One of the most popular questions I get is “where can I buy ________?” and “what kind of ________ do you use?”. Well look no further, because I’ve compiled a growing list of my favorite supplies that you can buy on one of my favorite websites: AMAZON!
Check it out! Here are some of my favorite supplies, available on Amazon right now, all of which I can personally say I’ve used or seen in person – so even if all you can see is a tiny crappy image on Amazon – this is what you want!:
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Great Books for Beginning Bookbinders
If you’re just starting out, try some of these beautiful books about bookbinding – they have lots of photos, detailed instruction and are perfect if you’re just starting out.
Great Books for Experienced Bookbinders
If you have some of the basics under your belt and are familiar with bookbinding terminology and really want to dig in to learn something new, try these great books to really refine your skills:
You’ll get a large sheet of paper, which you can cut down for your project(s) or if you’re like me, maybe you’ll keep it around for ages because you think “it’s too beautiful to cut!”:
OR there are some really beautiful assortment packs of handmade Japanese papers available already cut down into handy 8.5″x11″ sheets if you don’t want to buy a huge sheet of paper – I recognize the paper included in these packs, and they are really high quality – they come from the same factory/workshop that I buy my papers from, you will not be dissatisfied!:
to cut your paper, you’ll want a paper cutting knife with snap-off blades (NOT an exacto knife…it’ll do in a pinch, but if you’re cutting a lot of paper, just get one of these – even if you get one for $2 at the hardware store instead of the cadillac of paper knives, Olfa…) a cutting mat (NOT your carpet) and a metal ruler – I included a link to a safety ruler, because one time I cut the tip of my thumb off. Ouchie. (it was my fault, I was trying to watch TV and cut at the same time…lesson learned!)
It’s also great to have many types of scissors – non-stick scissors are awesome for cutting sticky paper and tape, micro scissors are perfect for cutting out small details in paper, and then of course having some all-around useful cheap scissors is a good idea so that your family members don’t run off with your fancy non-stick or detail scissors. Never use your detail scissors on tough stuff like cardboard or leather, if you want them to stay sharp for paper!
For coptic stitch you’ll need waxed linen 4 ply thread – trust me, your books won’t look as good if you don’t use it – try just buying 10 yards at first, to see if you like the color, then you can move on to a spool:
Essential Small Hand Tools
Here are the small hand tools you’ll want, including an awl (I like this pottery needle tool because the pointy part doesn’t get wider at the top near the handle), bookbinding needles (you can also use darning needles), a teflon or bone folder (I like teflon better) and REALLY FANCY small scissors for your thread (or…you can just use your own scissors:
and don’t forget your glue! There are two basic types of glue – paste, which is slow drying, and glue which is quick drying – if you’re a beginner, I recommend the slow drying paste because if you mess up, you have time to reposition the paper! The little bottle of nori paste is ADORABLE, and great for little projects, or maybe 4 book covers – the jar of nori paste is great if you’re planning on making a whole bunch of book covers. I actually prefer foam brushes to real glue brushes.
Bookbinding Studio Tools
here are some big-time fancy town tools that you might want to add to your studio later, if you start getting serious – a book press (you can improvise with a paper-wrapped brick), a paper cutter, a heavy duty paper cutter (note, it’s only for paper, NOT bookboard, and not for stacks bigger than 1/2″ or so, but great for notebooks) and a corner rounder – you can round the corner of an entire softcover book at once!
Suminagashi Marbling Supplies
here are links to my favorite supplies for suminagashi marbling
Seriously, if you’re like me and got hooked into Amazon prime ( you can try Amazon Prime with a 30 Day Free Trial), what could be better (or maybe worse…for your wallet, haha) than *click* and 2 days later, it’s delivered right to your house!
Plus, if you live in a small town like I do, you probably don’t have any specialty bookbinding suppliers nearby.
There are some other really great bookbinding suppliers online:
Plus, some vendors like Talas sell on Amazon, also!
When you buy through these affiliate links, a teensy percentage of the sale goes back to me to help cover the costs of running my website (turns out it isn’t free to have your own site! haha), and I appreciate it! (it doesn’t get added on to your purchase, it comes directly from Amazon)