Do-It-Yourself: How to Make a Chapbook

Year

2009

Create a hand-sewn chapbook showcasing your favorite holiday poems or your favorite verse in general.

Supplies:
Poets & Writers' Format Guide
Plain white 8 1/2" x 11" paper
Magazine cut-outs/colored card-stock
Printer
Scissors
Needle and thread

Optional:
Poets.org login for My Notebooks
Stapler

Instructions:

1. Select which poems you would like to include (visit the Poems for Every Occasion and Notebooks pages to find poems for various holidays and themes).
2. Log-in to Poets.org to create a notebook of your selections by clicking on the 'Add to Notebook' link above each poem on the site.
3. Format your poetry collection using a word processor to match the Poets & Writers layout.
4. Print out the formatted document onto plain white paper.
5. Cut each page in half horizontally and crease down the middle.
6. Decorate the cover using magazine clippings and/or print the cover on colored cardstock—matching it to the 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" layout.

Binding:
6. Gather the pages and double-check that they are in order.
7. String a needle with a sturdy thread.
8. Follow the Poets & Writers guide to making a stab-stitch bound chapbook.
9. Optional: Use a stapler along the spine of the book instead of sewing it together.

10. Share your collection with your friends— from afar, by e-mailing a link to your notebook; or up close, by handing them a finished copy of your chapbook.


Chapbooks are a great way to spread poetry at a low cost. Fortunately, there are as many chapbook resources on the web as there are ways to make one.

For more information, please visit Poets & Writers' resource page featured here, or explore PSA's annual chapbook fellowship and the classes and workshops offered by The Center for Book Arts.