creation send them along and I'll publish a gallery at the end of this post.





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