Selecting Paper

Text block

For the text block, you want a good quality paper. Printer paper will work, but it should be at least 24 lb. Thin or low quality paper will tear more easily when you sew. If you decide to use a lower quality paper, be extra careful when assembling the book.

Using higher quality paper is ideal and there are lots of different options. You could use high quality printer paper like letter head, linen, cotton, laid, marble, silk, or parchment paper, or other paper specifically designed for bookbinding like Arches Textwove, Mohawk Superfine, or Ingres.

You can use very heavy paper but you should score the paper where it meets the spine to make sure you can actually open the book and turn the pages.

Cover Paper

decorative japanese paperdecorative japanese paperdecorative japanese paper

Cover paper can be the same weight as the text or a cardstock weight. A cardstock cover obviously makes a sturdier book, but text weight paper works just fine – it all depends on the look you want and the book’s end purpose.

Because we’re talking about the cover of the book, you probably want something decorative and pretty. Here are some options for cover paper:

  • Scrapbooking paper
  • Handmade Paper
  • Magazine page
  • Page out of a book
  • Piece of a Poster
  • Sheet music
  • Wrapping paper
  • Portion of a gift box or bag or other packaging
  • Greeting card or invitation
  • Postcard
  • Dust cover from a book
  • A photo
  • Japanese paper
  • Cardboard cereal or shoe box, etc.
  • Hand decorated paper – walnut ink, sink art, paste paper

As you can see, a cover can be made out of almost anything! Finding a cover material is an exciting search and almost anything will work, so be creative and keep your eyes open!

And here are some great online paper supply stores:

Other Stores

  • XpedX
  • Office Supply Stores – Office Max, Office Depot
  • JoAnn Fabric & Craft
  • Robert’s Crafts
  • Michael’s

Decorative papers are sold in tons of stores and at many different price points, so you’ll be able to find something that works for you. Assembling the materials for a book is a fun project, so enjoy!

[paper photos from]

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