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Hardcover Codex Bookbinding: Online Course

Course Overview

This course will cover the basic tools, techniques and design elements involved in the construction of a hardcover book. Codex binding is the style of binding often seen today in hardcover books where groups of pages called signatures are stitched together and then attached to a hard case. Over the course of three class sessions students will assemble all parts of a book. The format for the class will be prerecorded videos of a step by step approach to bookbinding released each week prior to the actual class date. Students will have the ability to work on their books prior to class meetings or during the class time, but the instructor encourages students to work ahead of the class time using the prerecorded guide and then come to class with questions or troubleshooting to address. Aside from the paper, bookcloth, and glue, most of the materials for this course are tools that can be used again to make more books in the future. Each student will take away from the course a handmade sketchbook or journal, have access to the step by step videos on bookbinding for future use, as well as the introductory knowledge and tools to further explore book arts with confidence.

This course takes place over the course of three Wednesday evenings, November 4th, 11th, and 18th, 6:30 - 8:30pm Central Time.


Wed, Nov 4th, 2020

Course Details

Length: 3 Days
Skill Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Hours: Nov 4, 11, 18; 6:30-8:30 pm CT
Intergenerational age: N/A
Registration Cost: $100.00

Required Tools

You will need the following tools for this class:

Students need to find or purchase the following materials ahead of time for this class. You will also need a laptop or tablet with a reliable internet connection. Links for purchasing items through DickBlick are provided: expect to spend about $75 if you don't have any of these on hand already. 

Utility Knife $8.49

Needles $8.00
Blunt leather or cloth sewing needles can also work

Glue brush $7.80
A chip brush or disposable brush of some sort will work also

Bone Folder $5.99

Awl $5.96

Cutting surface
This could also be a scrap piece of plywood or tabletop you don’t care about destroying



Wax paper

Heavy object with a flat surface for clamping the book
This is for clamping the book once it is glued, you can also make a book press from some plywood and 4 bolts with wing nuts. I use a piece of railroad track or some old textbooks with a heavy object placed on top like a bowling ball.

Paper (Price varies)
The price of paper varies depending on the size of book you intend to make. A great paper I use for drawing and writing is Legion Stonehenge Paper found here
Specifically I have found a great paper size to get the most for your money is the white, 26” by 40” paper here to make a book that is roughly 3/4” or 1” thick and 10” tall by 6” wide you will need about 6 sheets. To make a larger book you will need more paper. The paper must be cut and folded with the grain of the pepper in mind. If you are going to use paper you already have check that it folds the correct direction. To do this feel which way it is easier to fold the paper, the long way or the short way. Whatever direction offers the least resistance is the way the paper needs to be folded. For the paper I have linked, it folds easiest in half on the 26” axis, allowing your book to be a maximum of 13” wide. Most efficiently used this paper produces signatures that are 6.5” wide by 8” tall.
Whatever paper you get can be worked with just make sure to purchase enough. If you have leftover paper then it is just another book waiting to be bound!

Book Cloth $8.90 x2
You will likely want 2 colors for the book, the color is up to you. Other options for the covers of the books include old wallpaper samples, heavier weight colored paper, thin leather such as pig or sheep skin a great source of which is but I recommend book cloth or paper for first time bookbinders. The final option is to use your own fabric, which involves ironing on a backing to the fabric. You can use and iron on adhesive such as HeatnBond to create a book cloth of your own with fabric you already have. If you choose this option, please make sure the fabric you use is bigger than the size of the book you want to make by at least 4 inches. Each dimension. Example of making your own book cloth- for a finished book that is 5” by 7” you will need a piece of book cloth at least 9” by 11” for each side plus the spine which would measure 5” by 11” If that is all the same piece of fabric then the total size would need to be 11” wide by 23” long strip of cloth. Again, for beginner bookbinders, the store-bought book cloth is a great way to ensure success.

Chip Board $1.95

PVA Glue $6.29

Linen Thread $7.68

Lineco Super $10.71 

Beeswax $6.99

More Information

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.

Waiting List

The course Hardcover Codex Bookbinding: Online Course Wed, Nov 4th, 2020 is full.

Fill out the form below if you would like to be placed on a waiting list and notified if an opening becomes available. Full course details included above