Beginners Bookbinding

Start your Bookbinding Journey with the best Beginner's class!

7 hours 15 mins Class size 1 to 6 (public classes), 8 to 16 label $260 or 4 payments of $65 Afterpay


Your teacher, Isabelle McGowan is COVID-19 aware

This means that this teacher won't run a class if they've had flu symptoms in the last 14 days, and will adhere to relevant state restrictions (e.g. on maximum number of students per class)

See additional precautions taken by your teacher   

We will also practice social distancing during with reduced numbers and more workspace between students.
Disinfect all tools and workshop space surfaces, provide gloves and disinfectant.

Also, this class has a flexible cancellation/rescheduling policy, so participants are encouraged not to attend if they are unwell

A chance to start your Bookbinding Journey, in the heart of Sydney Inner West.
Learn from Master Bookbinder Isabelle McGowan who have taught in Europe for over 15 years.

Bind five books in one weekend - four different Bookbinding techniques and learn how to construct a handmade box.

One of the best course aimed at absolute beginners level, designed for everyone. The aim of this course is to familiarise you with the necessary knowledge and skills to start you on a journey to make your own books.

This course is 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.
Traditional book structures are explored, using materials that will endure over time.

• Learn skills fundamental to hand bookbinding and be able to repeat and practice at home.
• Use a variety of tools and materials and how to apply them to the sewing and construction of your book.
• Learn grain direction, paper cutting, sewing sections and covering, select and use appropriate materials

Workshop written and delivered by Isabelle McGowan © 2018 Isabelle McGowan. All rights reserved.

Knowledge Required
Please note, the workshop requires good hand-eye co-ordination, fine motor skills and cutting with sharp knife, students must have capability and confidence with this. You should be able to follow verbal instructions and health and safety information. Have basic numeracy to do accurate measurements and calculations.

What you'll get
Over one intensive day you will learn how to make:
i) A single section pamphlet book, finished with hard cover and decorative paper

ii) A Japanese Stab Binding in full book cloth, lined with decorative paper

iii) A Venetian Journal covered in full leather with decorative stitching and a leather tie

iv) A Cartographer folding book

v) A beautiful keepsake box covered in decorative paper to bring home all your beautiful creations
What to bring
All materials and tools are supplied at the Bindery, along with self-serve tea, coffee and biscuits.
You may want to bring an apron
Suitable for

This class is a great indoor activity idea for individuals and couples as well as for a birthday, hens party, team building activity, corporate event, bucks party or Christmas party.


Owl and Lion Bindery - 75 Mary Street, St Peters NSW

Your teacher
Isabelle McGowan
Isabelle McGowan

Florence-trained Bookbinder now based in Sydney with over 10 years teaching experience

5.0 (1)

Isabelle offers the largest programme of bookbinding classes for all levels in Sydney. There are workshops covering every stage from beginner to those needing more expertise.

Her specialty is in Traditional Fine Binding, however, with her Arts degree she has a great interest in Artists Books and how that can be utilised as part of your visual language.

Isabelle completed her Fine Arts Degree (Drawing and Painting, Printmaking) at the Edinburgh College of Art, in Scotland. She went on to train as a Bookbinder in Florence, Italy. Isabelle taught the largest programme of bookbinding classes through her bindery the Owl and Lion, situated in Old Town Edinburgh, Scotland. She also travels to teach all over the UK and Europe.

Isabelle relocated to Sydney in 2017. The Owl & Lion is a fully equip, professional Bindery at:
Suite 6.05, 75 Mary Street, St Peters.

Verified reviews

Tegan Webb • Mar 2020

Amazing two day course! Very fast paced and comprehensive, with not group and individual instruction. Awesome new studio location. Isabelle really knows her stuff! Highly recommend.

Beginners Bookbinding review by Tegan Webb Sydney
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