how to punch holes along your book signature

I remember the first time I had to punch holes on my book signature.

It was a simple task. Or so I thought…

No matter how accurate I tried to make my markings, the last few signatures often came out slightly off. This gave me a book with book signatures that are slightly off center.

Frustrating. #ocd

That was until Sheryl taught me this method.

Now, there are many ways you can do this. Some methods work better for you, this just works for me.

However, it involves an additional step.

Hence, lazy bookbinders don’t like to use this. Experienced bookbinders  may prefer to skip it.



1 Easy Way to Punch Holes on Your Book Signature

Sheryl shares how she does it in this short video:

This hole punching method involves the use of a template. (More about this below)

What you will need to punch holes in your book signature:

  • Book Signatures
  • Template for your holes
  • Thick book that you no longer use / read (or use a cutting mat)
  • Awl or Compass tool or any of these

Here are the steps:

1) Align your template to your page signature

  • make sure they are all aligned to ensure that the holes across your book signature are consistent
  • I find it easier if I make a fold below the template for the book signature to sit on.

2) Place your book signature in an opened old book

  • the bend of the old book gives a great surface to punch holes on
  • If you love books and can’t bear to do this to one, grab a old thick magazine instead, or use a cutting mat instead

3) Punch holes using your Awl.

4) Repeat till you are done

How to make a template for your hole punching needs

This hole punching method involves the use of a template.

The template is great, honestly. It gives you the ability to punch equally spaced holes across all your book signature.

And it comes in especially handy when you are working on an ambitious bookbinding project with many signatures like a weekly planner.

This is how you can make yours:

What you will need to make a hole-punching template:

  • 1 set of Book Signatures
  • Ruler
  • Recycled paper
  • Penknife
  • Pencil
  • Awl or Compass tool or any of these

Here are the steps:

1) Grab a piece of recycled paper. It should ideally be of the same height as your book signature.

  • Use your book signature to cut it down to size if necessary

2) Cut a strip off. Width doesnt matter here. About 4 – 5cm is good for easy handling.

3) Fold the strip into half; along it’s width

  • Use your bone scorer to make a clear fold mark

4) Use your ruler to mark out 6 holes of equal distance, along the folded line.

  • As a quick guide, just take the height of your book signature and divide it by 7.

5) Punch holes using your awl or an alternative

6) DONE! Now use the template to punch holes on all your book signatures.

Let me know what you think about this method! 😀

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