DIY Book Cloth for Bookbinding | Sea Lemon


Book cloth is fabric that is backed with a surface which makes it easier to adhere to book covers. Not every type of material needs this backing, but most thin or cotton fabrics do. If you search “book cloth” you can find it for sale online or in some specialty stores. Or you can make your own… In this tutorial, I’ll show you a way to make your own book cloth. This will make the process of gluing fabric onto your board much easier, preventing air bubbles or wrinkles and glue seeping through. What you’ll need is an iron, tissue paper and HeatnBond UltraHold iron-on adhesive. The HeatnBond UltraHold can be found at a fabric store or you can find it for sale online. First off, don’t do this method on your cutting mat! The heat from the iron will ruin your cutting mat. Start with fabric that is fairly wrinkle-free. Iron it it flat if you need to. Cut the HeatnBond a little smaller than your piece of fabric, so you have a border. This gives you an area to handle the fabric and prevents the HeatnBond sticky side from being on the edges. Set your iron to medium heat. On your ironing board or table, place the fabric face down and iron the HeatnBond with the rough side down. Iron each area for about 8 seconds. Then peel the top layer off. Now take the tissue paper, and iron it on until you see the full shape of the HeatnBond. Then cut the excess tissue paper off. It doesn’t have to be cut perfectly, because the border will eventually be cut off when you use it to make a book cover. I’ve tried a few methods on making book cloth, and I have to say, this one is by far the easiest and has the best results. Now that you can prepare fabric for bookbinding and make your own book cloth, you’ll have even more cover design options to choose from. I hope you found this tutorial helpful. Feel free to “Like” and leave your comments below. For more tutorials, be sure to subscribe and check out my channel. You can also follow more Sea Lemon on the links listed in the “About” section below.

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100 thoughts on “DIY Book Cloth for Bookbinding | Sea Lemon”

  1. terikc2012 says:

    would this work on vinyl also?

  2. sssrau says:

    Can you please say where you can get designed book cloth online .i need to make a project in 5 days and i don't have access to stores oronline websites with HeatnBond UltraHold iron-on adhesive 

  3. CorruptBTG says:

    Do you HAVE to use heat n bond? Can't you just iron the tissue paper on the fabric and then follow the hardcover book steps?

  4. Chessen says:

    Tried this, ended up with a wrinkly mess. 1/10 would not recommend.

  5. MsQuantification says:

    Very helpful! Thanks.

  6. glyn rudio-badua says:

    thanks Sea Lemon you're very helpful 😉

  7. Rich Shelby says:

    Sure is better then spend $8 + shipping!!!!!


  8. Karen Cohen says:

    I tried this and it worked fine. I did want to warn you all – If you want to bead on the book cloth, buy the "sew" form of Heat and Bond as the no-sew will leave your needle gummy. I do lots of bead embroidery and have now made one small (test piece) book with a beaded cover. I'm looking forward to doing mire. This method seems cleaner and easier than using Wheat Paste to make book cloth.

  9. Rita Franco says:

    hey! i woul like to know if the tissue paper is a normal one, or some special paper

  10. criscella malicdem says:

    Hi can i use double-sided tape? like lots of iT?

  11. John Ordanez says:

    I just bought a book that look exactly the same at 0:07 I wanted to paint it red. If I paint it, will it ruin the book?

  12. Jared Armes says:

    Besides using cloth, is the binding process similar for pleather, vinyl, or even leather? I want to make an old tome, and stitch the spine and then bind it to get that classic effect. Then I need to figure out how to stencil, but that's for another day. Lol!

  13. Waverly Shafer says:

    How do you cover a book with paper

  14. Jose A Morales says:

    hi reader I have a question can these steps can glue fur or other fabric?

  15. Bookish Darling says:

    Can you use normal sized tissues and lay them side by side? My country doesn't sell that size of tissue paper.

  16. Giraldtec says:

    What is the purpose for the tissue paper?

  17. Mable Epply says:

    Great tip and tutorial. Thank you for sharing. Mable

  18. John Arambulo says:

    Do you think i'll still be able to embroider the fabric once I put the HeatnBond and tissue paper on it? I really wanna make a nice embroidered book 🙂

  19. Kola Anita Ofoman says:

    Can I use wax paper / drafting paper / baking liner paper, instead of tissue paper?

  20. Sakura Home says:

    So easy and a lot cheeper than buying actual book cloth !

