Stab Binding

The stab binding is an elegant and simple binding method that you can use with single sheets or signatures. This 4-hole bind is quick and binds all sheets and the covers together at the same time.

Materials – Stab binding

  • 2 sheets decorative scrapbook paper, cut to exactly the size of the pages
  • Sheets of paper for pages – can be folded into signatures or loose leaf
  • Embroidery thread
  • Beeswax (recommended)
  • Awl or push drill (example uses a 2mm push drill)
  • Tapestry needle or curved bookbinder’s needle (recommended)

Prep – Stab binding

Prep is simple for this one; cut your sheets for pages and your covers to the exact size of the closed book that you want. You can use folded signatures for pages, if desired, just make sure that when folded, the signatures are exactly the same size as the cover. A paper jig will also be helpful for punching binding holes.

Example Prep

For a Book that is 6″ tall by 5″ wide when closed:

  • 2 sheets decorative paper for covers, 6″ x 5″
    • For a double cover book: 2 sheets decorative paper, 6″ x 10″, folded in half
  • 20 – 40 sheets paper for pages, 6″ x 5″
    • To use signatures, 10 – 20 sheets paper, 6″ x 10″, folded in half, 4 sheets stacked together
    • Can use as many sheets as desired for book, books that are more than 3/4 thick tend to be more difficult to bind
  • Paper jig with binding holes punched 1″ in from the spine side, 4 holes along the height of the spine

Binding Steps

Arrange the pages and covers as you want the book to be when finished (covers with correct side out, pages within).

Align the jig along the spine side of the book and stab through all layers of covers and pages along the binding hole marks on the jig. For thicker books, it will be helpful to split the book in half and stab binding holes on each half separately. Make sure the jig is appropriately aligned on both halves and flush with the spine edge of the book.

Select, trim and wax thread for binding. For this book, bound the book twice and used 6 times the spine height for the length of thread. Thread a binding needle, leaving a short tail. Alternately, you can double the thread. Make sure your binding holes are wide enough for the thread and needle to pass through three times each hole. Widen the holes with the awl, if needed. We’ll make three stitches at each binding hole, one passing between each hole and the other next to it or the edge of the book, and one up from the binding hole around the spine.

Open the book to a middle page. Pass the needle and thread through one of the middle holes from the inside of the book to the outside front cover. Leave a tail that is long enough to tie off on (in this example, about 3 inches.

Close the book on the tail. Use a binder clip to clip all the pages and covers together on the opposite side of the spine.

Now the fun starts 🙂

Pull the thread up over the spine on the outside front of the book toward the outside back cover. Insert the needle into the same binding hole, this time from the back cover, through to the front cover. You’ll have a loop going up around the spine at this binding hole.

Pull the thread to the next binding hole, closest to the edge of the book. Pass through the hole from the front cover all the way through to the back cover. Now there is a straight line of thread from one hole to the next on the front cover.

From the back cover, bring the thread over the spine and pass the needle through the same binding hole from the front cover through to the back cover.

From the back, bring the thread around the bottom edge of the book, back into the same binding hole, from the front to the back. This will make a straight line of thread from the last binding hole to the bottom edge of the book.

At the back of the book, bring the thread to the next hole (the first binding hole we bound). Pass the needle through this whole from back to front, connecting these two binding holes on the back of the book.

Next, pass the needle through the next binding hole (this other middle hole) from front to back. From the back, bring the thread and needle over the spine back to the front.

Insert the needle into the same binding hole, from front to back, creating the loop around the spine at this binding hole.

At the back of the book, pass the needle through the next binding hole, this one closest to the edge of the book. At this last hole, at the front of the book, wrap the thread around the edge of the book.

At the back of the book, pass the needle through the same binding hole from the back to the front. The needle will come out the front of the book. From the front of the book, pull the thread up over the spine from this binding hole to the back of the book.

At the back of the book, pass the needle through the same binding hole from the back to the front, completing the loop around the spine at this hole.

At the front of the book, pass the needle through the next binding hole, completing the connection between all the binding holes on the front of the book.

Remove the binder clip, and open the book at the page where the tail of the thread is. Clip the book again to keep these pages separate.

Pass the needle into the binding hole you started with, but instead of passing the needle all the way to the front, pass it into the book where the starting tail is. Tie off the working thread with the tail thread, tightening the knot into the middle of the book.

Clip off the ends of the thread and tuck them into the binding of the book.

Done! This is the 4- hole stab bind!

Secret Belgian Stitch Prep

The Secret Belgian Stitch is a hard cover, closed spine binding method with a unique cover that can fold all the way back. The stitch is pretty simple and I like to use watercolor paper for signatures since the cover gives a lot of sturdiness to the book.

