Book Binding Classes

Book and box made at the beginners course
Book and box made at the beginners course

The Guild runs regular classes and workshops on how to make books and boxes. These are very popular, and classes often fill quite quickly. As of 2015 there are five types of courses: beginners, intermediate and advanced, stitched photo album, and box making. We will be introducing more in the future.


The beginners course shows you how to make three items: a single section pamphlet style stitched book, a multi section square back stitched book, and a slip case to fit the square back. These three projects give you the underlying skills to allow you to make a wide range of books, and address cutting, gluing and general bookbinding tasks. No prior experience is required for this course.

The image shows an example of the final book and matching hard case made during the beginners course. The book is A5 in size.


The intermediate course, introduced for 2015, goes through two projects: a paperback style book, with a soft cover, and a hollow back book that is sewn onto tapes and is rounded and backed. This gives a very strong book that has the more traditional shape and makes a great looking book. It is recommended that you have done the beginners course or its equivalent, although this is not required.


The advanced course delivers a single project that is half bound in leather and is sewn on cords with hand sewn headbands. This course shows you how to pare leather and produce a really fantastic looking book with all the skills for doing book repairs and making books. There are a number of techniques in this course that will require you to have had previous experience. Either the beginners or intermediate course is recommended before attempting this one.

Box Making

The box making course makes two boxes, the first is a shoe box style, where the lid and base are separate. The second is a Sollander style box (also known as a clam shell) where the lid is attached along one side. These are very strong, elegant boxes and are great for providing a really professional finish to a hand made book. No previous experience is required.

Photo Album

A photo album needs to be constructed in a way that allows the book to expand properly when photos or other material is added to the pages. A Japanese stab binding style photo album is made in this course. No previous experience is required.


The beginners, intermediate and advanced courses run for four weeks, with one evening per week scheduled. As these run on the same evenings as our monthly meeting, there is no course on the same night as the meeting. The photo album and box making courses run for two and three weeks respectively.

The courses are run at McDougall House, in Como. They start at 6:00pm on Monday evenings, and run until about 9:00pm. See the list of events currently scheduled to see when the classes are running. You will need to attend from the first class in each course. 

The fee for each course will be listed on the course schedule. This fee needs to be paid at the first evening with either cash or a cheque. All materials and equipment are provided.

You do not need to be a member of the Guild in order to be able to attend the classes.