Have to start this with a shout out to my friend, Nichole, who gave me the idea for this new little project of mine. After looking at the extensive instructions found here, I started making my very own case bound book (like a real hard cover book that you'd buy in the store). Here are some pics and my thoughts about the process. For my part I'm sure I'm doing this "all wrong" because I don't have the right kind of glue or board or paper for that matter, but I'm doing the best with what I have and I'm right happy with the results (so far).
The first thing I did was to make 4 signatures (a stack of paper folded in half in a very basic "book fold") of 8 sheets of regular 8.5 x 11 inkjet paper (16 pages) each, folding each sheet individually to insure a nice, sharp crease before putting the folios together to make the signatures. I had already printed out what I wanted in my book (in my case my homeschool planner), laid it all out in Publisher and printed the first 32 pages front-and-back, then the next and so on till I had what I needed for 4 signatures. I figured out what I was going to use for the cloth hinges (in my case that turned out to be some green bias tape I had on hand), and linen tape (bias tape folded in half). I prepared the endsheets as described. Then I figured out where I was going to put my "linen tape," (in my case I went with 3) and marked on all the signatures where to punch the holes. The kids helped me with that part by pushing a thumb tack into each marking. Then I found a needle and some bedspread weight crochet thread that I had, and started sewing the signatures together. Then I fashioned a crude book press with a couple pieces of particle board that were lying around and a couple of clamps to hold them together. I banged on the spine with a metal thingamabob that I had handy to flatten them down a bit and make them flair out. It stayed like that all night. I glued a strip of watercolor paper on the spine, then another piece of bias tape, opened up. I made some headbands for the top and bottom of the spine and glued them on (I think I got the order wrong, but ... who cares :). It stayed like that all night. This morning I made the case for my book. I didn't have board, the closest thing to the consistency was cereal boxes, but they are much too thin so I glued three layers together to make the right thickness. They sat piled under a whole bunch of Bible Story Books till they dried. Then I found some fabric for the cover, measured it like they told me to (forgot to add the 3mm for an overhang, bummer) glued the paper strip down the middle and the boards on either side, then glued the fabric up and inside the cover. When that was dry, I put my book innards inside the cover, and with the help of some wax paper (hope it works!) I glued the flappy parts (hinges) to the inside cover of the book, front and back. In the morning, if I want, (probably closer to tomorrow evening tho), I'll be able to glue the paste-downs to the front and back cover and voila... I'll have my very own hard cover book made completely by me. Pretty cool if I do say so myself. And very economical too. I had everything on hand so it didn't cost me a dime. Glue is cheep (especially this time of year with school sales going on), cereal boxes are free, I have tons of fabric scraps, the only thing that I have to pay for is the paper which is something I usually have on hand anyway. Now I think I'd like to print my cookbook and bind it :) The possibilities are endless.
Pics added 7/28/07
Notice the signatures in the 4th picture, the last picture shows the importance of gluing the cereal box cardboard with the pictures in (you can barely make out part of the Weetabix logo on the inside of my back cover, lol). In the third picture you can see the stitching down the center of one of the signatures. Just for fun, go find a hard bound book and find the string at the center of a signature.