book binding types Ways You Can Bind Your Scrapbooks

Here are some ideas and tips on how you can bind your own scrapbooks as you produce them.

Some Book Binding Background

The craft of bookbinding originated in India, where religious sutra were copied onto palm leaves (cut into two, lengthwise) with a metal stylus. The leaf was then dried and rubbed with ink, which would form a stain in the wound. The finished leaves were given numbers, and two long twines were threaded through each end through wooden boards. When closed, the excess twine would be wrapped around the boards to protect the leaves of the book. Buddhist monks took the idea through modern Persia, Afghanistan, and Iran, to China in the first century BC.” –   (For more information on the history of binding go to

Book binding methods continued to evolve.  Some of these earliest attempts to bind pages together was simply lacing a cord through holes placed through the pages of the manuscript.  This process became more mechanized as the centuries wore on.  Sometime in the 1950′s the punch-and-bind- systems came about.  As the years progressed, so did the development of the binding machines.  Today, you can buy inexpensive and simple to operate binding systems.  We’ll share a few ideas to help you.

If you choose to construct and bind your own scrapbooks there are a few things you should consider before you get started.  Understanding the different types of binding methods would be helpful.  Generally, most scrapbooks have a couple of elements you would want in the end product:  be sturdy, be large enough and allow for inclusion of additional pages.  As you consider your scrapbook take into account how big you want your book to be–dimensions: height, width and thickness.  Each of these factors will help determine which of the binding options are best suited for your project.  Obviously, smaller books have less hindrances to produce.  Here are some of the binding options you could use:

The first 5 methods presented here are ones you would normally have done by professional binding services.

Case Binding -

case book binding Ways You Can Bind Your ScrapbooksCase binding is the type of binding most commonly used in hardcover books.  This process is an expensive option, but has long lasting durability.  The binding process is stitching together stacked signatures (folded sheets multiple times to create 4, 8, 16 or 32 page portions).  The stacked signatures are then sewn together and glued into a spin (book backing) along with a front and back cover.  Advantages:  strength and durability; Disadvantages: Lacks flexibility to lay open flat and doesn’t allow for additional inclusion of pages.  Case binding is not generally considered the most viable option for scrapbooks.

Perfect Binding -

perfect book binding Ways You Can Bind Your ScrapbooksPerfect binding is similar to Case Binding–where books are created by using stacked signatures.  The primary difference is in the binding.  In Perfect binding the stacked signatures elements are generally glued directly to the spin without stitching, however, stitching can be used.  Paperback books are an example of Perfect Binding.  Much like the Case binding, Perfect bound books have a measure of durability, but  generally do not lay flat, and don’t accept inclusion pages.

Lay-Flat Binding -

lay flat book binding Ways You Can Bind Your ScrapbooksThe process of binding using the Lay-Flat method is similar to the Case and Perfect binding process except the use of a flexible glue used only on the edges of the spine allow the books to lie flat.  Cookbooks and technical manuals are examples of Lay-Flat bound books.   This method, like Case and Perfect binding does not allow for the inclusion of additional pages, and thus, is not considered a viable method for use in scrapbook bind–unless the size of the scrapbook is well designed and no additional page inclusion will be needed.

Saddle-Stitching -

saddle stitch book binding Ways You Can Bind Your ScrapbooksThis method of binding is similar to the previous three methods accept the signatures are nested one inside another versus being stacked one signature on top of another, and then stitched through the fold with thin wire staples.  This method is possible for completed scrapbooks with long term need in mind.  Saddle-stitched books can lie flat , but have no spine upon which a title could be printed.  These bound books are generally limited to no more than 80 pages.

Side-Stitching -

side stitch book binding Ways You Can Bind Your ScrapbooksSide stitched books are created and bound by assembling loose sheets of paper and stapling them together, or literally stitching them.  A cover can  enfold the bound stack and glued.  Depending on the bound thickness, the spine may be thick enough to allow for a side stitch book binding2 Ways You Can Bind Your Scrapbooksprinted title.  This method is not well suited for scrapbooks because the binding does not allow for the book to lie flat or for inclusion of additional pages.  Magazines or booklets, like National Geographic utilize this method of binding.

The next set of methods presented here are ones you could produce on your own (with the assistance of some simple tools), or purchased inexpensively from an office supply or craft store.

