Exploring Bookbinding

In this online class, we will explore traditional bookbinding structures and some very modern materials and techniques. This is a great class for an introduction into the world of making books. You will gain a solid foundation in basic binding techniques as well as comfort with various tools and materials. Through demonstrations and guided instruction, students will work through multiple projects each class.

Special Notes
This is an online class hosted through Zoom. We recommend that you download the free Zoom application on your computer, phone, or tablet in advance of the first class. Within 48 hours of registration, you will receive a confirmation email containing a link to join the course via Zoom. The same link will be used each week.

What you will learn:

  • The basic hand skills of cutting, folding and sewing various materials

  • Different papers and other materials used in bookbinding

  • Several different types of bindings based on historic structures and techniques

  • Sources for materials, tools, and instructional guidance for future learning

Required tools:

  • All tools and materials can be found in a list here.

  • Pencil

  • White eraser

  • Bone folder

  • Awl

  • Metal ruler

  • Triangle (not 100% necessary, but it can really help)

  • Scissors

  • Olfa cutting knife or X-acto with extra blades – Olfas tend to be safer

  • Stiff bristle brush for gluing (at least .5” can be synthetic)

  • Self-healing cutting mat or piece of scrap board to cut into

  • Small container for glue (disposable cup will work)

  • Bookbinding needles – any larger sized needle will work, doesn’t have to be super sharp you will be pre-punching holes with your awl

  • Binder clips – at least two medium sized

Required materials:

  • Bookbinding glue

  • Bookbinding tapes

  • Binding thread – you will see your thread on some of the bindings. The instructor has included plain linen thread and colored thread on the list. If you are ok with plain thread, it will do for all the books.

  • Beeswax – not necessary, but does help for beginner binders when sewing

  • Thick board – this is the illustration board on the list. Scraps of 4-ply mat board work great. We are using this instead of traditional book board.

  • Book cloth – any color you like. It will get used for three different books. One roll is enough.

  • Scrap paper – this is for making jigs and gluing up on.

  • Text block paper – a ream of copy paper would work 8.5 x 11, or anything below 80 lb. Mohawk Superfine Paper is an example on the list. If you choose Mohawk, six sheets will be more than enough.

  • Cover paper – This will be used for three of the books we will be making. One large piece of paper would be more than enough. Anything above 90 lb. Canson Mi-Teintes is an example.

  • Decorative paper – You will need some for two of your books. This will be going with your book cloth so choose accordingly.