DIY Kettle Stitch Bookbinding Tutorial | Sea Lemon

DIY Kettle Stitch Bookbinding Tutorial | Sea Lemon

Hello! It’s Jennifer from Sea Lemon A few years back, I think it was in like 2012, I uploaded a video on how to make a text block for case binding Many of you have used that tutorial for your casebinding projects and also a lot of you have mentioned that it’s kind of hard to follow The video is sped up and it’s really not that easy to see the stitching i have since then improved my editing and video quality so moving forward, I plan to do more casebinding projects in the future and I want to link back to this video to help you understand the stitching portion of case binding You can still refer back to the past video but this video will have a more in-depth focus on just the stitching and binding method itself Kettle stitch binding is most commonly used for case bound books and the stitching portion is done before the glue is added to the spine to make the entire text block There are many variations of kettle stitch binding and this is sort of my own variation which i found works well throughout the years I’ve been bookbinding it helps the book stay flexible so its easy to open and lay flat My variation is very similar to coptic stitch binding so if you’re already familiar with that, most likely you will find this easy as i mentioned before this tutorial is just on the stitching portion of making a textblock and if you want the specific page and, uh, hole measurements and all of the stuff going into making the complete book, that will be in another tutorial specific to that book project and I have all of these book projects in this bookmaking playlist right here and you can apply this stitching to any of the casebound book projects in that playlist and this list will continue to grow as I add more book projects to it Alright, let’s get started With my pages I already folded in half and grouped into signatures with all the binding holes made I’m going to stitch the signatures together with regular sewing thread Then, I’m going to double thread a regular sewing needle I prefer a thinner thread like this when I’m case-binding Because you have the glue and the cover going over the spine So you don’t really want a bulky text block to estimate the amount of thread I like to work with about 2 feet of length at a time Otherwise, more than that just becomes really tangled and unmanageable It’s okay to run out of thread while you’re stitching your book And I’ll show you how to tie that off and fix that once we get into the binding Tie a knot at the end of your thread And start with your first signature on the bottom Keep the other signatures in the same order so that you can place them on top when you’re ready to bind them on Sew through the first hole on that signature And out the second Then, through the next hole If you notice your thread tangling a lot Don’t get too frustrated, just stay patient and go slowly and untangle it. If you pull slowly, you’ll notice that it doesn’t tangle as much You will run into tangles and if it really frustrates you You might want to consider waxing your thread before you bind with it The bee’s wax will smooth over the fibers so that it will sew a little easier and it won’t tangle as much Continue sewing through the remaining holes You want to pull the thread enough so that there is no slack on your lines of thread but not too much that it will rip through the holes of your page The amount of tension is kind of a thing you just learn through practice and experience And you’ll get the hang of it once you start binding a lot more When you reach the last hole, go through it as you did with the others and return it to the previous hole on the inside and you’re going to weave back through the previous holes until you get to the very first one This is just like saddle stitch binding where there is a line of thread between each binding hole When you get to the first binding hole knot on the end, return the needle back
through it and tie a knot on the line of thread next to it so you’re just looping
the needle underneath it and then returning it back around to make the knot.
Then, return the needle back to the outside and pull on the thread until the
knot from the inside pulls to the outside so then you should have both
knots on the outside of the signature then add another signature on top and
stitch through the first hole and back out the next one just like you
did before but this time you’re going to sew the needle behind the thread below it and back up behind the thread next to it so you’re stitching a loop around
that binding hole below it Then, return the needle back into that signature. Pull
the thread through and then repeat that same process on the next binding hole.
Going behind the thread underneath it, behind the thread on the other side, pull
the thread through and back into the signature. Repeat that same process on
the rest of the holes on that signature this can depend on your preference but
some people find it easier to bind with the pages all laid flat on a table you
can also hold all of the signatures up and bind like this if you find that
easier I tend to do a little bit of both I start on the table and then sometimes
hold it up like this either way it’s up to you when you reach
the last hole pull the thread through and go underneath that thread alongside
of it just like you did with the others but this time you’re going to return the
needle back into a new signature and from there you’re going to stitch the
entire row of binding holes on that third signature. Return the needle back
to the outside and you’re always going to go underneath the previous signature
stitch so in this case it’s the second signature stitches so it’s not those
lines of thread it’s the stitch right above those. Return the needle back into
the inside of the signature and repeat that on the next one.
Sometimes the needle can fit through the stitch just like this and you don’t have
to flip through the pages to find its way out if you have a curved needle that
will make the looping round process a lot easier
but as I’m showing here you can also make it work with just a regular
straight sewing needle. here’s a close-up of that one more time so going behind
the previous signature stitch pulling the thread through and returning the
needle back into the signature. When you reach the last
hole sew through as you did with the last ones. Go behind the previous signature
stitch, pull the thread through and return the needle into a new signature
and continue on just like you did with the previous signature and always
looping behind the previous signature stitchh When you get to a point where you
don’t have a lot of thread left and you’re still binding your book usually
around this length, I like to tie it off On the inside, make a knot on the line of
thread next to your stitch, Pull it toward the stitch so that it’s on the
end right there and then return the needle back to the outside. You want the
knot on the outside so pull that thread until you feel a little pop and you can
trim that piece of thread off. Double thread your needle with new thread. Tie a
knot on the end and return the needle back into that same binding hole where
you left off and continue binding on that signature. You can tie off your
thread and start with a new threaded needle for as many times as you need to.
It’s okay to have those little ends of thread on the spine of your book. When
you reach the last signature continue with the same binding process and when
you get to the last hole, pull the thread through, loop the needle behind the
previous signature stitch, back into that signature and tie the thread off in a
knot on the inside of the signature. Return the needle back to the outside
and pull the thread all the way through until you feel that knot pop to the
outside so it’s nowhere on the inside of the signature. If the ends of the thread
on the outside of your book are a little too long, you can trim those but don’t
worry too much about the length because they will be glued down to the spine of
the book and now you have a text block with a Kettle stitch style binding From here, you can add glue to the spine and continue on with the case binding
process and don’t forget that you can apply this to any of my case bound
projects and you can find all of those in that playlist. There should be an
annotation up here and I will also include that link in the description
below. Give this video a like if you found this helpful and if you follow me
on my social links, I would love that and I would love to see your project
pictures with a hashtag Sea Lemon. I love seeing
your pictures you guys are like bookbinding machines ,it’s crazy and I
love seeing it so follow me on those and more bookbinding projects are on the way
so make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss any of those .If you want to
jump into another binding project, check out one of these right here. Links will
be in the description below. Feel free to comment below what book binding projects
you want to see on this channel and I will see you guys next time.

