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Be introduced to the art of bookbinding with our handcrafts courses at the Owl & Lion in Sydney!

In this beginners bookbinding course, you will learn how to make beautiful handmade books for either your own personal use as a journal, sketchbook or notebook; or as a much-appreciated gift to a loved one. A perfect and unique present at any time of the year.

This bookbinding course is packed with various projects so that you can learn a range of different bookbinding skills.

You will be able to complete six different projects in one weekend:

  • five different Bookbinding techniques, and
  • learn how to construct a handmade box.

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. Traditional book structures are explored, using materials that will endure over time.

By the end of the bookbinding course, you will have a good working knowledge of materials and techniques as well as developed skills in both the production and design of handmade books enabling you to go onto more complex and experimental bindings.

Learning outcomes

Over two days you will learn how to make:

  • A 5 holes single section pamphlet book, finished with hardcover and decorative paper
  • A Japanese Stab Binding in hardcover, full book cloth, lined with decorative paper
  • A Venetian Journal covered in full leather with decorative stitching and a leather tie
  • A Turkish fold book with hardcover
  • An expandable Concertina Book
  • A beautiful keepsake box covered in specialty marbled paper to bring home all your beautiful creations

What will be covered in this bookbinding course?

  • Learn skills fundamental to hand bookbinding and be able to repeat and practice at home.
  • 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.

Who is this bookcinding course for?

  • Absolute Beginners level, designed for everyone.

Please note, the workshop requires good hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and cutting with a 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.

Course venue

Start your Bookbinding Journey, in the heart of Sydney Inner West and learn from Master Bookbinder Isabelle McGowan who has taught in Europe for over 15 years.

The Owl & Lion
Suite 6.05
Precinct 75
75 Mary Street, St Peters

The Owl & Lion Bindery is situated in a Creative Precinct alongside specialty Lifestyle shops, Art and Design Studios, a Craft Brewery, cafes, food trucks and a Coffee Roaster.

Public transport

Approx. 7 minutes walk from St Peters or Sydenham station.


Lots of onsite parking available. Car parking access can also be from Edith St, St Peters.

Class materials

Materials provided

  • All materials and tools are supplied at the Bindery.
  • Bottled water, tea, coffee and biscuits are provided free for you to help yourself throughout the day.

Please bring to class

  • Closed-in shoes to wear
  • Your own lunch

Additional information

  • All materials and tools are supplied at the Bindery, along with self-serve tea, coffee and biscuits.
  • For ages 18+
  • This is a technical workshop. No experience necessary, but the workshop requires a certain level of capability and confidence in using sharp instruments and being able to follow verbal instructions is expected.
  • Other Bookbinding courses that the College offers are Bookbinding Core Skills and Bookbinding for Beginners at NSW Guild

This course has no current classes. Please join our waitlist and we will notify you when we have places available. Join waitlist for Bookbinding Course for Beginners at Owl & Lion

This course has no current classes. Please join our waitlist and we will notify you when we have places available. Join waitlist for Bookbinding Course for Beginners at Owl & Lion

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

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Course testimonials:

  • said: It was a great course taking away a lot of knowledge. It's understandable that Isobel needs to go fast as we made many things.

  • said: It was very relaxed but fast moving with a variety of techniques taught.

  • said: Loved the course. Isabelle was very knowledgeable and engaging.

  • said: Overall was a very enjoyable course

  • said: 5 stars!

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