Bind Your Grimoire

Needed:

  • Binding board or heavier stock paper from a craft store (you can wrap the cover in cloth, securing the cloth with good PVA glue)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Scoring tool
  • Binder clips or similar clamps
  • Heavy book, chopping block, or brick

If you are planning on using glue to bind, use a heavy brush and PVA (polyvinyl acetate or adhesive) glue, which is the most durable. If you want to avoid chemicals, use another more natural type of paste or glue

If you’d rather not use glue to bind, use a cord or ribbon (red or your favorite color). You’ll need a drill or hole punch and a template for placing the holes. Mark them with a pencil

Decide on the material for your cover.

Cut two equal size pieces that are slightly larger than the pages of the book.

Measure about one-quarter inch from the edge of each piece and score lightly so your book will open and close easily.

Set aside a strip of the cover material or an extra sheet of paper to use for covering the spine.

Assemble all of your pages and front and back covers in a stack and clam them together firmly with binder clips or clamps. It is very important to stack the pages very neatly, for they will be permanently assembled in the configuration you have them in now. Any adjusting should be done at this point or you will have crooked pages in your book. Also, put small pieces of wood under the clamps so you do not have clamp marks on your cover.

Line up the pages so that the edge of the stack is hanging slightly over the edge of the table you are working on. This edge will become the spine of the book.

Use a heavy book or brick to weigh down the pages and keep them still. Note: If you are not going to use glue to make the spine, skip to step 12 for instructions on binding with ribbon.

With a brush, spread glue very thickly along the edges of the pages at the spine. Allow sufficient time for the glue to dry thoroughly.

The spine should be the same length as the cover of your book and three times the thickness of your book. You can determine the thickness of your book by measuring the total height of the stacked pages. Multiply this number by three, and you will get the correct width of the spine. Draw two parallel lines with a pencil on the inside of the spin (the side you intend to glue onto the book so the pencil marks will not show), dividing the spin into three equal parts. These lines will be your scoring guide.

Score the cover material along the edge of a metal ruler with your scoring tool. Be careful not to cut through the spine; just score it deep enough so that it can be easily folded.

Glue the strip along the edge of the book so that the previously glued area is completely hidden. Allow the spine cover to dry, and your book is bound.

If you prefer to try another binding technique, you can use cord or ribbon. This method does not require a spine. After the pages are clamped, punch or drill holes along one side of your book. If you are using a hole punch, first make a template so all the holes will be the same distance from the left edge of the pages. Do not attempt to punch holes through the template, but use the template to mark in pencil where the holes should be on each page, and then punch them out individually. This will make the holes more accurate, and your finished book will be more attractive. If power tools are your thing, you can drill very slowly through the clamped stack and achieve the same result in less time. Be sure your pages are securely clamped together so that none of them slip while you’re drilling.

Use a ribbon or cord that is five times the length of your book. You can use a red cord to symbolize your connection to the Great Mother or your favorite color, or any other ribbon, cord, or sturdy thread that pleases you. Push the ribbon through the first hole at the top of the book, leaving a tail of two inches or more.

With the tail in place, weave the ribbon through the remaining holes. When you reach the end, wrap the ribbon around the bottom and go back again through the hole you just used. Continue weaving the ribbon back through the holes up to the top, envisioning the spiral dance of the Goddess as you go.

Once the ribbon is through the last hole, wrap it tight around the top, as you did at the bottom, and tie it together with the tail end.

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