Beginners' bookbinding

Course Dates: 16/09/19 - 21/10/19
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Clare Bryan

Start your bookbinding journey with this accessible, 6 week introduction to techniques and structures. Learn how to make simple folded books progressing to a more complex stitched binding and explore the world of handmade books.


What is the course about?

You will be introduced to bookbinding through a series of projects designed to provide a good working knowledge of materials and techniques. You will develop skills in both the production and design of hand made books enabling you to go onto more complex and experimental bindings.

What students liked most about this course run in 2015/16:

"We were allowed to mix our own creativity with formalised structures. I printed out some sheets at home and brought them in so I would bind printed pages rather than producing a blank book."


What will we cover?

You will explore bookbinding through a series of interesting structures. We will experiment with paper folding and
simple stitching to create folded books, pamphlet and zig-zag and long stitch bindings. You will also learn how to sew a multi-sectioned binding with hard cover.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Select and use appropriate materials
- Understand the importance of grain direction
- Make a range of non adhesive bindings
- Make a single section binding
- Sew a multi-sectioned binding.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is for beginners.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and for
health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be able to use
numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Through demonstration, practice and discussion you will be taught as a group and individually as required. Handouts will accompany demonstrations. You will be encouraged to investigate the current and historical literature on the subject, and will be informed of publications and events which maybe of interest. The course is structured to manage the work within the class.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

The bindery is equipped with most tools but you will be expected to provide your own personal handtools. Nothing need be bought before starting the course. A list of equipment and suppliers will be provided at the first lesson.
The class has some materials which may be bought. It is expected that you will increasingly provide your own as your experience and individual requirements and preferences develop. Information and advice on materials and larger pieces of equipment will always be available. You should expect to spend up to £30 to provide yourself with the basic hand tools and materials.
City Lit students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. Your tutor will advise you on what you should buy. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at
*Terms and conditions apply, visit

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

- VD327 Bookbinding: box making
- VD316 Wooden boarded binding
- VD285 Bookbinding: cross-structure and criss-cross bindings
Book arts
- VD354 Creative arts for bookbinding I: decorative paper techniques
- VD283 Beginner's book arts
- VD290 Bookbinding: paper engineering and pop-ups
- VD292 Bookbinding: Learn to bind artist’s books VD262 Ten projects for beginners, and VD290 Paper engineering.
Book repair and conservation
- VD282 Beginner's conservation.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details

Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: VD284

Please choose a course date 

Mon, day, 16 Sep - 21 Oct '19

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Full fee: £299.00
Senior fee: £239.00
Concession: £182.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2700/2703

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.