Make a leather journal with Kate Holland

Bookbinding and paper marbling

Ref: S1D11247

Suitable for all

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About this course

Make a soft leather covered book or journal from scratch using long stitch sewing.

Course Description

A soft leather journal is a coveted accessory for writers, artists and explorers. This practical day will introduce you to the materials and techniques involved in making a long stitch binding. You will learn about the properties and characteristics of the materials you will be using, and how to ascertain their suitability for the binding. There will also be an introduction to the tools and equipment involved and their correct handling.

As you learn how to design and make your book, you will cover the techniques and skills required to select and prepare the materials, measure and design the cover with a soft leather cover and fastening strap, and assemble your journal. This includes how to:

- Fold paper into sections ready for sewing

- Select and prepare leather for the binding

- Use basic long stitch sewing techniques

Each process will be demonstrated to the group, then you will work on your own binding with individual help from the tutor. The aim is to complete one finished book, with the opportunity to experiment with other materials if time allows.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


  • On this course, the tutor will supply all of the materials including leather, paper, thread and needles.

What students need to bring

  • An apron and stout covered footwear to wear in the workshop
  • Pencil case with: a pencil, pen, rubber, scissors, craft knife, dividers, steel rule, and a set square.
  • Also a bone folder and bodkin if you have them.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Additional papers if needed, and pencil case items on the ‘to bring’ list
  • Pointed bone folder
  • Available from tutor:
  • Paper, leather, thread, needles


Kate Holland

Kate Holland studied bookbinding at London College of Printing and is a multi award-winning artist 
bookbinder, specialising in contemporary fine bindings to commission or for exhibition. She uses traditional materials and techniques to produce a unique, modern binding that reflects the text, illustrations and typeface of the book. 

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