Introduction to Making Books (four-session workshop)

The structures created in this course will differ from past intro sessions, and are suitable for both new and returning students. In this class, we will explore traditional bookbinding structures using 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 & guided instruction, students will work through multiple projects throughout the class.

Special Notes

This is an in-person class which will take place onsite at Fleisher. Please review our COVID-19 community safety policies for current guidelines.

Tuition Assistance is Available

To make our classes and workshops accessible to everyone, Fleisher offers tuition assistance every term so that everyone can join our creative community. Tuition assistance applications can be completed once registration is open by clicking here. The deadline to apply for spring term assistance is Friday, March 10; Notifications will be sent by Monday, March 13.

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 Supplies:

  • Pencil

  • White eraser

  • Metal ruler

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

  • Scissors

  • Olfa cutting knife or X-acto with extra blades

  • Bone folder

  • Awl or thin needle tool (as used for clay)

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

  • Self-healing Cutting Mat or piece of scrap board to cut into

  • 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

  • Bookbinding glue

  • Double stick tape

  • Bookbinding tapes

  • Binding thread – You will see your thread on some of the bindings. If you are ok with plain thread, it will do for all the books.

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

  • Thick board – this is the Illustration Board on the list. Scraps of four-ply mat board work great. We are using this instead of a traditional book board.

  • Book cloth – any color you like. It will get used on 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.

  • Cover paper – Cardstock weight or heavier. One large piece of paper would be more than enough. Anything above 90 lb.

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

  • You can find these tools and supplies in a Dick Blick list here