100 thoughts on “DIY Kettle Stitch Bookbinding Tutorial | Sea Lemon

  1. Thanks for watching my tutorial on kettle stitch binding! For those who are asking, the paper I'm using is 8.5×11" 70 lb. text in warm white made by International Paper (Accent Opaque Digital line). See description for more info & here's a video all about the paper I use for bookbinding –

  2. I had to be honest. It looks very easy to do in the video, but actually doing it yourself is a hell of a work. I completed it last night, and my neck was, I think broken;}

  3. Awesome, Thank you very much! For years i've wanted to have the perfect note book but could never decide on one. until two years ago when i came across your original video and started making my own! I'm now on my 4th one and just absolutely love them. My goal is once i get to 10 completely filled with notes i will make all of the covers at once (so they look super clean on my book shelf….pardon my OCD lol) I was happy to see you made an updated video just on the stitching and i now see where i was doing it wrong. Keep up the great work!

  4. thats cool. and it looks easy too. I would need to watch this video several more times to get the hang of this technique. awesome.

  5. Since I keep coming back to this video everytime I need to bookbind something, here are the timestamps:
    1:45 Preparing the materials.
    2:07 Estimating the amount of thread.
    2:23 First signature.
    3:50 The knot.
    4:20 Second signature.
    5:34 Rest of signatures.
    6:59 Adding a new piece of thread.
    7:48 Final knot.

    Thank you so much for making these tutorials! You've helped me a lot over the years!

  6. Thanks for this and your other book making videos. I made my own with the help of your videos:

  7. Just finished a 58 pages (29 papers folded) sketchbook with this method! It takes time but I find it super relaxing, I'm a graphic design student and I recently found out abt the world of bookbiding, I think I'm in love now lol. Thank you so much for this video, you explain is so well and it's natural, not fast-forward type, it's a perfect tutorial. Thank you 😍❤

  8. much appreciated, i needed a book to press plants in between the pages. im making a volume of my backyard plants.

