Bookbinding: 10 projects for beginners

Course Dates: 01/05/25 - 03/07/25
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
Location: Keeley Street
An exciting range of graded projects to introduce you to bookbinding. Come armed with enthusiasm and walk away with a stack of small books and a heap of information on materials, tools and techniques.
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Full fee £399.00 Senior fee £319.00 Concession £259.00

Bookbinding: 10 projects for beginners
  • Course Code: VD262
  • Dates: 01/05/25 - 03/07/25
  • Time: 18:00 - 21:00
  • Taught: Thu, Evening
  • Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Kate Rochester

Course Code: VD262

Thu, eve, 01 May - 03 Jul '25

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

The course provides students new to bookbinding with an introduction to a variety of bookbinding techniques, materials and equipment through a series of short complete projects.

What will we cover?

Over the ten weeks of the course we will make a range of book styles; including a series of folded books, pamphlet-sewn books and multi-sectioned books with soft and hard covers of board, paper and cloth. We will explore books with exposed sewing, and Japanese-style stab-sewn books. You will learn several sewing techniques, what adhesives to use, and how to use cloth, paper, board, small tools and equipment.

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

- Use a variety of sewing techniques to create single and multi-section books
- Use paper, board and cloth to make book covers
- Correctly identify grain direction in paper and board
- Select and use the appropriate adhesives, tools and materials to make books and items from paper and board
- Use the experience and knowledge gained on the course to continue onto other bookbinding courses.

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

The course is aimed at beginners and no previous bookbinding experience is necessary. Students with some experience who wish to revise their range of bookbinding techniques are also welcome but please be aware that we will start from scratch. If you have any queries about the level of the course then please contact
Some level of manual dexterity and attention to detail will be required but this will be taught through step-by step instructions and demonstrations. There will be plenty of opportunity to practise techniques during the sessions.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, to use the hand-outs which support demonstrations and to follow health and safety information, and you may also 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?

You will be taught as a group and we will work through the projects together. Individual attention will be given throughout the course and during each session, as required. There may be some small group work from time to time and it is hoped that you will be able to support each other and actively engage in the class group as a whole. Any work you can do outside the class, in the form of research or practise, will help you get more out of the ten weeks, but it is not essential, and no required ‘homework’ will be given. You will be expected to make your own working notes during the course.

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

All materials are included in the course fee and will be available in the classroom. There is a small tool kit available for use during the course. If you have a basic bookbinding kit, please do bring it. Should you wish to purchase your own things you will be given guidance on what to get during the first session. Please bring a pen, sharp pencil, eraser and notebook to every session. Small brushes and an apron will also be useful during the course.

Need art supplies? Our partner London Graphic Centre has everything you need from pencils to printing services, at 15% off.
To get an LGC discount card, students will need to show proof/ confirmation of enrolment of them being a student at City Lit. You can apply for our card in-store or by simply emailing with a scan or photo of relevant confirmation. The student discount does not apply to products that are already discounted or on offer. More information can be found here-

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

- VD190 City Lit bookbinding course
- VD435 Simple leather binding
- VDVD328 Piano hinge bindings
- VD416 Bookbinding: Japanese books and boxes.

Kate Rochester

Kate Rochester is an artist bookbinder based in London. After completing her BA in Art History at East London University she studied bookbinding at the London College of Printing. In 2004 she founded Hanbury Press which produces limited edition books and hand-printed papers using traditional hand-binding methods. Later she joined the bookbinding team at the Wyvern Bindery, as well as studying master classes at Studio 5 Book Arts studio in Barnes. Kate currently works on commission and runs her independent press from her studio located in East London. She regularly teaches Book Arts workshops and courses at Citylit and The London Centre Of Book Arts. In 2023, Kate became a QEST scholar after completing a year’s study in further master classes in Design Binding.  

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.