2022WKSP-03 The Drum Leaf Binding

  • 10 Apr 2022
  • 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Online using Zoom
  • 0


Registration is closed


The Drum Leaf Binding

Instructor: Karen Hanmer

Location: Online, using the ZOOM application

Date: Sunday, April 10, 2022

Hours: 2 pm-5 pm

Eastern time zone (Toronto/NY Time)

Course fee: $105 members / $165 non-members (incl. one-yr CBBAG membership)

Prerequisite: None, but some binding experience is helpful


Presented by: GTA Chapter

Registration closes: Weds, April 6, 2022, 11:59 PM

THIS WORKSHOP WILL BE RECORDED. The recording will be available for 4 weeks to participants only. A link will be emailed 2 days after workshop completion.


The Drum Leaf binding, developed by Tim Ely, has features in common with multiple pre-existing Eastern and Western binding structures. This adhesive binding is a perfect structure for printmakers, photographers, or anyone who desires to present visual narratives with no sewing thread to interrupt the flow of imagery. Because a drum leaf book is not laid out in signatures but made of single-sided folios, the complexities of imposition are not encountered when laying out text.

The binding opens flat. It can be dressed up or down with a variety of spine treatments, board-covering materials, and edge decoration techniques. It can be constructed quickly, lends itself to edition work, and can be made in a sparsely equipped home studio.

The drum leaf is also an excellent structure for new binders. Students learn to work with common bookbinding tools, materials, techniques, and principles such as grain direction, folding signatures, tidy application of adhesive, and measuring one component of the book to fit another.


The workshop model has a folded page size of 6.25 x 4.25" (15.875 x 10.795 cm). Of course, future books you make using this structure can be any size you wish. The dimensions given for some pieces are rough cut only. The workshop will provide information for cutting each piece to size in relation to other parts of the binding.

Unless noted, all materials are grain direction parallel to the spine. Dimensions below are measured in inches (height) x (width).

8 pieces of heavy paper that will fold without cracking: 8 undecorated or 2 undecorated and 6 decorated, 6.25 x 8.5” unfolded, 6.25 x 4.25 folded

2 inserts: 2-ply or 4-ply museum board or 40 pt card, 6.25 x 4.25"

Spine Liner: Arches text weight or heavy tissue 6.5 x 1"

Spine stiffener + spacer: 20 pt card, 6.5 x 2”

1 piece of book cloth for a spine wrapper: 8” x 2.5”

2 card fills equal to thickness of the book cloth: 6.5” x 4”

2 pieces of decorative paper: to cover boards, text weight, 7.5” x 4.5”

Tissue in a complimentary colour to cover board edges at spine: 1 @ 2 x 2”



Bone or Teflon folder

Small self-healing cutting mat

Metal ruler or straightedge, 12” is adequate

Acto, scalpel or Olfa knife and a few extra blades


Small glue brush

A pair of gluing up boards: scrapbook board the height of the text block and a little narrower, one of the long edges of both covered in clear packing tape

Scrap paper



Micro spatula


Square with base or some device to keep text block and boards square

8” (20 cm) plastic drywall putty knife (more precise than a brush and the ideal tool for the Drum Leaf binding) Source: https://www.homehardware.ca/en/8-plastic-drywall-knife/p/1630747?

Paper Rulers” strips of 1/2” wide waste paper to use for quick measuring when ruler is awkward


Karen Hanmer’s artist-made books are physical manifestations of personal essays intertwining history, culture, politics, science and technology. She utilizes both traditional and contemporary book structures, and the work is often playful in content or format. Hanmer’s work is included in collections ranging from The British Library and the Library of Congress to Stanford University and Graceland. She has served on the editorial board of The Bonefolder, as Exhibitions Chair for the Guild of Book Workers, twice as a presenter at the Guild’s annual Standards of Excellence conference, and as a juror for CBBAG’s The Art of the Book 2013 travelling exhibit. She offers workshops and private instruction focusing on a solid foundation in traditional binding skills. www.karenhanmer.com

Online Workshop Process:

Materials should be prepared in advance of the workshop to the specifications which will allow participants to take the best advantage of the live format. Please review the technical requirements below prior to registration to be sure you can participate. Questions should be directed to workshop@cbbag.ca

Technical requirements for participation:

  • Access to the internet and to the Zoom application
  • Screen large enough to follow instructor’s video feed (cell phone is not ideal)
  • Microphone or Headset / Webcam
  • How to join a zoom meeting information https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193

Participant-requested cancellations will be accepted up to 3 days prior to the published cut-off date for registration and will be subject to a 10% cancellation fee (a minimum of $5). After that, the full fee will be forfeited. In the event of the workshop being cancelled by CBBAG, the workshop fee will be fully refunded. Membership fees included in the non-member fee above are not refundable.

All imagery on this website is copyright and protected by international law. Content cannot be copied, published, distributed, downloaded, or otherwise stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or converted, in any form or by any means, electronic, or otherwise without prior written permission from the copyright owner. Please contact CBBAG's web administrator for more information on contacting the copyright owner.

Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG)

Charitable Business Number 89179 5445 RR0001

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