  9. I just made a watercolor coptic method and it came out really beautiful , thank you so much for these tutorials , I cant wait to use it ❤❤

  10. I love this tutorial it so clear and simple, hopefully I don’t run into any problems but hey, you earned a sub 😉

  11. Heterosexual male here. I used a power dril using a 1.5 mm metal drill to make holes through a stack of 8p signatures. Works like a charm, just finish the holes off neatly by applying a hammer on them so they are nice and flat.

  12. I did my sketch book this way and it doesn't look 'terrible' but the pages are a little crooked but I'm sure I'll improve

  13. Couple of questions.
    If I'm doing this for print should the pages be printed before the stitching and glue and stuff is done?
    What's the best type of paper to use if I'm doing it for a novel?
    I'm sure theres another question I just don't remember

  14. I think you have inspired me to give it ago. I'll be using thinner paper 80gsm but want to find out if I have the patience for it.

    Thanks for the excellent tutorial.

  15. I am sure you know your subject well and enjoy sharing your techniques with others. BUT you talk far too quickly on your video clips. Please take more time between sentences so that the viewer can absorb what you are saying.

  16. I just wanna thank you for this video. I did my very first book binding today 🙂 This technique is much more easier than I originally thought. This video is such a help, even for a non-english speaker! Thanks again!

  17. Thank you so much for this first plane of the stitching.
    I have perfectly clear how it's done.
    I'm totally doing this

  18. Thank you for this video! I made my first succsesful diy planner thanks to you! I'm back this year, making the one for the school year to follow! ❤

  19. Hello … I'm "interested" in this system of bookbinding! I would like to use watercolour papers for this! I hope I will manage! TFS

  20. I have a challenge. I need a stitch or means of binding a single signature to a cover which is a piece of canvas that has very thick latex paint on it. The canvas isn't very "bendy," I'm okay with the canvas laying open, but I can't figure out a stitch to use to attach the single signature (with three holes) to the canvas. The paint is too thick to be able to cut it into three pieces to make a cover with two sides and a spine. I would like for the knot, if there is one, to be on the outside. I've stitched the signature (which has three pages) with waxed thread and has three holes and has the knot in the middle on the outside. Does this make sense? Do you have any advise?

  21. Why waste 2 minutes before you start. I read what was being done before I opened video. I don't care about all the other.

  22. I enjoyed having a go at this – first attempt not too bad but looking forward to trying it again this time with black thread and not white – not the best of decisions haha – thank you for the video – much appreciated

  23. Thank you for this. I always mess up and looked for a video that actually showed me how to do this, but couldn't find a good one. Thanks!

  24. I have now finally "got it", after all these years … hahahaha, I'm addicted to making a boookbinding; making insert for my traveler's notebooks and junk journals … . ; I took a "good look" at this, today, and I got it memorized already! Thanks For Showing! Belinda! Thanks … You look like my niece, who is my favourite! When I miss her, I open one of your videos, hehe ;)! Thanks …

  25. Thank you for this tutorial, it was easy to follow! I made my first book with watercolor papers, but it ended up being pretty loose. Is it because I wasn’t pulling hard enough? I also used a large needle so perhaps the holes were too big?

  26. This was so cool! I might try this soon when I start writing/illustrating a book based off of a game I play. Thanks so much for the tutorial.

  27. I'm very very very excited to try this out! I wanted to make a collection of art on different colored pages and now I finally have a way to connect them! Thank you!

  28. Please, I want a video on binding National Geographic magazines into books. I have at least 190 copies of NG and I want to get them bound, by myself.

  29. Thank you Jennifer❣️that was much clearer that time, I did follow the other video though. You are my favorite though for your toots ❣️😊😁

  30. How do you make the holes in your paper? More specifically, do you make measurements, do you have a stencil, do you make marks?

  31. I'm currently in the process of making my own sketchbook using your tutorials 🙂 I'm about to sew on the 3rd signature

  32. Thank you thank you thank you, I am up against a deadline for a conference and needed to get my picture book dummy assembled – this is by far the clearest, easiest to see tutorial on book stitching that I've found.

  33. Thanks for the tutorial, Sea Lemon! I'm making an A5 240 white page 125gsm sketchbook.
    I'll let you know when it's done

  34. You're video is great.
    Tho I do have a question; what is ' about 2 feet' in metric?
    Could you maybe have metric translation in the video, please? 😁

    I've looked it up and done some math. 2 feet is about 61 cm.
    So that's almost half a meter= 50 cm -should be about 19 inches (I hope I got it right).

    So I'm going to go ahead and use 50 cm of thread 😁

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