Okay. There are going to be a lot of pictures here. I apologize to anyone with dial-up.
To begin with, you're going to need some stuff.
A. Paper for the outside and inside of the cover.
B. Your cards (I used magazine pages because I didn't have a large stash of cards to make another book out of)
C. Something to use for a cover. If you want a really sturdy cover, go to the thrift store (or otherwise procure) a hardback book to use. If you pick a book with a picture on it, you might want to spray paint it first so that there's no chance of being able to see the picture through your paper.
D. A ruler
E A sewing needle. A tapestry, cross stitch, or some other large eyed needle will work best.
F. An eraser
G. A pencil
H. An awl, or something else slightly larger than your needle for poking holes in your cards before you sew them.
I. Thread, since the cards don't have a lot of bulk, your thread should be fairly thin. For the tutorial book, I used 3 strands of a 6 strand skein of embroidery floss.
J. A flat, solid work surface.
K. A cutting mat.
Some sort of adhesive. I recommend a spay glue such as Super 77.
A thick book that your don't care about, I use a phonebook, however a thick catalog will work well also.
Pick out your tallest card, your widest card, and your shortest card. If your tallest card is also your widest card, then use that for the tallest and widest and then find the shortest. Measure the tallest card and add 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch. Measure the widest card and add 1/4 inch. Using those measurements, cut out two covers. (The shortest card will come into play later).
Stack up all your cards so the folds are all on the same side. Lightly pinch them together and measure. This is the part that takes the most experience. Don't pinch to tight and don't pinch to loose.
Cut out a piece for the spine as wide as your cards when their lightly pinched together and as tall as the other two cover pieces you already cut out.
Now is the time do decide how many holes you want to poke in your cards. The more holes you poke, the more sewing you're going to have to do. For ease of following this already obese tutorial, I'd at least stick with an even number because doing an odd number alters the sewing a little bit. Here's how I do it. Get a piece of scrap paper and cut it as tall as your tallest card. Get your shortest card and center it on the scrap paper. Measure in at least 1/2" from each end and make a mark on the scrap paper. (You'll use this scrap paper later, so don't trash it.) Take the scrap paper with the marks and cut the spine where you made your marks on the scrap paper. Like this:
You'll have to cut some excess off of the middle piece because you have to leave a gap to sew through. I usually leave somewhere between 1/16" and 1/8", so I cut off between 1/8" and 1/4"
Take the paper you're going to use for the outside of the cover and measure an inch from the bottom. (For the tutorial, I used wrapping paper but that's to lightweight to make a sturdy book that will last a long time. I usually use scrapbooking paper.) Make a light pencil mark an inch from the bottom and an inch from one edge. (I made a really thick line so it would show up in the photo.) This is so that the cover will be straight. Using your glue of choice, glue one cover down to the paper. Leaving a gap for the gutter (how wide of a gap depends on how thick your cover material is), glue down the bottom piece of spine, then the top piece, and then center the middle piece between the two. Leave the same amount of gutter space and glue on the other cover. This is the order I glue them on in:
(If you're confused, the gutter is the space between the cover and the spine.)
Fold the edges of the paper over and glue them down. I cut the corners off (I forgot to take a picture of this part so I made an illustration) like this:
If done right, this makes the corners meet in a nice diagonal seam, instead of overlapping and looking strange. If done wrong, it will leave the cover material showing in an odd looking gap. Proceed with caution.
Is a step that I forgot to do, and henceforth have no pictures of, however, it is a pretty important step. With the outside of the cover down, you're going to want to cut out gaps in the spine to sew through. Cut out all the gaps in the spine like this:
Take another piece of paper and trim it 1/4" narrower and shorter than your overall cover size. Center it over the inside of the cover and glue.
Cut out the gaps again. Flip the cover over and cut out holes to match the ones you made in step six.
Celebrate. Your cover is done. I ate some tomato soup and grilled cheese.
Get that piece of scrap paper I said you'd need later and all of your cards. Open a card. Center the piece of scrap paper inside the card and poke holes in the card where you made your marks.
Do this for all of your cards. I didn't get out my ruler and calculator to make the holes, I just eyeballed it. After they're sewn in, you really aren't going to be able to tell if they're off by a little bit.
Here's where it gets tricky. Sewing books is kind of hard to learn. The stitch I used is called a Long Stitch or a Running Long Stitch, so if my directions aren't clear enough (which they probably won't be) you can find a different tool online, any kind of long stitch binding will work with the cover that I explained how to make.
Determining how much thread you will need is a tricky thing to explain.
The amount of thread you need=the height of the cover X the number of cards you have + about 10. I hope this makes sense. It is better to end up with to much thread than to need to tie more on with only 2 cards left, so if you're in doubt, just use extra.
Thread your needle with whatever you're going to use, don't knot it, just pull the end of the thread through the eye a couple of inches.
If you're going to sew your cards in a specific order, start with the 2nd card of the book.
Hold the card open a little and put the needle into the bottom hole from the back, so you should be pulling the needle toward your face. Pull all but about 3 inches through the card so you have a little tail sticking out the back. Don't let that tail pull all the way through the card. Put the card into the cover, towards the front cover. Wrap the thread around the bottom of the book and pull it into the bottom hole from the front of the book.
Here's where you should be at now
Get the card that you want to be first and sew from the back, into the bottom hole. Pull all the thread through so it's on the inside of the card, make the tail sticking out of the 2nd card doesn't come out though. Then, sew out of the top hole of the card, and out the top hole of the cover. Pull the thread over the top of the card and sew back down through the top hole of the 2nd card and the cover. Sew back up through the cover and the bottom hole of the 2nd card. At this point, you're going to want to make sure that all your thread is tight and that there's not any slack, but don't let the tail pull through the 2nd card, or you'll have to do it all over again. I usually hold the tail against the cover with my thumb and pull all the slack towards the needle. When your thread is tight, carefully knot the thread and the tail as close to the 2nd card as possible. Then wrap the thread over the bottom of the book and pull it back up through the bottom hole of the cover.
It should look something like this
There should be two strands of thread around the bottom of the book and the thread should be on the inside coming through the bottom hole. From there, it's pretty simple. Sew up through the bottom hole of the 3rd card, out the top hole, wrap the thread around, into the 4th card so on and so forth. When you've added your last card, wrap the thread back over either the top or the bottom of the book and tie it off between the cards and the cover.
I'm sorry that this is probably really hard to follow. Book making is difficult to learn in person, much less over the internet. If anyone has any questions about anything, feel free to PM me. I wouldn't try this out with any heirloom cards to begin with, I would practice with magazine pages or computer paper first. Or, if you REALLY like this and you have something cool to swap, you can send me your cards and I'll do it for you.