Make your own photo book                                                                          
For people interested in handmade photobooks ......................... by Jim Read

This page is in two sections the first one below how to print what you see on your screens at no cost whatsoever and the second section on making your own photo book using the Japanese stab binding method.

If you can print what you see on your screen this will take you to the book binding.

First then calibrate your monitor, if you have an older version of Windows download Calibrize it's free and follow the instructions, anything from Win7 onwards its in the settings, it's a really good one and works very well indeed.

Go then to your printer and print off a B&W image, it will have a colour cast, go to print again and there will be a manual CMYK setting somewhere alter the colours to get rid of the cast and save the setting in profiles, most printers have these settings and profiles that you can alter and save and use again.

Test strips (if you have Ps) take your B&W image and with the Rectangular Marqee tool select a slice of it and paste it into a new A4 size Background, print it, make your alterations, paste another strip in and print that and so on until you've got it as close to B&W as you can get it. Cost so far zero!

One of the things about expensive paper is that it inhibits experimentation as no doubt many people reading this will know from their failed attempts at printing, "I can't afford to do any more, sigh". I buy A4 matt 170 GSM paper from Photo Paper Direct (about 20 incl post for 200 sheets) and cut it to A5 with a craft knife. It produces the most brilliant prints, if you buy some you'll laugh when you see them.

I use the cheapest inks from a bloke in Leicester (link below) who sells on eBay 25 cartridges for about 15 incl post. Ive used it for about 10 years now and haven't had to change my settings.
Fading ....... I can hear the murmurs in the background lol, the prints will not fade if kept in a book, I've got 20 year old prints that are as good as the day I printed them. Sadly people make statements and other people take it as gospel and repeat it without experimenting for themselves.

I spray my covers with Media Range (link below) protective spray which protects paper from UV light and moisture.

Handmade or homemade photo books
how to make your own

The Japanese 4 hole Stab Binding technique

This is a really easy way to make a do it yourself photobook. I make them at A5 size I can take it apart and add pages to it, all the binding requires is some linen or button thread and its surprisingly strong. Items this size can be posted to anywhere in the world inexpensively.

I use170 GSM matt photo paper for the pages, it prints very well indeed.

Photographers Blackmail

Yes I hear lots of it about printers and ink and paper, I use the cheapest inks, I use cheap matt paper and I use the cheapest printer that Canon has to offer.

I buy my ink on Ebay from a guy in Leicester 11 for 15 cartridges and I can have whatever colours I choose.
I buy my matt paper from PhotoPaperDirect 20 for 200 sheets which becomes 400 as I reduce them to A5.
I buy a protective spray that renders the book covers waterproof and protects them from UV light 10 for 400 ml.
(and the purveyors of the 'posh' inks recommend the use of the same spray but in a posh tin at 3 times this price, they would wouldn't they!)
I use 1mm Grey Board for the covers sourced on Ebay.
The inks work perfectly I have never had a problem and have been using them for 20 years and the paper prints every nuance of the file.

How to make your own photo book
Some of the tools including an Awl for doing the actual stabbing and a Screw Hole Punch which makes a better job of it. The cover is printed 20mm larger than A5, I then use a pin to make 4 holes in the corners.

I draw an A5 square within the pin holes on the other side of the paper. Then take an A5 sheet of 1mm grey board and cut 3.5mm off it, and then a 16mm piece.

The 16mm is stuck to the right hand side where the H for hinge is. I glue the board with the cheapo glue stick starting near the top edge and working to the bottom, turn the board 90 degrees and do it again until I've done it four times then some extra around the edge. I roll this onto the paper with the brayer.

Next I glue a strip of paper into the hinge channel to reinforce it a bit.

The corner is folded over to 90 degrees, putting glue on the paper and on the board. I wipe the green mat with a tissue after each corner, the paper will stain or come off I don't do it.

After doing the four corners it looks like this.

The sides are glued and folded in the same manner, this can be covered with some plain paper or a photo or some text.

I use the 3mm cutter in the cheapo screw punch, I sharpened the bit in a drill with some wet and dry paper and put a  little bit of petroleum jelly in the spiral flute. The holes act as guides for cutting the covers and pics, I cut the back cover from the inside.

I use Linen thread to sew the binding and oddly enough found two balls of the stuff in Chesterfield flea market made by the Cartier Bresson Co. And yes it is! I cut off a bit over four book widths of the thread.

I begin sewing the binding at the 3rd hole, in and up from the back and round again........

.......Over to hole 4 down and up again twice and back up through hole 3.......

.....Through hole 2 from the top, through hole 1 from the bottom and back round to hole 3, pull tight, and knot through the threads above hole 3 and then back down hole 3.......

..... Turn it over (hole 3 on the left now) tie a couple of knots and push the thread into the hole.

And now you will have a book that looks like the one at the top of the page. Take it steady I did the gluing above in a few minutes so I could take the pics, I normally leave it it to set for 24 hours and make sure there are no air bubbles before continuing. I spray the covers with protective spray but leave the prints.

To save this page so you don't have to keep coming back to it.
Make a new folder called, Stab Binding.
And in your browser go to: File and Save As or Save Page As and save it as a complete web page.

Late addition, to flatten the books I was using a couple of old and heavy blue bricks, then I found a piece of thick ply up our allotments and made this, it's 12" x 8" with a couple of 8mm coach bolts and wing nuts, works a treat.