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How to make Book Cloth

You may have noticed the "Make Your Own Craftiness Journal" link is now active, and on that page I show you how to hand bind a hard cover journal. I reference something called book cloth in the article, and now I want to show you how you can make your own. Book cloth is fabric that has been backed with paper, making it stable enough to use in book binding. If you try to use plain fabric the glue will squeeze through the weave and it will shift around in your finished project. This will prevent that.


1/4 (cut like a fat quarter) or 1/2 yard of fabric

17x21 piece of Heat n' Bond

Rice paper

The rice paper is important because rice paper has no grain, or direction. Meaning when you tear it, it tears in a jagged pattern no matter where you tear from, unlike copy paper for instance, where it tears more easily from one edge than the perpendicular one.


To make the cloth, take the Heat N Bond and put it glue side down on the back of the fabric. If you are using a fat quarter just center the glue. If you are using a 1/2 cut, find the images you really like the most and make sure they end up under the glue with a nice margin around them.

Iron down the glue with a hot iron and even movements across the paper. You just want to tack the glue down right now, not melt it completely. Go quickly at first, then test the corner, and if it pulls up with the glue, then do it again more slowly. Next cut the fabric around the Heat N Bond. Peel back the paper and make sure the glue is left on the fabric side. Place the fabric glue side down on the piece of rice paper. Then turn the whole set up over.

Start to iron across the back of the rice paper. Take small steps, overlapping the next step with the one before. I like to count to 10 at each step. You should see the melted glue turn the paper a little translucent. Test a corner and make sure it's adhering. If not, make each step a little longer or turn up the heat on your iron. Work your way across the back in a systematic way.

Once the whole back has been ironed, turn it over and iron down any bubbles form he front side. Don't linger too long in once place, or the glue will evaporate and it will be a soft spot. You can see I dint iron the fabric enough before hand and I have a crease down the side of the book cloth. I would be more mad about that but it's on the edge and I know it will be hidden by the book binding process. Voila! Homemade book cloth, in your favorite fabrics and for much less than professional cloth costs!

Happy crafting!

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