10 steps for casing in a book block.


Find one concise page of materials here.
PVA Adhesive: Jade 403
Glue Brush
Mull / Super / Tarlatan (one in the same)
Bone Folder or Burnisher
Kraft Paper
Scalpel Handle & Scalpel Blades

Binder’s Board
Covering Material (Bookcloth)

and of course… your book block!

1. Place the book block between backing boards, a securing vice, or just between your knees. Using your glue brush, liberally apply Jade to the spine of your block. Take your Supercloth, and adhere the center along the spine. Burnish with your bone folder. Now, cover the supercloth with a strip of Kraft paper (cut to the width of the spine), and burnish again – making sure it is secured in place.

2. Place your cover material face down on a sheet of scrap paper or newsprint. Glue the entire back side of your cover material – make sure not to miss the edges and corners!
TIP: Always start from the center & work out to avoid rips, folds, or creases to your material. Work Quickly as Jade dries fast. If you’d like to slow down the drying time – try adding wheat paste or methyl cellulose to your Jade for added drying time.

Cut a “center guide” out of scrap – to calculate: add the block height + at least twice the board thickness. Eye or generally gauge the center of the material & place your “center guide.” Now, butt your center boards up to the center guide making sure the top & bottom margins are the same size. Once the boards are down, remove the center guide.

4. Center a second strip of Kraft Paper (same width as your spine) between the boards.
(this is where your spine will go)

5. Now it’s time to trim the corners of your material. Gauging how much to trim can be tricky – but a proper amount to leave extending beyond the corner of the boards is just over the thickness of the boards. Cut at a 45degree angle.
6. Long sides always get folded first. Take your bone folder and tease the material up – burnishing flat along the edge of the boards. Continue flattening the material to the inside of the boards. Pinch in the corners with your fingernail.

Now fold in the short sides (using the same method as above).

TIP: If you find that your glue is drying out – don’t be afraid to reapply in specific areas. Just be careful to not add to much as to avoid pooling when burnished.

7. Leave to dry under weight for several hours, or as long as you’d like. This will help ensure that your boards do not buckle or curl.

8. Now it’s time to place the book block into the cover. Holding the book inside of its jacket – knock it back against a hard surface to make sure it’s fully in place.

9. Once your block is in place (make sure there is an even extension on the top and bottom) take a sheet of your scrap paper and place it behind the first page in your diary block. Now take your brush and apply a coating of Jade across the whole end page.

TIP: Make sure to completely cover Supercloth as this will act as the chief means of support between the block & case.

Shut the cover, and apply pressure.

Now very carefully, hold the book & case in place and flip.
Repeat the same gluing process on this side.

10. Leave your book to dry under weight – preferably overnight to help ensure flatness and to prevent your boards from curling.

you have finished your own book block!

Like this tutorial?
Download a copy here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *