Wood glue for bookbinding

Wood glue for bookbinding

Bookbinding is an age-old craft that allows us to transform loose sheets of paper into beautiful, functional books. While various techniques and materials are available for this purpose, wood glue is one of the most reliable and versatile options. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of bookbinding using wood glue, ensuring that your bound books are not only functional but also durable and aesthetically pleasing.

Materials Needed

Before you dive into the world of bookbinding with wood glue, it’s essential to gather the necessary materials and tools:

Wood Glue

Opt for high-quality wood glue, such as PVA glue, known for its excellent adhesive properties.

Bookbinding Paper or Pages:

Choose the paper or pages you want to bind into a book, making sure they are cut to the desired size and aligned neatly.

Bookbinding Boards or Covers:

These will serve as the front and back covers of your book. You can use materials like cardboard, leather, or decorative paper for covers.


You’ll need clamps to hold the book together while the glue dries, ensuring a secure bond.

Brush or Roller:

Use a brush or roller to apply the wood glue evenly to the book’s spine.

Bone Folder or Roller:

This tool helps in smoothing out the pages and removing air bubbles during the binding process.

Wax Paper or Plastic Wrap:

Lay down a protective sheet on your work surface to prevent glue from sticking to it.

Ruler and Cutting Tools:

These are essential for trimming excess paper and achieving clean edges.


Before you begin, set up a clean and well-ventilated workspace. Ensure that all your materials and tools are within reach. Organize your pages in the desired order and check that they are aligned evenly.

Bookbinding Process

Page Alignment

Begin by arranging the pages in the order you want them to appear in the book. Take your time to ensure they are evenly aligned; this will result in a neat final product.


  1. Lay a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap on your workspace to protect it from glue spills.
  2. Open the book cover or binding board and place it before you.
  3. Apply a thin, even layer of wood glue to the spine of the book pages using a brush or roller. Be careful not to use too much glue, as excess adhesive can weaken the binding.
  4. Allow the glue to become tacky for a few minutes.


  1. Carefully place the glued spine onto the bookbinding board or cover, ensuring that the pages align with the cover’s edges.
  2. Apply even pressure to the book using clamps. Make sure the book remains flat during this step.
  3. Wipe away any excess glue that may seep out from the edges.
  4. Allow the book to dry and set in the clamps for several hours or as per the glue manufacturer’s instructions.


After the glue has dried completely, use a ruler and cutting tools to trim any excess paper if needed. This step ensures clean and tidy edges for your book.

Finishing Touches

Inspect the binding for any loose pages or imperfections. If necessary, apply additional glue or make any required repairs to ensure the book is in perfect condition.


Wood glue is a versatile and reliable choice for bookbinding, allowing you to create beautifully bound books that will stand the test of time. By following the steps outlined in this guide and practicing your bookbinding skills, you can master the art of creating handmade books that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Whether you’re binding a journal, sketchbook, or a collection of your favorite writings, the process remains the same: choose quality materials, apply precision, and let your creativity shine through in the finished product.

Additional Tips

  • Experiment with different cover materials and decorations to add a personal touch to your bound books.
  • Keep your workspace clean and organized to ensure a smooth bookbinding process.
  • Practice makes perfect. Don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts don’t turn out perfectly; each book you bind will improve your skills.

With dedication and practice, you can become a skilled bookbinder, creating unique and cherished books that showcase your creativity and craftsmanship. Happy bookbinding

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