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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 that isn’t made by a machine. 

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

This bookbinding 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

Learning outcomes

In this beginers bookbinding course, 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

What will be covered in this beginers bookbinding course?

In this beginners bookbinding 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.

Who is this beginners bookbinding course 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 bookbinding course.

Course venue

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

Additional 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

Classes Online Courses

Bookbinding Course for Beginners at NSW Guild

<p>Learn the alchemy of bookbinding fundamentals with our <a href="https://www.sydneycommunitycollege.edu.au/courses/arts/handcrafts">handcrafts courses</a> at the <a href="https://

...
$260 Limited inc GST / $195 / $208 / $234
Bookbinding Course for Beginners at NSW Guild

<p>Learn the alchemy of bookbinding fundamentals with our <a href="https://www.sydneycommunitycollege.edu.au/courses/arts/handcrafts">handcrafts courses</a> at the <a href="https://

...
$260 Limited inc GST / $195 / $208 / $234
Bookbinding Course for Beginners at NSW Guild

<p>Learn the alchemy of bookbinding fundamentals with our <a href="https://www.sydneycommunitycollege.edu.au/courses/arts/handcrafts">handcrafts courses</a> at the <a href="https://

...
$260 Limited inc GST / $195 / $208 / $234
Bookbinding Course for Beginners at NSW Guild

<p>Learn the alchemy of bookbinding fundamentals with our <a href="https://www.sydneycommunitycollege.edu.au/courses/arts/handcrafts">handcrafts courses</a> at the <a href="https://

...
$260 Limited inc GST / $195 / $208 / $234

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

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Course testimonials:

  • 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. The course is well paced... I am looking forward to working with Avril again.

  • said: Friendly, welcoming and supportive, Avril led us on an adventure successfully making 5 books. We laughed, learned and were motivated to enrol on future courses

  • said: I thoroughly enjoyed this course. The teacher is very knowledgeable and explains everything so well.

  • 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: The course was so good. Avril was an excellent teacher and the instructions were clear and well paced. It was great how each step built on the previous one so that the skill was reinforced. The group were really friendly and diverse in skill and experience. Was a fantastic day.

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