Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pocket Pamphlet Stitch Tutorial

Who can resist a sweet little blank book?  I can't.

My little book obsession dates back to early childhood.  I loved to create little books out of scraps.  While my "itsy bitsies" (as my mom so lovingly called my creations) embedded themselves into the bronze shag carpeting, I continued to snip away on my bed as a makeshift studio.

The pamphlet stitch is the easiest of stitch bindings.  In its basic form, it is a 3-hole stitch, but can be made into a five or seven-hole stitch for taller books. I make these little pocket pamphlet books for gifts or to stuff in my own purse.  Colored wax linen thread is terrific to stitch with but you can use embroidery floss, dental floss, thin ribbon or twine.  This measure should be about 12”- 14”.

You can punch holes with a Japanese screw punch, an awl, or a small hole punch.  If using a small hole punch you have to be a little creative and punch the pages while folded at the spine to be able to reach. Using an 1/8” hole makes it easy to stitch without a needle!

1.      For the text pages I cut and stack 8 ½” x 11” text weight paper in quarters. The text page measures 5 ½” w x 4 ¼”.  Fold and crease with a bone folder or a (used) gift card to get a sharp crease.  This is a folio.  Stack about six.

2.      The cover paper is fashioned from a piece of cardstock or weighty scrapbook paper.  My measurement is 5 ¾” x 4 ½”.  I like my height of the book flush with the pages, the extra ¼” to the width allows for the text block.  Crease with bone folder.

3.      Align text pages in cover.  On the spine, measure and punch through all layers a center hole, and a hole on either end about 3/4” in. 

4.      Follow the diagram above.  Begin pulling the thread to the inside from the outside center hole – leave a tail.  Go to either hole and exit to the outside again – now skip the center hole and enter in the remaining hole.  Exit through the center.  The two ends should be on either side of the center long stitch.  The process looks like a pretzel formation.

5.      Adjust the tails, making one short and one that will be long enough to wrap around to the front of the book. Double knot and snip.

6.      Now for the fun part.  Add a closure for the front so the little book can have a wrap and close.  You can use a decorative brad or a circular disk attached with a grommet.  Add a little embellishment to the end of the string and bring it around the front of the book to close.

There are lots of possibilities with this little book.


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