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Home » A Bookbinding Punch Cradle – Another Craft Tool I just HAD To Have!

A Bookbinding Punch Cradle – Another Craft Tool I just HAD To Have!

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Bookbinding punch cradle – this is a must have tool for handmade journals.

Can a bookbinding punch cradle really make a difference to your journal binding workflow?

Oh yes! This gadget is one of the simplest but most effective tools I have ever owned.

bookbinding punch cradle
The brilliant bookbinding gadget.

Read on to see the benefits and watch the video linked further down.

Since I bought my bookbinding punch cradle online from Time To Create, unfortunately, it seems to have disappeared.

So I have found alternatives and have put them in my Amazon stores.

However, I have not tested these ones so make sure they are what you need before buying.

In my Amazon US storefront, this bookbinding cradle is listed in the main body of the storefront.

In my Amazon UK storefront, this bookbinding cradle is in the Craft Tools section.

You can see my Amazon Affiliate statement here.

There is another option for owning a bookbinding punch cradle though.

Make your own – it’s not a complicated piece of kit!

I found this tutorial on YouTube that you can follow if you want to go that route.

As you may know, I have been hand binding books and art journals for several years.

The one part I disliked was punching the binding holes.

But now, thanks to the beautifully crafted bookbinding punch cradle above, piercing the binding holes is an absolute doddle!

bookbinding punch cradle
A few of the journals I have created and bound.

This bookbinding punch cradle has taken the laborious part right out of the process for me.

Crafts where accuracy and measurements are critical are usually a challenge for me.

Marking out distances between points using a ruler has just never worked for me, no matter how hard I try.

I love the American way where crafters say, ‘just eyeball it!’ – that’s my kind of style.

But even more my style is having tools, gadgets and machines that make crafting life easier.

So when I discovered Time To Create’s bookbinding punch cradle, I was over the moon.

I am so thrilled with it, I have made a video showing the old way I used to use to pierce binding holes in my art journals and then the new way using this wonderful tool.

You can see the video by clicking here.

You’ll quickly see, without the cradle, no matter how careful I was in placing the point of the tool on the piercing mark, I wasn’t quite on the fold all of the time.

I did this my usual way, just piercing though the four pages on a cutting mat. You can see how the holes are not all completely in the fold doing it this way.

But as soon as I did it using the bookbinding punch cradle, my binding holes were smack dab on the fold without any effort.

bookbinding punch cradle
Genius! Holes are all aligned and completely in the fold with the bookbinding punching cradle.

The only thing I needed to adjust was my own technique – let me explain.

When I pierced onto a cutting mat, I used to pierce from front to back – that is, from the outside of the fold to the inside.

This meant that the hole in the spine was neater because I was breaking the fibres of the card inward.

But when I started using the cradle, I was piercing through from the inside outward which didn’t give the neatest look to the signature spines.

Depending on your final binding finish, that might not matter – but if it does matter, try this…

bookbinding punch cradle

Bear in mind I am just a crafting journal binder, so this might not be ‘a thing’ in the bookbinding world – but it works well for me.

If you want really neat holes, you could of course use a paper drill, which actually removes a tiny circle of paper instead of just piercing through it.

But I prefer the very small hole that piercing creates. Even the smallest head on my paper drill leaves a bigger hole that I want. But it’s a personal thing.

Hope this post and video has been of some use to you.

If you have anything to add, please use the comments section below, you might have to scroll down to find it but it is there!

If you decide to get a bookbinding punching cradle, let me know how you get on.