Highgrove full-day book crafting workshop

Useful Links

Instagram and Youtube channels I like:

The books I had with me:

  • The beautiful book by Rachel Hazell with 15 different techniques (if you’re going to only buy one, this is the one I would go for.)
  • The art of the fold by Heidi kyle and ulla warchol
  • Quick Leather Binding – Non-adhesive binding Volume 5 and Non-adhesive Binding Volume 1 by Keith A Smith (Keith has a few books on bookbinding – I have managed to get hold of secondhand copies on World of Books).
  • Craft Binding by Linda Oriss (lots of lovely ideas).
Book covered with Khadi paper and painted with gouache – stitched with saddle-stitch

The papers we used and suppliers: A4 printer and 100 GSM cartridge paper

  • A4 KHADI PAPER (Please note that this is an affiliate link which will give you 10% off your first order with Jackson’s and I will receive a small commission which does not impact the cost for you).
  • Handmade papers from Pegasus Art like the marigold paper (you have to order a minimum online but if you go to the shop near Stroud, you can buy single sheets)
  • Tomoe River paper – for those calligraphers or fountain pen aficionados
  • Paper pad of decorative cover papers from Hobbycraft (don’t forget about wallpaper samples too, if you can get hold of the books)
  • Recycling box items like cereal boxes


  • Cork fabric with different printed patterns
  • Leather – I get my leather from here. The leather is leftover from the furniture making industry and Maddogz design sell leather and make handmade products. I buy the 300 x 300cm pieces which usually makes 2 small leather books. You can’t choose the colour when you order but Mark usually gets in touch once you have placed the order to ask if you have a preference.

Tools and equipment:

  • Staples
  • Pencils (with rubber on end)
  • Binding clips
  • Self-healing mat (I get mine from ebay here but you can also buy them in Hobbycraft and the Range).
  • Metal ruler (we used these ones)
  • Craft knife/scalpel – I really like the Swann Morton Handle no.3 with a 10A blade but you can get cheaper ones from The Range or Hobbycraft.
  • Bone folder/paper folder or creaser
  • Size 15/18 bookbinding needle or can be bought here but I really like the size 1 needle from the Korbond needle pack which you can buy in Tesco
  • Fiskars 3-in-1 Corner Squeeze Punch Well Rounded – I could not find the same one as mine available in the UK but this one or this one look like they do the same thing.
  • Wooden-handled awls


  • Waxed French linen thread (fine) available in lots of lovely colours here
  • Waxed cord in lots of lovely colours here
  • Thicker thread also used for jewellery making here and here
  • I brought three different types of thread to class with me Meisi Super Fine, Meisi Original and Fil au Chinois Linen – all available in lovely colours and ready-waxed.
  • Don’t forget you can wax your own embroidery thread – I got wax here
  • Another lovely Etsy shop for thread and supplies is Stuff for Making Books


How much thread to use? For a single section book and saddlestitch, you will need 2.5 times the length of the spine. For Dot Dash stitch you need about 3 times to be comfortable tying off. For chain stitch, give yourself 5 times the length of the spine.

Remind me how to make the jig (for getting your stitches on the spine)? There is a video here at 8 mins in, the instructor shows you how to make the jig.

Shephard’s Bookbinding supplies at this site and if you want to have a go at making your first hard-cover text book, take a look at this it’s an instruction sheet (£3.00) on how to make the the book, which becomes the content of the book. There are also accompanying videos on their site for free.