Yotsume Toji Bookbinding - The Wholesome Handbook

Yotsume Toji Bookbinding - The Wholesome Handbook

Purpose.

We are so burdened by that little word. We spend our lifetimes yearning to be defined by our purpose. We search for it like trickling mountain creeks search for the ocean, pulled ever forward by that celestial, gravitational force. We dream of coming home, yawning wide into the sea of our elusive raison d’etre, and pouring our weary souls into inspiration, fulfillment, and happiness.

If we could just find our purpose, all of the messy, imperfect elements of our lives would fall into place. We wouldn’t feel that desperate longing to be more. We would walk through the world with all the grace and ease that we’ve been told we are owed. If only we find our purpose, we will be free. If only. If only.

So our hearts break. We wait and we wait, for purpose to come find us, for it to pluck us out of mediocrity and into the spectacular life we have been expecting. We wait for inspiration instead of seeking it, we jealously guard our hearts and minds, we become rigid in our ideas of what our purpose looks like, and by doing so, we forget to see what’s already in front of us.

Listen up, you gorgeous soul. You are already living your purpose, right here, right now. You have a completely unique set of experiences and wisdoms to share. You have gifts, talents, and struggles to lay bare at the feet of your altar. Bloom. Your purpose might not look like what you expected, but while you were waiting at the window like a lovelorn cat for your purpose to come knocking, it slipped in the back door.

Divorce yourself from the idea that you are somehow better than your circumstances. You are exactly where you need to be. Abandon the poisonous thought that finding your purpose will elevate you to some lofty place above the uninspired masses below. Your purpose is here. You are exactly where you need to be.

Your purpose lives with you and in you – stop ignoring it because it doesn’t look like what you thought it would.

I have struggled with my purpose. I have had visions of grandeur for myself since I was very small. But my true purpose in this moment is a humble one – to create and to share. So here we are.

This little hand-bound book is meant to be filled with my dreams, the bizarre and beautiful things my subconscious mind comes up with when I’m sleeping. I think we do not pay enough attention to the dream world, and that there is much wisdom to be found there. Dreams are another way that our purpose speaks to us.

The technique we are using is called Yotsume Toji, or four-eye binding. It is one of the prettiest and simplest bookbinding techniques I have come across, and takes so little time for such a lovely payoff.

What you’ll need:
A small stack of paper
A pencil
A ruler
An awl
Strong thread
Washi tape or a clamp
A blunt tapestry needle

Yotsume Toji Bookbinding - The Wholesome Handbook

Yotsume Toji Bookbinding - The Wholesome Handbook

Yotsume Toji Bookbinding - The Wholesome Handbook
1. Select your cover page, measure the edge you’ll be stitching on, and divide that number by 5. Using the resulting number, separate the spine into five sections, marking four sewing holes with your pencil. Make sure that your marks are at least ¼ inch from your spine.

2. Clamp or tape your stack together so that the paper stays aligned. Using the awl, pierce through the stack at each pencil mark, creating four holes.

3. Thread your needle with a length of thread or ribbon that is four times the length of your spine. Do not tie a knot at the end.

4. To begin, pull your needle through your second hole from the back of your book. Pull until you have at least three inches of thread left. Wrap your needle around the spine, and pull through the second hole once again.

5. Go through the first hole from the front, wrap your needle around the spine, and pull through the first hole.

6. Wrap your needle around the top of your book, and back through the first hole from the front.

7. From the back, enter through the second hole, and then from the front, go through the third hole.

8. From the back, enter through the fourth hole. Wrap your needle around the spine, and back through the fourth hole.

9. Wrap your needle around the bottom of your book, and back through the fourth hole.

10. Go through the third hole, wrap your needle around the spine, and pull through the third hole.

11. Tie your tails (one from the second hole and one from the third hole) into a tight knot or bow.

12. Fill your little book with dreams, waking or asleep.

Yotsume Toji Bookbinding - The Wholesome Handbook