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Hey! Welcome to your exclusive project – A wraparound pocket book to show off your ephemera collection and ideas from Sketchbook Revival 2022!

Brushes scissors book

You’ll need:

Long strip of stiff paper (160gsm cartridge/ 110lb Bristol) around 60cm long and 11cm high (24 inches long by 4 inches high)

Ephemera such as old encyclopedia pages, maps or annuals

Cutting knife (a blunt straight-edged kitchen knife will do)



Linen thread


White paint or gesso

Paint brush

Glue stick

Ribbon or thread to tie (optional)

paper folded

Make the first fold of the concertina 8cm (3 inches) in from the right-hand end of your long strip, followed by four more folds the same width. This will give you five pages, and around two and a half widths left over for the cover. (You can see I’ve cut extra strips for more books…)

paint and paper

Now prepare the inside pages, by selecting interesting papers from your ephemera collection and cutting them to size. You’ll need five sets of folded pages. I chose plain brown paper 14.5cm x 10.5cm (5.5 inches x 4 inches) and pages from a Guide to Shorthand cut to 12cm x 9cm (4.5 inches x 3.5 inches), painted lightly with gesso.

scissors and paper sheets

Once the papers are dry, put them together in the order you prefer. I’ve layered a painted page over a brown paper page, and laid them out, ready to sew. Three sets will lie in the valley folds on one side of the concertina, and two on the reverse.

scissor paper 2

Place one set of folded pages (a ‘section’) into the first ‘valley’ of the concertina. Charge your needle with linen thread, three times the height of the book, or one long length if you’re confident about not getting in a tangle.

sheets and needle

Holding the papers firmly together, prick three holes with the needle, making sure each one is on the crease.

hands and paper

Starting at the middle hole on the back, take needle in to the centre and up through the top hole to the outside. Then miss the centre hole and go down to the bottom one, creating a lovely long stitch on the spine.

sheet in book

Come up to the middle hole and out, to be reunited with your tail.

clean sheet and needle

With needle and thread on one side of the long stitch, and the tail on the other, tie a double knot, which seals the binding like a parcel. Trim the ends, or leave them long.


Continue to sew in each section separately.

new pages

Flip the concertina over, and sew in the last two sections (…making sure you have it the right way up!)


Here’s the concertina with all five sections sewn into the valley creases, ready to fold the cover.

Fold the concertina up, with the extra strip on your right, and lay a ruler two millimetres (a sixteenth of an inch!) out from the vertical edge.

Score two parallel lines, a few millimetres apart, with the blunt side of your knife, to create a spine the width of the book.

Repeat on the other edge.

Use a length of linen thread, or ribbon, to create a simple tie which wraps around the book and holds the cover shut.

Add a title or name label using a piece of coordinating ephemera.

SHARE pictures of your books on Instagram or Facebook and see you soon, Best and bookiest, Rachel

THANK YOU Karen Abend for inviting The Travelling Bookbinder along for Sketchbook Revival 2022!