  21. Armanda Berlin says:

    What about craft felt? Too thick for a cover?

  22. Lorena Alves says:

    I have another way to make book cloth. Just mix pva glue and water, proportion 1:2 or 1:3, and with a roll pencil, you pass this mixture in the fabric. After, you just put it to dry. Now you can use the cloth for your works.

  23. A.C. VISO says:

    It's kind of late to make this question but…What othe suplie will work if I can't buy (because of my country) HeatnBond?Thanks, beforehand and I love your tutorials.

  24. Alex Banman says:

    Insane…. awesome thanks.

  25. El Gusto says:

    Great videos, thank you for taking the time to put this all together. Regarding this technique, I am concerned about the archival characteristics of both the HeatnBond and tissue paper. Does anybody know if these are archival as I am in the process of creating my own photo books with the intent of selling them and need to guarantee archival quality. Thanks again!

  26. Heather Benfield says:

    For anyone looking to find an easy alternative for the Heat-n-Bond, you may be interested in trying Pellon 807. It's basically a double-sided iron-on adhesive for fabric and is a great way to attach two materials together without using wet glue. The Walmart here carries Pellon 807 in the fabric section, but I'm sure you could find this material at any fabric store for fairly cheap. I live in a pretty small town, so I figure if this Walmart has it, then yours probably will too. It's normally sold by the yard for about 1.99/yd. which means you will probably have to get store associate to cut it for you, but you may be able to find it pre-packaged by the yard. I also want to mention that you can get a package the large tissue paper at the Dollar Tree in the gift wrapping section for only $1. It's decent quality for being so low cost too. If you can't find any tissue paper, then I'm sure whatever porous paper you do have on hand will work as well. Anyways, to make the book cloth, with the Pellon 807 you pretty much follow the exact same instructions from this Sea Lemon video; however, since there is no backing on the Pellon, you would place the tissue paper directly on top of the Pellon when you iron it to the fabric. If you place your iron directly on the Pellon, it will melt to your iron and make a mess, so make sure the tissue paper completely covers the material. Since Pellon can be used to adhere a variety of porous surfaces together, including cardboard, you could probably even skip the tissue paper step altogether by placing the Pellon directly between your book cloth and book boards then ironing those together. I haven't tried this method, however, and cannot attest to how well it will or will not work, but if you want to try it out and let us know how it goes, please feel free 😀   Hope this info was helpful!

  27. chairia mochtar says:

    can you make secret book

  28. kathy york says:

    I used Mistyfuse (it's another brand of fusible web). Then instead of the tissue paper, I just ironed the fabric straight to the cardboard. So easy and fast and no wrinkles! Very easy to wrap around the edge and iron to the back side as well. I don't know how well it holds up to wear… Thanks for your book binding tutorials!

  29. Alicia Animated says:

    Will the heat & bond stick to leather material? For a book cover?

  30. Rui Gao says:

    It's very helpful and easy to follow. Thank you!

  31. Anto Posh says:

    Hi!! I wanted to know where can u buy book cloth online? And if u also know stores to go to. I am arriving to my this February and wanted to buy supplies. Thanks

  32. Kelsey CoCa says:

    this is so neat! and this makes things so much easier, I have been covering books with normal fabric and it is a pain lol

  33. frulcino says:

    sorry,i'm not a native speaker,is tissue paper similar to the one nuplins are made of?

  34. Happy Rock says:

    I do a lot of book-folding art and want to try this to disguise the book cover on some of my designs. What is the best glue to use when you are adhering the finished cloth (with tissue backing) to the existing cover of a book? Of course, some of those books may have old fabric covers themselves or might be printed. Is there a glue that would work either way?

  35. Riccardo Arnone says:

    can I use glue instead of heatnbond? And rice paper instead of tissue paper?
    What can i use instead of heatnbond and tissue paper?

  36. Michelle Hammond says:

    Thank you so much for this video! My original attempt at creating a book cover looked terrible. Glue had leaked through my fabric and it looked just awful. But your Heat-n-Bond and tissue method was quick, easy, and worked perfectly. My second attempt at a book cover looks fantastic, so professional!

  37. says:

    Where to buy heat and cloth thing

  38. Haejeong Kwak says:

    Thank you so much! This is exactly what I needed. Your channel has by far the most helpful bookbinding tutorials. Love love love your work!! <3

  39. Rawan Abbas says:

    so what should i do if i don't want to use fabric? say i have a cover that i designed and want to use, should i just print it out on paper and glue it onto the cover board? help!!

