@ajroach42 i handbind all my sketchbooks and notebooks with paper torn out of previous unfinished books (which i often scavenge from art studio cleanup days)! usually kettle stitching for signatures, gluing old t shirts to cardstock for covers.
for zines, i do 5-hole pamphlet stitching usually; it's a lot more tedious than stapling but i like the look of it!
also i made this book a few years ago, still super proud of it https://modgethanc.com/shamal-book.html
@ajroach42 since I'm at my house now! a few more samples; two pocket-sized daily journal/planner/whatever books with hardcover binding made from t-shirts and cardstock, a sketchbook with a paper bag cover, another sketchbook with a catalogue cover showing the five-hole pamphlet stitch. pretty much all reclaimed/scavenged materials, bound in hand without any special equipment. bookbinding doesn't have to be super fancy or stuff-heavy :)