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Traditional Crafts

Hardcover Codex Bookbinding

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Course Overview

Hand-bound hardcover books are not only functional and beautiful, but they hold a certain metaphysical weight beyond that of a mass- market paperback. They are created by human hands to pass on human knowledge: maybe a recipe, maybe a personal reflection, maybe just a to-do list. No matter what’s in them, hand-bound books bring a certain gravitas to any writing. This course will cover the basic tools, techniques, and design elements involved in the construction of a hardcover book. While some glue is used in this process, this style of hardcover codex bookbinding involves sewing the text block together for added strength. It is then placed inside a hard case. The pacing of the course will allow time for students to explore other types of bookbinding, including slab and accordion binding. Students will leave the class with at least one finished hardcover book and the knowledge to continue experimenting in the craft of bookbinding. In the past, students have made two and even three books before the class ended.  

Youth 14+ may take this class with an adult. Adult/child pairs can complete one or two projects depending on time constraints. If they want to make more than two projects then there would be additional materials costs.

Required Tools

  • The instructor will provide all tools required.

Optional Tools

  • Bone Folder
  • Exacto Knife
  • Needles
  • Glue brush
  • Cutting Mat
  • Ruler

Physical Ability/Skills Needed

Hand/wrist strength is good for cutting parts of the book process, but there are various tools that make this an accessible craft for all skill or strength levels


Fri, Aug 2nd, 2024  –  Sun, Aug 4th, 2024

Course Details

Hours: Days 1-2: 9am-5pm; Day 3: 9am-noon
Tuition: $230.00
Materials fee: $95.00
Latest Update: View recent changes →

Meet the Instructor

North House Folk School photo of instructor, Maeve Gathje
Maeve Gathje
Rochester, MN

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Hardcover Codex Bookbinding