Headbands: Handbook of a bookbinder

Second series of headbands.

This is the book where I’ve tried not to do anything fancy.


It’s very light and fresh, with a yellowy leather back and blue endpapers. I eventually decided (after much inner debate – so much debating went on in my head), for a creme and dark blue alternating headband, nothing fancy.

I do think they came out alright. On to the next one! I have something special planned for it..


Headband: Dante pt. 2

I found some time to do the other golden side of my Dante book. I didn’t damage it too much. Just a few bumbs near the head of the book. I’m relatively pleased about it all. Just made a small mistake with one of the pearls of the dark grey thread.


Headbands: Dante

I’ve finished one headband of my Dante book. The colours are black, gold, dark grey and lighter grey. Now I’m left to decide wether or not I will make the top one matching or if I will make it in a completely different order of colours..


Headbanding: cores

Just look at that, two posts in one day!

Nothing fancy. Just making the cores of my headbands. Not sure if I use the same method everyone else uses.


I use cigarette paper, sewing thread, some paste and two pieces of cardboard. I made 4 sizes today, with different widths of the cigarette paper.

They’re now drying on my radiator while I’m debating colour choices.

Edge gilding

I’ve been a bit absent. Every time I thought about posting something, I was too busy sewing (clothes). Of course, I could show you those results, but then I’d have to make pictures of me in sewn clothing..

I’ve also fallen behind in bookbinding class, but I’ve finally done all of my edges. I chose a golden, graphite and one other thing with beeswax I don’t know the name of in English. Roughly translated it would be an ivory edge. But that sounds weird, doesn’t it?


Don’t they look pretty?

The ivory one is actually done on all three edges of the book. I messed up while sewing and got a bloodstain on the bottom edge. So if I chopped that one off, I had to do all three sides.

There is actually a very small bloodstain on the bottom of the graphite one, but it’s hardly noticeable because the book has lots of pictures in it, that change the colour of the edge anyway. Don’t ask me why I keep on sticking needles in my fingers while sewing.

Now it’s time for headbands! Or maybe pizza and ice cream..

Paste paper-ing!

I’m binding a copy of 1984 by George Orwell in class this semester (among two other books, but they haven’t had any exciting developments, not that this is too exciting). And I couldn’t find any matching endpapers. The marbles were too marble-y. Blank papers were too boring. I just wanted something special and matching.

It had to fit with the images in the book (that are gorgeous):

I mixed up three basic colours to work with. Green, red, brownish grey and some paste:

The process went in different stages.


It ended up being quite brown and darkish. But the red is still quite prominent with a few green tints around.

The paper is now drying on a crate in my kitchen.

Binding of: English Literature in the Earlier Seventeenth Century 1600-1660 by Douglas Bush (pt. 4)

After letting my book dry for a day, it was time for a little photoshoot in daylight.


Keep in mind that the book isn’t finished yet. I still need to do a lot. Also, the blotches you see on my book are not my fault! It’s just that my calf had some spots. Which is totally ok.


The only thing that I’m not sure about are my headbands and how the leather is attached there. IMG_3729

You can see what I attempted to make here, I’m just not sure if I succeeded. For some reason they were a lot easier to make last year!


My turn-ins are also not my best work. My leather stretched to much that I ended up with a lot more on one side..


At least there is one thing I can still be proud of, my headbands! Aren’t they pretty?


Any advice, tips, critique; it’s all welcome!