Papers for Bookmaking

For artists who enjoy creating hand-bound journals, we have a number of papers that are perfect for binding into books.


Handmade Art Journals by Roz Stendahl

500 Series Aquarius II Paper
Artists tell us they love using our 500 Series Aquarius II® Watercolor paper for bookmaking. This unique cotton/synthetic blend of watercolor paper resists buckling so it doesn’t need to be stretched. It is also lighter weight (80 lb) compared to traditional watercolor sheets (140 lb) so it’s easier to work with when cutting and binding books.  The finish is smoother than traditional watercolor which makes it an excellent mixed media sheet.It is available in 22"x30" sheets.

500 Series Mixed Media Paper
Our 500 Series Mixed Media paper is also a great option for bookmaking. It is 100% cotton and also comes in a lighter weight (90 lb), making it flexible for cutting and binding. It is manufactured to handle wet media applications, but the vellum drawing finish is perfect for dry media, so it can stand up to an array of mixed media techniques. 

How to Make Your Own Hand-bound Journal
The diagrams below (courtesy of Roz Stendahl) shows you how to cut or tear down a full sheet of the 22"x30" Aquarius II or Mixed Media paper to make a portrait or landscape journal. Available in 22"x 30" sheets and 42" x 8 yd. rolls.

Landscape Book


Don’t toss that 6-inch strip of paper at the bottom of the first diagram (labeled waste)! That strip runs with the grain and can be folded into 3-inch wide pages of whatever height you decide would be fun.

Portrait Book

In each diagram the letter “A” designates one piece that will be folded as part of a signature. Gather four of these together for a nicely sized and non-bulky signature of 16 pages. Five of these pieces folded as indicated will create a 20-page signature which is also workable because the paper is not bulky. It is important to keep the grain direction with the fold of your signature.

Play with different page heights by dividing the 30-inch length into different sizes. When working out the width of your page, remember that you need double that width measurement because it will be folded, e.g., if you want a 10-inch page width you can only get one piece from every 22-inch strip because 10 times two is 20 inches. (You’ll have two inches of waste.)

For steps on the next part of the process, binding the pages to create a book, check out this page

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