Online Workshop – How to Make Basic Pamphlet Bindings

decorative pamphlet bindings

Join our new live online workshop and make basic pamphlet bindings

This online workshop in basic pamphlet binding is the first stage of learning bookbinding, and is essential in understanding how a book is created. It allows the binder to gain experience in working with the grain of the paper, the importance of accurate hand-skills, understanding the terminology of a book and putting it into practice. It is a simple and extremely rewarding process and one that can be easily adapted once practiced, to include more complex designs and decorations.

We will provide materials in advance, as listed below, so that we all have the same items at the start of the workshop. We cannot provide tools, as we do at in-person workshops. The list of tools required is also below, some of these can be replaced with tools that you have at home, others may need to be purchased. When booking the course, you will also receive a 15% discount to the shop so that you can buy the tools direct from us if you choose.

We will cover:

  • the importance of grain direction
  • preparing a textblock
  • folding and trimming paper
  • creating end papers
  • sewing a single section textblock
  • finishing the covering
Foredge of basic pamphlet binding

You will come away with:

  • two A6 hand-made pamphlet bindings with two sewing styles
  • an introduction into the hand-skills required for bookbinding
  • a basic understanding of the structure of bindings

The materials pack

We will send you:

  • Textblock paper
  • Covering material
  • Decorative paper
  • Endpapers
  • Complimentary needle and linen thread

You will need:

  • A cutting mat
  • A sharp knife – Stanley knife or a scalpel
  • An awl (aka bradawl / pricker)
  • A cobblers knife (a sharp medium sized kitchen knife may be used, at your own risk)
  • A bonefolder
  • A piece of waste cardboard
  • A metal ruler
  • Paper weight
  • Pencil
  • Scrap paper

How it works

Once you book you will receive an email containing a link to a zoom meeting and instructions on how to join that meeting. You will also receive a code for a discount in the the shop, if you would like to buy tools from us.

C&G Week 8 | Disappearing Spine Pamphlet Binding

So eight weeks in and I’ve been a bit more productive. You’ll see that I now have the corners on my 1/2 bound flat back book – very neat and tidy if I do say so myself, and have finished my disappearing spine pamphlet (called as such because you can’t see the spine). The latter is covered in more National Geographic collages and the 1/2 bound will be covered in some drawings I’ve done.

Unfortunately, when I was ‘casing in’ (sticking all together) my pamphlet (with owl), our teacher was also talking about the corners of the 1/2 bound (pink). She said if we were doing what I was doing to ignore her and she’d tell us again later, but considering I was the only one doing what I was doing, I got a bit distracted by listening to her as well, and now my beautiful owl pamphlet is wonky and I’m going to have to start from scratch. Hmph. Apparently this is a good thing (???), as the marking people like to see mistakes that are practiced and then rectified, still, I like the owl and I’m not sure I’ll find such a nice cover, so I am a little disappointed. Nevermind – practice makes perfect!

My last pamphlet is bowing a little, but apparently this is absolutely fine and is very acceptable in bookbinding, so that one is alright (that was the one with the trees on the front).

C&G Week 7 | Starting with Pamphlet Binding

Not sure if you’ll be interested, but I’m pretty excited – I have finished my first sewn book! This is a pamphlet binding, which means (I think) that it only has one section. This particular one has end papers that are wrapped around the text block and are then fixed to the boards, it’s also a 1/4 bound book meaning that only the spine is covered in cloth. I’m due to finish my other pamphlet binding in two weeks (after half term) as well as my first really proper book, which has multiple sections that are sewn together – VERY exciting, and so far looking not too bad, though the spine is a little big for comfort on the proper one.  

Its quite tricky getting the covers on the boards, as you spend lots of time getting everything right and carefully doing things, then the moment you start pasting, its a race against time! – tricky!   The cover is a collage I have made from an article from the National Geographic on Redwood trees.

Single Section Pamphlet Binding

C&G Week 6 | Beginning Bookbinding

Bookbinding is going well and is SO much fun! I’m in the process of making two pamphlet bindings and one with a dissapearing spine, and a flat back 1/2 cloth binding, which should all be finished around the same time, so I’ll be able to photograph and upload them. I think I’ll make a smaller flat back one at home as the book I am reading states that you should be making about 6 of the same thing at one to really get practice in, so might do that!

…and so it begins!