Prepare the materials

For this binding we’ll need materials for a hard cover, stitched binding and signatures. The example images below are for a finished book that is 6″ tall, 1″ thick spine and 8″ long (from spine edge to open edge of the book).

  • Book board – 2 pieces for the covers (size in example: 6″ x 8″)
  • Book board – 1 piece for the spine (size in example: 1″ x 6″)
  • Decorative paper for the outer covers; 1″ longer and wider than the covers and spine boards (in the example: 2 sheets that are 7″ x 9″ for the covers and one sheet 2″ x 7″ for the spine)
  • Decorative paper for the interior covers and spine
  • PVA glue and brush
  • Watercolor sheets – 20 sheets for 5 signatures of 4 sheets, cut to the same height and twice the width of the covers (in the example, 16″ x 6″)
  • Waxed linen or binding thread – the number of signatures times the height of the book/ spine (in example, 5 signatures x 6″)
  • Binding needle
  • Awl
  • Metal ruler
  • Craft knife
  • Cutting mat

*Note: these prep instructions are for a book that is 6″ tall by 8″ long when closed, with a 1″ thick spine and 40 pages of watercolor paper. This book can be made in different sizes, with attention to changing the dimensions of paper and board when needed.

Use this chart to plan out your own dimensions for materials:

Your book dimensionsouter coverinner cover
Height = ____ inches
Length = ____inches

(height + 1 inch) = ____ inches
x
(length + 1 inch) = ____ inches
Make 2
(height – 0.25 inch) = ____ inches
x
(length + 0.25 inch) = ____ inches
Make 2
Spine Width = ____inches
Height = ____ inches

(height + 1 inch) = ____ inches
x
(width + 1 inch) = ____ inches
Make 1
(height – 0.25 inch) = ____ inches
x
(width – 0.25 inch) = ____ inches
Make 1
  1. This book is great to make with watercolor paper. I start with a 12″ x 18″ watercolor pad with a cardboard back.
  2. Remove the cardboard from the back and cut in half lengthwise to have two 6″ x 18″ strips. We’ll only use one in this book, put the other aside.
  3. Cut the 6″ x 18″ strip of cardboard into four pieces:
    • One 6″ x 1″ strip for the spine
    • One 6″ x 1″ strip for a closure or set aside
    • Two pieces 6″ x 8″, one for each front and back cover
  4. Remove ten sheets of watercolor paper from the pad. Cut each sheet in half length-wise to have 20 sheets that are 6″ x 18″; cut 2″ off the end of each sheet to have 6″ x 16″ sheets.
  5. Fold each sheet in half and stack 4 together to make signatures.
  6. Cut decorative paper for the outside of the covers, spine and closure. Each piece should be 1″ longer and 1″ wider than the cardboard pieces:
    • One 7″ x 2″ strips for the spine
    • One 7″ x 2″ strip for the closure
    • Two 7″ x 9″ pieces for the covers
  7. Cut decorative paper for the interior covers and spine/ closure. Each piece should be 1/4 shorter and narrower than the cardboard:
    • One 5.75″ x 0.75″ strips for the spine
    • One 5.75″ x 0.75″ strip for the closure
    • Two 5.75″ x 7.75″ pieces for the covers
  8. Prepare your work area for gluing by putting down parchment or scrap paper.

Fantasy Landscape Gouache Painting @ Common Fields

Let’s make some fantasy landscape paintings in gouache at Common Fields!

This Fall, we’ll make dazzling, colorful and fantastical landscapes at Common Fields. Perfect for beginners, small groups, teens and adults, this workshop includes everything you need to start making fantasy landscapes with gouache!

Come join us on Monday, November 7, 2022 at 6:00 pm
at Common Fields in downtown Corvallis

In this 2-hour workshop, we’ll practice with gouache, a water-soluble paint, to create illustrative landscapes to inspire stories, and fantasy. References, paint, paper and equipment are all included.

No painting or drawing experience needed for this laid back art making night!

Food and bevergaes are available at the locallyowned food carts at Common Fields.

This painting workshop is open to beginners and experienced painters, teens and adults. Registration is $25 per person
All materials provided and included.

Uh-oh! This class is maxed out or has already started! Check back again for more classes from Jen Hernandez Art!

Comics & Sticker Making at Common Fields

This fall, we’re making comics at Common Fields!

Come join us on Sunday, November 6, 2022 at 1:00 pm
to share stories, drawings and create your own comic book to take home!

In this 2-hour workshop, families are invited to drop in, pick up a pencil, some markers and create! We’ll have live demonstrations and games to practice our skills in comics making, plus materials for sparkle stickers.

Food and bevergaes are available at the locallyowned food carts at Common Fields.

This family workshop is open to kids ages 5 and up with a parent or guardian. Registration is $15 per child; parents/ guardians free!
All materials provided and included.

Registration is now closed!

