Bookbinding 1 - Guided Stream

The Guided Stream for Bookbinding 1 is delivered online using the teaching platform Thinkific. The videos and how-to manuals are delivered from within the online workshop webpage. Participants are provided a full materials kit for all the projects as part of the fee.

Bookbinding 1

Bookbinding 1 is the fundamental course, teaching terminology, materials, tools, techniques, and basic concepts.

- Module A: Introduction
- Module B: Book Structures and Sewing
- Module C: Cover Structures and Prep Work
- Module D: Casing-In

Each module has its own purpose and focus, but combined they lead to the ultimate goal: acquisition of the skills essential to creating a functioning case bound, flat back book.

Modules contain a written how-to pdf that is downloadable, a learning outcomes guide, and direct demonstration how-to videos that take you through each project step by step.

Participants are guided through a variety of information: workshop set up tips, a topline history of bookbinding, the principles behind the book structure, recommended materials and suppliers, an extensive lexicon of terminology that will aid in understanding historical bookbinding manuals, the basics of sewing techniques, and much more!


Click here for the Home Study policy.

Prior to registration, all interested participants must read this pdf which details the guidelines and expectations of the Guided Stream of the Home Study Programme. Registration for the workshop functions a formal agreement to these guidelines, whether or not they have been read.


- Module A: Introduction only
- Module B: Single section pamphlet, 2-section pamphlet, 3-section pamphlet, endpapers, unsupported French link sewn textblock, supported sewn-on-tapes textblock
- Module C: Preparing bookboard, ribbon closed portfolio, sizing and backing cloth, textblock preparation, German case preparation, English case preparation
- Module D: Completed flat back books in the German case and English case style


Participants will have 8 months to complete the workshop with set deadlines for mailing in their projects for critique and feedback. The workshop webpage will be available for a total of 16 months, but the mentor will only be active for the first 8 months. Participants are allowed to proceed at their own pace through the projects but will have the best experience by following the supplied schedule which encourages a steady pace of progress.

Bookbinding 1 will be offered a maximum of 4 times a year starting in the following months: February, April, July, and November.


CBBAG will assign a mentor (instructor) for each intake cohort who will be available by email and through the Thinkific platform. The mentor will lead 4 live meetings on Zoom to allow participants to become acquainted and to review each set of submissions with an eye to bring something of the in-person learning experience. Participants will also receive written feedback when the projects are returned to them.

Mentors will be active for 8 months; participants will be expected to have completed their submissions by that point, but they will be given access to their online workshop for 16 months in total to allow them to revisit elements.

Mailing the Guided Stream Projects

The completed projects are to be mailed directly to the mentor. Shipping with tracking is required. Note that all packages mailed in Canada come with tracking. Each project must have the participant’s name and a clear return address. Participants will need to cover the return postage for the package. Method of payment for return postage will be worked out between participant and mentor.

Participants from outside Canada

Shipping the projects for critique will require a customs declaration. Canada has a very low exemption value to allow items to enter the country duty-free. Books are typically duty-free for import, so indicate on the declaration that you are shipping a book. A package of declared value of $20.00 CDN or less is exempt. It is suggested that you mark on the parcel "no commercial value.”

Many courier services (such as FedEx or UPS) will charge a brokerage fee for assessing if a package requires any payment of duty or taxes, so even if a package is duty-free and tax-free, there could be a charge to the mentor to collect the package. The best option is regular postal mail as Canada Post does not charge any brokerage fee if the item is deemed duty and tax-free.

If the participant choses to buy insurance on the package that insurance value will be used as the declared value of the goods.

If for some reason your package is not duty and tax exempt, then any duty or taxes would be charged back to you by CBBAG. Projects will not be returned if there are any postage, duty, or taxes owing to the mentor or CBBAG.


Click here for the full Home Study Courses Price List.

For Bookbinding 1, participants will need to procure specific hand tools. This is a list of tools to research to get an idea of what you’d need to invest in for Bookbinding 1:

- Bone folder – teflon or bone, not plastic
- Metal ruler without any backing (such as cork)
- Utility knife (such as an Olfa knife with snap off blades)
- Curved blade scalpel (#23 blade available at medical supply stores)
- “L” Square – metal carpenter’s square (not a framing or engineer’s square), not too large
- Spring divider – flat leg, about 15 cm / 6” in size with an adjusting screw.
- Awl for punching paper- thin, non-tapered needle type
- Paper slitting knife
- Sewing Needles
- Press boards – MDF or cabinet grade plywood


Participants will be required to pay for postage/handling for the following:

- Materials kit – invoiced by CBBAG at the time of enrolment.
- Project Submissions – postage both ways to send three submissions to your mentor. All mentors reside in Canada. Return postage will be paid directly to your mentor.
- Consumables: Participants will need to provide their own wastepaper, paste, glue, tape, plastic wrap, and other things like pencils, scissors, etc.


Materials: there is no additional cost for the project materials kit. Participants will be provided with enough materials to make one of each project. There are some enrichment modules offering additional practice of some of the elements and participants will need to supply their own materials for those, but those elements do not need to be submitted for critique.

Thinkific account: After enrolment, participants will be invited by the CBBAG Thinkific administrator by email to set up that account and there is no additional charge for that account. If a participant has an existing account in the CBBAG Thinkific school, then they will simply be sent the workshop link once the registration period is closed.

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

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software