  40. Gandha Key says:

    I have used Heat Bond with thin cotton lining material and will be printing onto it with fabric inks.  Nice method and it works.  I didn't realise you can add tissue paper.  Could you also keep on the paper backing to the Heat and Bond and use the whole thing to cover a book?

  41. Disha Punjabi says:

    instead of the heat bond can i use something else…?

  42. Diana Perry says:

    great tips. do you have an alternative for linen tape used for joining accordion folds?

  43. rakhi kumar says:

    Can denim be used as a book cloth???

  44. Dimensions says:

    Great video, very helpful!!!

  45. SierraRose Przybyla says:

    This is a really great hack!!
    -however, I'm wondering if it's acid free….

  46. Distinctive Fabric says:

    this is indeed awesome

  47. Christian Lo says:

    its really ugly

  48. Azure Kate says:

    about how much material would you need for one book with an 8.5×11 text block?

  49. mo p says:

    Love your tips here. I'm waiting for an order of heat-n-bond to try out your methods, but in the meantime am experimenting with other methods available to me. I'd love to see you give a bit more information about the other things you've tried and how well they did or didn't work. Rubber cement in place of heat-n-bond seemed to work great for a small book. Thanks for all your great (and very helpful) videos!!!

  50. Sam Mortimer says:

    Sea Lemon if i wanted to make a cover that was of a photo how would you advice i do that?

  51. Mirukucha.n. young says:

    What fabric do you use? I really like your fabric

  52. TheMeany says:

    THANK YOU!!! I was so bored by all my book cloth options! I have so much pretty fabric that I wanted to use but it is too thin. now i can use it!! 🙂

  53. Lord Spyridon says:

    I recently bought a cardboard scrapbook album from Walmart. I'm planning to use Heat N Bond and a fabric to make bookcloth to cover it. 
    Would it be better to use the tissue paper to glue it on or should I use the Heat N Bond to directly iron on the fabric to the cardboard?
    Thank you in advance and Happy Thanksgiving.

  54. Αιμιλια Καρνα says:

    Can we use the material that is used on shower curtains instead of book cloth or fabric?

  55. Hayley says:

    Would contact paper work instead?

  56. palm tree says:

    At the end of the 'Hardcover case binding tutorial' video, you mentioned that knowing how to wrap hardcover books allowed you to use either paper or fabric as a cover
    How would you go about using paper? Would you need to use tissue paper as well? Or would you bypass everything in this video entirely, and instead just use the board and the paper?

  57. Silvio de Lioncourt says:

    Do you think this would need to be done with say a faux-leather for an aged-looking book?

  58. Dee Icescha says:

    i dont have heat n bond… can you suggest an alternative for it?

  59. Giovanna Ramello says:

    Can I use mod podge instead of the heat n bond? And by tissues do you mean those regular kleenex? (sorry for the dumb questions but it's incredibly hard to find these materials in Brazil and if I do find them they are extremely expensive)

  60. Nate Lenz says:

    FYI, I discovered this while I was making some 8.5 X 11 monster-books.

    I used H&B on my fabric (heavy cotton canvas), but didn't cut it short from the edges of the fabric.

    Then I peeled the backing off.

    Glued my cover boards to it, then struggled to get the edges folded over and glued.

    So, I thought, 'I ironed the stuff onto the fabric, and you're supposed to be able to iron another piece to it, so …' I folded the edges over and ironed them.

    And it worked.

    It also worked when I flipped the whole cover over and ironed it from the front side.

  61. Yes says:

    Would poster board paper work for this?

  62. Haida Nasir says:

    What type of fabric would be best to make book cloth?

  63. Katinka Princess says:

    ♥ Great! Thank You! ♥

  64. Robin Knutson says:

    great tutorial

  65. Linda DeChow says:

    Yes, this works so well – thank you so much!

  66. Srinu M says:

    we can made this by other methods

  67. ghlyall says:

    I think this is a better method, well known in the bookbinding world.

  68. -Missy- says:

    This is an awesome tutorial! Quick question– can I use "steam-a-seam" instead of "HeatnBond"? Thanks for all the work you put into your channel, I have learnt so much already.

  69. Pierre Lintongan says:

    Does double sided tape and a regular tissue paper work?