GBC Binding (sometimes referred to as comb binding) -

comb book binding Ways You Can Bind Your ScrapbooksOne of the advantages of this binding method is in the ability of the completed book to lie flat–something scrapbook crafters desire.  The binding process is fairly simple.  Holes are punched along the side where the binding is preferred.  A plastic comb (a cylinder with plastic fingers that are flexible to open) is inserted into the corresponding holes.  Another feature or benefit to paper crafters is the ability to add pages to the completed project.  Click here for more detailed information . . .

Wire-O Binding -

wire o book binding Ways You Can Bind Your ScrapbooksWire-O binding is a succession of  parallel looped wire affixed along a wire which are passed through holes punched in the stacked papers–similar to the GBC Binding method noted above.   This method of binding has size limitations for its use . . . less than for the GBC Binding method, but does allow for the addition of pages not to exceed its size limitation, or for a title to be placed on the binding.  This binding does allow for the completed project to lie flat when open.  Click here for more detailed information . . .

Wire Spiral Binding -

wire spiral book binding Ways You Can Bind Your ScrapbooksThe Spiral binding method is very similar to the Wire-O method accept a spiral wire is worked through the corresponding holes punched on one side of the project.  This binding does not allow being able to put a title on the binding–which could be a deterrent for some.  Click here for more detailed information . . .

Plastic Coil Binding -

spiral book binding Ways You Can Bind Your ScrapbooksThis binding method is the same as the Spiral Binding method noted above except a plastic spiral material is used versus wire which can be crushed.  The flexibility of the plastic gives the finished book a measure of versatility wire does not give, and you can select from a variety of colors.  If the wire spiral is crushed the opening and closing of the book is compromised.

Tape Binding -

tape book binding Ways You Can Bind Your ScrapbooksTape binding is a method, sometimes referred to as Thermabind or thermal tape binding,  is a process which uses a fabric tape strip that is pre-coated with a durable, heat–activated glue to hold or bind the pages together.  This type of binding is  not normally used in scrapbook binding.    The glue strip tape is wrapped around the front & back covers of the book block, extending to about a half-inch to an inch on the back and front sheets.  The glue strip is then heated to bond the tape to the book.  The best practice is to use a tape binding machine (The cost of a binding machine generally makes this process cost prohibitive for most scrapbook applications–but machines can be purchased for as little as $99.)  which centers your book’s binding edge on the tape, and completes the process by melting the glue. The material becomes bound once the glue has cooled.  Thermal tape binding strips come in a variety of colors and size ranges to accommodate a variety of book thicknesses from 3 to 600 sheets of 20 lb.  paper.  Click here for more detailed information . . .

Screw and Post Binding -

screw  post book binding Ways You Can Bind Your ScrapbooksThe Screw and Post Binding method is one most familiar to scrapbook crafters.  These books are the “backbone” of the scrapbook portfolio.  They can be purchased for a nominal cost.  Their drawbacks can be in the lack of being able to customize or personalize them and the capacity limits.  Creating your own book using the Screw and Post Binding method is not difficult.  The process is very similar to side stitching process, but metal post and screws are used to bind your papers.  One nice element to this type bound book is the ability to add or remove pages easily.  Click here for more detailed information . . .

Velo Binding -

velo book binding Ways You Can Bind Your ScrapbooksThe Velo Binding method is identified by the flat plastic strip which runs the length of the bound edge on both the front and back sides of the book.  Thin pegs attach the two plastic strips  through the pages of the book.  Click here for more detailed information . . .

Ring-binders -

ring bound book Ways You Can Bind Your ScrapbooksThe Ring-binder method is simple and straight forward.  Most of us are familiar with the ringed binders we use in school and at the office.  Usually made with 3 metal (sometimes plastic) rings enclosed in a cloth bound or vinyl cover.  Ring-binder’s are versatile and allow for ease in adding or removing pages.  These uncomplicated books can be purchased at a nominal price at many shops: craft, office supply, grocery stores, etc.

rollabind process1 Ways You Can Bind Your ScrapbooksRollabind is admired for its innovative binding systems, Rollabind has gained a following among multi-taskers searching for solutions that adapt to, rather than dictate, their lifestyles. Rollabind notebooks are used as diaries, personal journals, organizers, day planners and scrapbooks. Rollabind provides paper punches that allow you to create your own pages or insert any document into your notebook or scrapbook.   Click here for more detailed information . . .

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Ron on February 4th, 2011 | File Under Binder/Laminator, Scrapbooking | No Comments -