How to Print and Bind Old Books for Homeschooling {Video Tutorial}

One of my favorite things about this digital age is the easy access to old books. They are such a boon to modern homeschooling in so many ways and the price is just right (mostly FREE)!


The only problem is how to get them into the hands of our children.

The easiest way is via handheld devices, such as tablets and smart phones. I don’t mind reading aloud from my tablet, or even having a child sit close to me and read aloud from a good, old tome.

But there is something a little dangerous about turning a child loose with an Internet-connected tablet, isn’t there? I mean, there are so many other places to go and things to do on one of those devices rather than the intended assignment. Besides, it just isn’t good for tiny brains, especially, to be staring into a screen for hours.

So what’s a mom to do?

Well, to get these materials to my kids I decided to develop a little publishing house in my own home.

In order to do this, I searched all over the Internet (in my spare time–I’m laughing uncontrollably here) and educated myself on the subject of printing and binding books at home.

Then I went out and invested in (some items I did own already, but others were purchased deliberately):

  • A printer that can duplex (print on both sides of the paper automatically) along with XL cartridges and paper
  • A long-arm stapler
  • A glue gun and glue sticks
  • Some binder clips
  • Colorful file folders
  • Rubber cement
  • Contact paper
  • Some other helpful scrapbooking supplies, such as a corner-rounder thingie, a huge hole-punch, a large paper cutter

And then I proceeded to print and bind a number of books for everyone to enjoy. I can hardly explain the satisfaction I have obtained from this one practical, but creative, activity. There is something wonderful about holding a book you put together yourself. I literally have stacks of these treasures, (not a few for my own reading and learning enjoyment) and I think I have gotten better at it over time; adding something here, an imbelishment there, etc.

Since I was engaged in this activity just a few days ago, I took advantage of the opportunity and captured a tutorial of my methods for the benefit of you, my dear reader.

Here is the video if you are interested, even if you watch it just to hear me clear my voice a kazillion times:


As promised, here are some photos of finishing the process:




Click here for a post about using vintage books for homeschooling. 

Lastly, here are some links to get you started on your own Google Books Library:

Classics Old and New, Fourth Reader

How to Teach Phonics

Reading-Literature (Second Reader)


19 thoughts on “How to Print and Bind Old Books for Homeschooling {Video Tutorial}”

  1. Very impressed! I did not know it could be that easy…or maybe (and probably!) you make it LOOK easy! Thank you for sharing! So hard to find good old books now a days.

  2. This is amazing, thank you! Having your own publishing house is such a great idea. I would love to see you actually gluing the books together and putting the covers on. I’m sure you know this, but for other readers, those 16-page booklets are called quires when put into books. How long does it take you to print and put together a book (on average. Obviously it’s dependent on how big the book is!)?

    • Quires–good word! I often am multi-tasking while printing, but that part isn’t that time consuming if you have a fast printer (and as you mentioned, the size of the book). Also, printing at a lower quality makes a difference–a higher quality takes longer. I should have videoed the gluing–maybe another time! Thanks for the helpful comment.

  3. I found some great free books for our family on I am going to give this printing and binding a try!

  4. Hello Sherry,
    As you said, this is one method of book binding which works well for you. If you or any of your readers are interested in some instructions on other methods of book binding, I recommend looking for “Sea Lemon” on YouTube. My daughter learnt to bind books by hand stitching from this channel & has made some beautiful books.
    You would still need to print the 16 page mini booklets as you show in your video.
    Blessings, Angela

    • Thank you for the helpful links, Angela. Stitching books is by far the more beautiful way. It was just easier and quicker for me to make books en mass by using the glue gun 😛

  5. You are my NEW FAVORITE PERSON!!! THANK-YOU for all your helpful information. I got here via pinterest and your “Charlotte Mason for Real Moms” post and have been giddily gleaning and downloading to my heart’s content. Thank-you. So much of what you’ve shared is exactly what I’ve needed after wading through Year One of Ambleside Online. It was a learning, growing experience, and largely a beautiful one, but we definitely had our gaps, pitfalls, and frustrations. Some stuff just never came to be. These tools will, I hope, be building blocks for next year! I’m also going to share your “CM for Real Moms” post with a friend who is committed to homeschool in the fall, but doesn’t have a plan yet. I hope I can save her some of the muddling I’ve had to do…

    • Saving moms from unnecessary muddling is one of my callings , mostly because I have muddled so many times myself!

  6. Can you explain the actual assembly part of making the book better. I am a bit lost at the book clips part. Since you didn’t actually assemble a book it made it kinda hard. Thanks

    • Sorry for the confusion. After the book clips are on and the hot glue gun is applied, the clips are removed and a cover is glued on. I don’t know if this answers your question or not 🙂 Let me know if you need more!

  7. Just discovered your blog through a search for Ray’s arithmetic reviews, and I am enjoying your wisdom especially in the many questions you answer in the comments.

    I would love to know why you bind in this way rather than spiral or comb binding. Thank you!


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