Beginners Bookbinding

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

Isabelle McGowan

Isabelle McGowan

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

2 x 5 hours 1 to 6 (public classes), 8 to 16 label $260 or 4 payments of $65 Afterpay

This is without doubt one of the best course aimed at absolute beginners level, designed for everyone. Taught by a professional practising Bookbinder, 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.

Learn how to make beautiful handmade books for either your own personal use as a journal, sketch-book or notebook; or give them as a much appreciated gift to a loved one. A perfect and unique present at any time of the year.

Course content:
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.

You will:
- learn skills fundamental to hand bookbinding and be able to repeat and practice all the skills learned.
- 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

All materials and tools are supplied at the Bindery

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

Aside from this class, this teacher also has the following coming up:

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
Learning outcomes
In this workshop you will complete at least six projects and learn four bookbinding techniques to take home.
- a Japanese Stab Binding in full bookcloth, lined with decorative paper
- a Venetian Journal covered in full leather with decorative stitching and a leather tie
- a beautiful keepsake box covered in decorative paper
- several single section pamplet books, finished with hard cover and decorative paper
What to bring
All tools are provided as part of the course fee
You may bring an apron
Session repeats

This class series runs over 2 consecutive days

Suitable for

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


Mary Street, St Peters NSW (varies by date; click the date selector to see details)

Your teacher
Isabelle McGowan
Isabelle McGowan

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

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.

More classes by Isabelle McGowan

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