Gouache Class at OCCC Fall 2022

Create whimsical illustrations and paintings with gouache, a water-based medium that layers like acrylic and dries with a matte finish. Perfect for children’s illustrations, cards, and small paintings, this medium can bring to life all kinds of wondrous imaginings. Beginner-friendly class with live instruction on materials and techniques. Students can expect to end the class with at least 2 finished paintings. Materials list provided; materials are available from instructor (includes material fee).

Materials list provided; materials available from instructor (includes material fee)

Class Schedule:

October 20 – November 10 (4 weeks)
Thursdays
10:00 – 11:30 am

Registration fee: $xx
Materials fee: $25
Register at Oregon Coast Community College (coming soon)

Watercolor class at OCCC Fall 2022

Students will learn and practice skills in watercolor painting. We’ll practice using different tools and techniques to create layering effects for depth in subjects inspired by nature, and we’ll focus on skills for painting outdoors or in a travel journal. Over the 4 weeks, we’ll add techniques to build up to one or two final paintings, per student’s choice. Class studio time includes group reflection and instructor support and feedback to improve skills. Materials list provided; materials are available from instructor (includes material fee).

Materials list provided; materials available from instructor (includes material fee)

Class Schedule:

September 22 – October 13 (4 weeks)
Thursdays
10:00 – 11:30 am

Register at Oregon Coast Community College

Gouache Workshop at Greenhouse Coffee + Plants

Paint with texture and color in this beginner-friendly gouache workshop at Greenhouse Coffee + Plants with Jen Hernandez Art. Be inspired by the lush plants and decor around you as you practice techniques in nature painting and illustration with gouache. Gouache is a water-based opaque paint that allows for smooth blending and layering of color to create vibrant and dimensional detailed artwork.

In this workshop, you’ll have everything you need to create illustrative artwork of plants and fungi.

Friday, October 14, 2022
Register at Greenhouse Coffee + Plants
Registration: $65

Bespoke Bookbinding II at OCCC Fall 2022

More bookbinding for beginners! We’ll practice 4 more bookbinding techniques including binding with old book covers, star books, long stitch, and decorative spines bookbinding. No previous experience needed (no need to have taken Bespoke Bookbinding I).


Class Schedule and Registration:

October 20 – November 10
Thursdays, 1:00 – 2:30 pm

Register at Orgon Coast Community College


Materials

Special materials and equipment are required for this class (click to see materials list).

Bespoke Bookbinding at OCCC Fall 2022

Bookbinding for beginners: In this class we’ll practice 4 different bookbinding methods from around the world to create our own unique sketchbooks and journals. Each class will include step-by-step instructions for each method, and live demonstration by the instructor. Create a travel watercolor journal, a sketchbook with pockets, a personalized diary, plus gorgeous decorative binding. 

Plus, extra tips and instructions for single-page books and zines on the exclusive class website.

Special materials and equipment are required for this class.
See class info and materials sheet for supplies and links.

Class Schedule

September 22 – October 13 (4 weeks)
Thursdays
1:00 – 2:30 pm

Register at Oregon Coast Community College

Colored Pencils at LBCC Fall 2022

Explore the vibrant world of colored pencils in this class for all levels of artistic skill. Learn about techniques for blending colors, using solvents, and creating compositions based on references.

Practice skills that you can use to create landscapes, portraits, still life and more in this versatile medium, plus get practice in drawing skills with graphite pencil. Each week, live demonstrations will cover drawing exercises to warm up with, and then studio practice with real-time guidance and feedback.

No previous drawing experience necessary, this basics class will give you the starting ground to take off with your imagination..

See the class syllabus here

Class schedule:

September 27 – December 6
Tuesdays, 11:00 am – 12:20 pm
Virtual on Zoom (join from anywhere!)

Register at Linn-Benton Community College

Materials

Suggested supplies:   If you do not have some of these supplies at home, and it is difficult to get them you can get by with the materials you do have.

  • Wax-based (recommended) colored pencils (instructor will primarily use Prismacolor and Faber-Castell; Crayola/ Rose Art, other brands are welcome)
  • Colors: Prismacolor Premier 24 set 3597T plus, Cream (PC914), Cool Grey (PC1061), French Grey (PC1074)
  • Water-soluble colored pencils, any brand (instructor will use Crayola watercolor pencils, Derwent Graphitint, and Derwent Inktense)
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Tortillons
  • Drawing pencil (any of 2B, 4H, 6H)
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Mineral spirits (Gamsol)
  • Small watercolor brush
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Inexpensive watercolor paper pad (9×12 or 11 x 14) (such as Strathmore or Canson)
  • Black and/or toned paper
  • Optional: tissue, cotton swab, paper towel (can substitute for tortillon)
  • Optional: Carbon transfer paper and tracing paper