Quietfire Design's
Techniques Gallery

3-Hole Pamphlet Binding*
©2008 Suzanne Cannon

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  • 4 pieces of 8 1/2 x 11" text weight paper, such as photocopy paper or a bit heavier
  • 1 piece of 8 1/2 x 11" Cover or Cardstock
  • Bone Folder
  • Scor-it Board (if you have one)
  • Awl - make sure the diameter of the shaft of your awl does not change along the length of the awl
  • Book Cradle (if you have one)
  • Needle - these needles are blunt so you don't make new holes in your signature! I like Size 22 for most applications.
  • Thread - I like to use 4-ply waxed linen thread - it comes in so many wonderful colours! A 24" length will be plenty.
  • Ruler - with a metal edge
  • Pencil
  • X-acto knife

Piercing the holes in preparation for sewing.






Stitching Pattern

  1. Jog all the pieces of text paper together by tapping them on a table surface so they all line up at all corners. Now fold this packet of paper in half. You have created a signature.
  2. Fold the cover paper as you did the text pages (it may have to be scored to crease well - The Scor-it Board is an amazing tool for scoring paper) and wrap it around the outside of the text pages.You have created a small booklet!
  3. Traditionally in bookbinding, the holes are pierced before the book is sewn. Open the booklet to the middle page. Along the spine "trench", use a pencil to mark three dots.
  4. Put one dot in the middle, 4 1/4" from the top, one dot 1.5" from the top of the book (the head) and one dot 1.5" from the bottom (the tail).
  5. Hold the book together firmly (or lay the book in a book cradle, butting all the pages up to one end). Use an awl to pierce holes through all the pages and the cover at the dots.
  6. Thread your needle, single strand, no knot at the end. You may begin stitching from the inside or outside. If you begin on the outside, you'll have tails to attach charms and trinkets. Leave about a 3" tail.
  7. Begin stitching at 1 and continue following the illustration. Stitch through both the cover and the pages at the same time. When you have finished stitching, make sure you have one thread on either side of the thread that runs along the spine. Tie these in a Reef or Square knot. Basically, secure it so it doesn't come apart. Voila! You will never need another staple!
  8. If you have used a paper that is a different size by 8.5 x 11", then adjust the holes that are near the head and the tail, so that they are evenly spaced between the middle hole and the end of the book.
  9. You will notice that along the fore edge (the opening edge of the book) the pages will "creep" ahead and show outside the cover. To have all the pages align with the cover, hold your ruler along the edge of the cover and use an X-acto knife to cut off the offending text pages!
  10. Decorate and fill your book!

7-Hole Pamphlet Stitched Binding
for larger spines


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