DIY Journal Making: Half Leather Hardcover Book

With DIY craft kit delivered to you

Learn how to make a traditional artist or writers journal with leather and decorative paper at home

Isabelle McGowan

Isabelle McGowan

4.9 (30)

2.5 hours Class size 1 to 15 (public dates), 6 to 10

label $250 (or 4 payments of $62.50 Afterpay)
How it works
Book or Request your preferred time
We'll send a ClassBento Box to you (a craft kit with what you'll need). Shipping is free, and it should arrive within 2-3 days before workshop starts. We ship nationwide.
Enjoy the online class - after booking, you'll get a link to join the interactive class.

This class teaches you to make a writers or artist journal using a traditional round-back case binding technique. Case binding is a way of making books whereby the cover (the case) is made separately from the text block and then attached to it.

Our online class is designed for you to bind the book, following along with Isabelle, while being able to ask questions and participate in discussions along the way. Learn the techniques but also tips, tricks and anything else you want to know.

You will bind step-by-step an A5 book with a rounded-back spine, hardcover, half-leather spine, covered in a vintage style decorative paper or marbled paper (choose from options at checkout), finished with half book cloth spine.

Class information:

  • This course is for anyone with an interest in hand binding. It is a very thorough course providing essential skills that will take you through your whole binding journey.
  • A great refresher course for those who have learnt binding elsewhere or wish to pursue bookbinding again after a break.
  • Traditional book structures are explored, using materials that will endure over time.
  • You will get to use a variety of tools and materials, and learn how to apply them to the sewing and construction of your book.

Closing date for booking:
You can pick up a kit from the bindery up to 48 hours before class commences.
For those who want a kit sent to them, please note you need to book at least 5 days before class commences.

This workshop booking is for one person only. Additional participants must book in individually, regardless of household arrangement or age.

No refunds for online workshops once commenced. A Zoom link will be sent out to you a few days before. We'll start gathering students 10 minutes before the workshop. Lateness will not be accommodated.

Workshop written and delivered by Isabelle McGowan © 2022 Isabelle McGowan. All rights reserved.

Add-ons available for this class
  • Scalpel and blades ($20)
  • Board Cutter ($12)
  • Awl ($12)
You can add these when you book (optional).
Knowledge required
Please note:
Though this is a technical workshop, anyone with enthusiasm for making books and sewing is welcome to join in. Some experience of bookbinding is necessary, the workshop requires a certain level of capability and confidence in using sharp instruments and being able to follow verbal instructions is expected.
What you'll get in your craft kit
Materials in your DIY bookbinding kit (choose from marbled or vintage paper):
  • Paper
  • Linen Thread
  • Leather
  • Book board
  • Decorative paper
  • Needles
What you'll need
Tools you will need:
  • Awl ( handy)
  • PVA glue
  • Needle
  • Paper knife
  • Board knife
  • Waste paper for gluing
  • Scalpel and blade
Your teacher
Isabelle McGowan
Isabelle McGowan

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

4.9 (30)

Make Books!

Isabelle McGowan is a Florence-trained Bookbinder working through her Bindery, the Owl & Lion. She specialises in Historical Repair and Restoration of Books, Fine Bindings and Traditional Gold Finishing.

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.

The original Owl and Lion Bindery was situated in Old Town Edinburgh, Scotland.

In late 2017, Isabelle and the Owl and Lion Bindery relocated to Sydney, Australia.
Visit the Owl and Lion Bindery - we are a vibrant bindery based in the heart of Sydney.
We run the largest programme of bookbinding classes in Australia. If you want to learn to make books that folds, flaps and flips, or traditional books from scratch, we are the place to be!

This year we have programmed a series of exciting online workshops, with all things relating to the craft of bookbinding. Whether you want to expand on your crafting skills or start your bookbinding journey, we have something for you.

The Owl & Lion is now based in Sydney, Australia.
Suite 6.05
Precinct 75
75 Mary Street, St Peters

More about this class

This teacher has 30 reviews for their other experiences - which you can see here.

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