Bookbinding for All: Creative Handmade Books

97 TUTOR: Janina Maher (BA BSc FCA)

If you love paper then you will enjoy this course, which gives you the opportunity to explore and make several different types of books. You will produce at least four blank hardbacked and soft cover books, which are great for notebooks or sketchbooks and perfect as gifts. This course is carefully structured to include both short and simple tasks and longer projects in order to develop skills and build confidence. All techniques will be fully demonstrated with tips for easy and accurate measuring, cutting, gluing and sewing as well as plenty of time for you to work on your own books. Suitable for all levels of experience, this is a parallel course to Bookbinding for All: Four More Books. You will make different books on each course and may attend either of them in any order.

Course Notes

Day 1 - tools and materials, make A5 concertina book, including preparation of covers and inside pages.

Day 2 - leather cover soft binding Midori style travellers notebook (vegetarian option available), including paper trimming and sewing.

Day 3 - commence Coptic stitch A5 book, including preparation of covers and inside pages.

Day 4 - complete Coptic stitch book, including preparation of holes for sewing, and sewing.

Day 5 - Japanese stab stitch soft cover notebook, including preparation of covers, papers, and sewing.

Tools and materials

Please bring:

- Scissors

- Basic drawing equipment: pencil, eraser, sharpener

- Basic cutting equipment: sturdy sharp craft knife (not a scalpel as these are too delicate), metal edged ruler, cutting mat (preferably A3 or bigger if you have it)

- Blunt ended sewing needle with large eye eg: tapestry needle size 20

- 3 large heavy hard-back books for pressing your books flat 

If you have any of the following tools please bring them, but don't feel obliged to purchase them in advance of the course. There will be some sets of tools available to borrow and some tools available to purchase from Janina during the course if you prefer.

- Bone folder

- Awl / braddle (sharp pointy tool for making holes in paper and card)

- Paper knife / clip knife / shoe knife (blunt knife used for slicing paper)

If you have any questions about the tools please contact Janina by email on

All materials needed for the course projects are included in the course fee but if you have any decorative or handmade papers you would like to use for covers please bring them.


Course Tutor

Janina Maher

Janina Maher


About Janina

Janina Maher designs and makes handmade books from her garden based studio, Bind Weed Art Studio. Her ideas are drawn from traditional bookbinding techniques as well as modern interpretations, and she is constantly inspired by the range of beautiful papers now widely available. She has drawn and painted from a young age, encouraged by her graphic designer father. After a parallel existence in the corporate world for many years, she has now decided to focus on a creative life and has been teaching bookbinding and mixed media techniques since 2014.

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Summer School Dates for 2022

All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 11 Jul - 15 Jul

WK 2 18 Jul - 22 Jul

WK 3 25 Jul - 29 Jul

WK 4 1 Aug - 5 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM