How to make an interlocked band closure for books (and other things)

(I think that is my longest post title yet!)

On August 21 a reader asked a question in the comments section of an old post: she was curious about the interlocked band I had used, but could not make out the details in the picture.

I replied and included this image.

Although that seemed to satisfy the reader, I thought “If one person has taken the time to ask, perhaps complete instructions are in order?”

So here they are.

The first step is to measure the circumference of the book. Take a strip of scrap paper and wrap it around the middle of the book. (I used a small piece of book board for demonstration purposes.)

Make a mark where the end of the paper overlaps.


Measure the distance between the end of the strip and the mark, being sure to flatten the strip where it has bent around the sides of the book. This is your circumference measurement.

To make the band you will need a strip of paper at least one inch (2.54 cm) wide and approximately 2.25 times the circumference of the book.

Center the book over the band and bring the ends across the front of the book so that they lie side by side without any overlap. You can make the ends lie parallel to the top and bottom of the book, as I did in the two examples shown above, or you can have them at an angle.

Use your bone folder —or your thumbnail— to form the strip to the edges of the book. Fold the top end down and the bottom end up, keeping the sides of the strips parallel to the edges of the book. Once again, make sure the ends lie side by side with no overlap.

Slits are needed so that the ends can be woven through. Using the strip itself as a guide, mark the ends of the slits. The marks should be a teeny bit outside the up and down strips and in the middle of the crossways sections. (The fourth mark in the picture below is hidden by the tip of the bone folder.)

Pierce the hole locations with an awl or a T-pin, then cut the slits. Do this step on your cutting mat, not on the book.   ;  )

Take the lower end of the strip, tuck it under the side of the upper end, and bring it out throughout the middle. Tuck the upper end under the side of the lower end and out through the middle. Trim the ends as you see fit. I cut mine parallel to the crossing sections.

And there you have it. There is no need to undo the band to open the book. The band is designed to slide off the book and back on again.

You can make the strip wider as I did for one of my dot / dash entries.

The interlocked strip also makes a good decoration for small parcels that have to be mailed.




About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
This entry was posted in artist's books, book arts, bookbinding, Design, instructions and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to How to make an interlocked band closure for books (and other things)

  1. Lestaret says:

    Lovely clear instructions for this band. Lots of potential to expand upon it too! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lynn in Tucson says:

    I love this! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Cathryn, wonderful band, again I don’t know where you find the time. Thanks for the link to my work.


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  5. Rebecca S. says:

    Very clever band. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  6. joyce says:

    I love it! Thank you for the instructions!


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  8. Wendy Hampton says:

    What a fascinating little bookwrap. I will be using this quite often..I’m sure of it! Thank you so much for sharing this lovely idea.


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  10. Marilyn Virella says:

    Such a simple way to make the band, but so useful and handy. Great instructions, thank you for sharing. I will make these, now that I know how.


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  12. Roberta says:

    Thanks for these great instructions, I will be trying this very soon.


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  14. Robin Allison says:

    Thank you for the clear pictures and instructions for the band! I will definitely be using this on some books!


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