View classes (on this page)

Learn the alchemy of bookbinding fundamentals with our Handcrafts courses at the NSW Guild in Sydney.

For hundreds of years, books were made by hand. Now you rarely handle a book which isn’t made by a machine. 

The intention of this course is to re-introduce you to the ancient craft of hand bookbinding. 

This course is the official introductory course of the NSW Guild of Craft Bookbinders. It is held at the Guild’s professionally equipped Ralph Lewis Bindery in Garry Owen House, Writing NSW, Callan Park, Rozelle.

The NSW Guild is a non-profit organisation with the following objectives:

  • To promote and exhibit the art of the hand-bound book
  • To maintain traditional craft bookbinding skills
  • To seek and exert a progressive influence on the design and technique of bookbinding
  • To further the cause of book arts in general


In this workshop, you will complete at least 4 projects. A choice of coloured and decorative papers and a card will be available for use for the covers of all books. There will also be time to add decorative paper weaving into covers if you choose.

You will make:

  • two single-section stitched booklets, binding the NSW Guild’s publication 'The Alchemy of Bookbinding’ as well as your course notes
  • a single-section cased-in hardcover book
  • a hardcover concertina photo album
  • a multi-section French-stitched notebook with a wraparound cover
  • if time allows, a full paper Japanese four-hole pouch (fukuro toji) binding

Ideal for

The course is suitable for those who are starting from scratch and also for those who want to refresh their skills learned from a previous course.

Course content

In this course you will learn key bookbinding terminology and the core skills of accurate measuring and cutting, paper handling, folding, glueing and stitching. You will be introduced to specialist tools as well as simpler homemade devices. You just need to bring your creativity, curiosity and passion.

Please note, for this workshop students require good hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and the capability and confidence to use sharp knives for cutting. Basic numeracy is required to facilitate accurate measurements and calculations. You should be able to follow verbal instructions and understand health and safety information.

Venue and getting there

Ralph Lewis Bindery
Room 14, Garry Owen House
Callan Park, Balmain Rd
Lilyfield NSW 2038

Parking directions
Follow the orange signs for Writing NSW (formerly the NSW Writers’ Centre) to the car park behind the building. For more information on how to find us, please visit the NSW Guild website (opens in new tab).

Please bring to class

  • Closed-in shoes to wear as an OHS requirement
  • Your own lunch
  • You may wish to bring an apron. The Guild has clean aprons available for students to use

Other information

  • All materials are provided by the NSW Guild
  • A take-home beginners kit of tools will be available for optional purchase at a discounted rate
  • For ages 18+
  • You can also check out our Introduction to Bookbinding or Bookbinding Core Skills course at Owl & Lion


Bookbinding Course for Beginners at NSW Guild

<p><strong>Learn the alchemy of bookbinding fundamentals with our</strong> <a href="">

$260 Limited inc GST / $208 / $234
Bookbinding Course for Beginners at NSW Guild

<p><strong>Learn the alchemy of bookbinding fundamentals with our</strong> <a href="">

$260 Limited inc GST / $208 / $234

Show full classes

If there isn't a class to suit you, please join our waitlist and we will notify you when we have places available. Join waitlist for Bookbinding Course for Beginners at NSW Guild

If there isn't a class to suit you, please join our waitlist and we will notify you when we have places available. Join waitlist for Bookbinding Course for Beginners at NSW Guild

Great reasons to enrol in a short course with us

Small classes

A personal approach means quality learning, so you can enjoy plenty of interaction with your instructor and the chance to ask questions.

Short & sweet

Our short courses & workshops get straight to the point, providing the skills you need with minimal commitment of your precious time.

Facilities & equipment

Our range of venues suit every type of course, are easy to get to, and have the equipment and tech needed to support your learning.

Easy, secure enrolment

Enrol online 24/7 with a safe, convenient 3-step process, and you can change your mind up to 7 days before class starts.

Quality instructors

Our educators bring first-hand experience and knowledge, with up-to-the-minute practices from diverse industries.

For business, or pleasure

Our courses help you rapidly increase your skills and knowledge, for professional development or personal interest.

4.7 starsaverage rating on Google

1,400+courses to choose from

99%customer support rating

Course testimonials:

  • said: Learning new skills with Averil who imparted her knowledge in an professional manner but with humour and an easy to understand way. She made you feel that you could achieve. Thoroughly enjoyed.

  • said: It was my first time bookbinding and it was wonderful experience. Extremely friendly and well organised. Made sure that all my needs were met. Course was well structured to allow for the skills required to build on one another and provide a good foundation. Knowledgeable and helpful instructors that were always available. Safe and comfortable environment making for an enjoyable, fun and educational course.

  • said: Avril (tutor) is a skilled bookbinder and tutor whose passion for the craft is obvious. She is generous with her knowledge, making sure everyone walked away with beautiful books (yes, books... five!) - creations to be proud of. I finished this course with a sense of real achievement (finished books to show off) and I am confident that I will be able to create my own books at home too! I've already signed up for Level 2.

  • said: I had a very informative and productive weekend. Avril was a great teacher. I finished with 6 books made in different ways and enough skill to do the same at home..

  • said: I’m in education and know a wonderful teacher when I come across one. Avril is warm, welcoming, helpful but not intrusive, and very good with absolute beginners like me. The course is well paced and on top of that Avril manages to work both with students who are fast learners in this modality and those, like me, who struggle with hand coordination, measuring things and have trouble with visual discrimination. I am looking forward to working with Avril again.

Related courses