  70. OrigamiForever21 says:

    I love all your tutorials and they are easy to follow thank you and keep up the great work! Lol I for got the book cloth method is cool bit I have no luck finding the large sheets of iron on so I use use the 505 spray and fix from the quilting section then use the tissue paper works great

  71. heyitsdev says:

    where can you find tissue paper?

  72. Julie Hiatt says:

    Thank you. I have some fairly thin fabric I wanted to use but thought I would have to line it. I think this will do better.

  73. MaraMara 13 says:

    What if I'm using felt paper? Anyway to strengthen it so it won't rip?

  74. Bruno Darcoleto Malavolta says:

    You are a genius!

  75. Johnsketchbooks says:

    hi can freezer paper be used as the cloth backing? thanks your awesome.

  76. Jeka Lambert says:

    Sea Lemon, I LOVE your tutorials! Every time I Google search something about book making, one of your tutorials shows up. I sincerely appreciate your easy to follow presentations, the wide range of topics you cover, your logical analysis of tools & techniques as well as the breadth of your research. Thank you so much for everything you've posted! And best of all, the success I've had using your videos as a foundation in creating successful projects.

  77. judi mosso says:

    thanks again for sharing your great tutorials and skills. I'm binge watching SeaLemon tonight 🙂

  78. Brandi Johnson says:


  79. Elena Gagon says:

    I am trying to use just regular printer paper as a cover. Do you have any recommendations on how to make the paper wrinkle and bubble less? Can I also put a backing on regular paper that will help with it’s sturdiness?

  80. Programmer Sheep says:

    Who else needed their mom to help them?

  81. SomethinSweet says:

    I have the traditional fusible interfacing that I bought from the bolt. Would this work as well and would you recommend using woven or non-woven? I have both.

  82. Tadi3a says:

    Rather than use tissue, I was going to try a very light weight interfacing. Has anyone tried this? I am hoping that this will result in less chance of bubbles and wrinkles. Great video!

  83. Christie Trout says:

    Very helpful, thank you!

  84. Caleb Cook says:

    Sea Lemon, lemme tell you. If I had found your channel a little sooner I could have saved myself a LOT of frustration. I started bookbinding a few months ago by teaching myself through a combination of tutorials, articles, trial and error, and dismantling and observing old books of mine. Your channel is such a wonderful source of concise, coherent, and practical information. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  85. Shamese Shular says:

    thank you sooo much! there are SO many pretty fabrics that would be the perfect bookcloth but they're too thin as they come. can't wait to try this out!

  86. jaylecia davila says:

    Is there a way to do it without the heat and bond?

  87. The Gentleman Maker says:

    That's a great tutorial – then to top it off I actually found Heat 'n' Bond here in the UK! My next few books are going to be super looking. Thank you!

  88. Nirja Kumari says:

    Your tutorials are always very very helpful. Just have a query …what kind of tissue paper did you use in this video

  89. olimakiella says:

    0:48 Sounds like there's a story there, lol.

  90. Joe Weatherford says:

    I ended up creating a journal using a tie-dye t-shirt for the cover through this method. This was a big help. Thanks.

  91. yue says:

    Thank you so much!!! All the linen book cloth I found online were super limited on colors and they were always in 17×19 sheets which is barely enough for my sketchbook and I would have to spend another 10$ for another sheet

  92. ChaoticMoonN1bd says:

    This worked great! Thank you!

  93. Celeste Gardner says:

    Very clever idea I will give this a try. Tyfs

  94. Illusionniste says:

    Can this be done for goat suede? Thanks.

  95. keli clinton says:

    I'm going to try making a cloth cover book this weekend. I've already made a paper hardcover and it was brilliant. Your instructions are perfect. Thank you so much for sharing. You've turned my love and hoarding of paper into something practical.

  96. miraxterrik says:

    Help. I have no idea what people in the US call "tissue paper". Can i use those paper towels they have in dispenser in public toilets to dry your hands after washing them? Or is it too thick? Is tissue paper like napkin? Or like tissue you use after watching Jack sink in Titanic? XD Or can i use those colorful crèpe papers?

  97. Fantasy Apprentice says:

    dose this work one fux fure?

  98. jade dutchek says:

    Thank you my dear this will help out me a lot.

  99. Fantasy Apprentice says:

    thank you very much for this, it helped me a lot with my book binding =) Thanks for posting all of these instructional videos.

  100. Debra Crumbaker says:

    Great! Looks very easy and I have Heat & Bond Lite here at home that needs to be used. Thanks!

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