The art of bookbinding is a slow and meditative process. It’s a wonderful skill to learn, giving you total control over the physical aspects of your books from covers to spines. And if you’re a sentimental person who likes to save paper ephemera, bookbinding is a great way to stitch together beautiful journals of all your treasures. The process requires several specialized tools that you can buy individually—like a bone folder for creasing papers—but it’s easier and more cost effective to buy them in a set. Our picks will help you decide on the best kit for your needs and budget.
1. We R Memory Keepers Bookbinding Guide
While this bookmaking kit doesn’t come with paper or cover boards, you will have many—if not all—of the tools you need to put together your boards and finished pages. The set includes a bookbinding guide, awl, curved and straight needles, waxed thread, instructions, Japanese stitching templates, and a storage pocket to in which to tuck everything away. With this kit, you’ll be ready to produce the Great American Novel. That is, as long as you’ve already written it . . .
2. Shizen Design Bookmaking Kit
With this kit, the only extra materials needed are decorative paper or fabric to cover your creation with. Other than that, it’s all in the box. Included are 72 sheets of paper, a spine, and cover boards to protect the interior pages. The cotton-based materials are 100 percent recycled and handmade in India. For an old-world feel, each of the included interior pages boast a deckle edge.
3. Lineco Bookbinding Tool Kit
This kit includes all the necessary tools to begin your bookmaking journey. Lineco is a tried-and-true brand, so it’s a sure bet that the tools will work well and stand the test of time. This kit is aimed at beginners (who will need to supply their own papers), but included are two different-size awls, a 6-inch bone folder, ?-inch bristle brush, three bookbinding needles, 10 yards of linen thread, and beeswax for the thread.
4. Arnold Grummer Zig-Zag Book
This bookmaking kit is perfect for teachers, as it includes enough materials to make 12 books at a very reasonable price. Because it doesn’t require specialized tools, binding, or stitching, it’s an easy and crafty way for children to create their own books. The papers are heavyweight and acid free, and sturdy chipboard covers are also provided.
5. Sax Spiral-Bound Sketchbook Making Kit
When choosing how you want to bind your creation, consider a spiral binding—a clean and easy way to join the pages of your book. This kit comes with plenty of materials for up to 30 books, including 30 black plastic spirals, 1000 pages of 6-by-9-inch 80-pound paper, 30 black binding coils, and 60 chipboard covers.