Bookbinding and paper marbling

Cover to cover – handmade books with Susan Hufton

Ref: S4D08860

Suitable for all

Book now

Places available

About this course

Make several individual books as you get to grips with traditional and contemporary bookbinding methods and discover this satisfying creative process. Create your own sketch or calligraphic books, albums, multi-section bindings and containers, as you learn about paper handling, glueing, sewing, attaching covers and finishing.

Course Description

This course aims to introduce you to ways of making new books that draw upon traditional and contemporary methods and ideas. This will be discovered through the practical experience of making different types of books with the long-term aim that you will then be able to explore further ideas by making your own personal books to suit your needs and interests.

You will learn by making a number of books from scratch, by using a range of processes and methods of working. This will build up your own experience and knowledge so that you can develop skills using readily available tools and materials. Individual interests and ideas will be considered so that your own work can evolve.

The basic elements of bookbinding will be covered for those who are not familiar with them, including the following:

• Working with paper; both machine-made and handmade.

• Pasting and gluing.

• Sewing.

• Attaching a cover.

• Presentation of the finished book.

More detailed processes can be explored with those who already have some experience of bookbinding. Demonstrations provide a starting point, as a springboard for your own developing work. Design, aesthetics and methods fit for purpose will be discussed and examples examined.

It will be possible to make a range of books, including sketch books, albums, containers, pamphlets and envelopes, multi-section bindings; what you'll make will be discussed with the tutor.


Timetable for courses more than one day in length

(The tutor may make slight variations)

Arrival Day

Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

Course Materials


  • Some shared bookbinding materials are supplied

What students need to bring

  • Please bring anything that you wish to consider making into a book - e.g. sketches, prints, photographs.
  • Two jam jars or pots with lids
  • Any fabric, ribbons and threads you may wish to use
  • Any examples of books, either handmade or printed, that have interesting content and/or bindings
  • Your own material to use e.g. calligraphy, pictures, prints, collections and ideas, handmade papers and decorated papers.

Available to buy

  • Bone folder
  • Metal straight edge
  • Set square
  • Pencils, crayons, eraser
  • Linen thread
  • Bookbinding and other needles
  • Knife with sharp blades
  • Plain, coloured and decorative papers, including hand-made from Khadi papers, and layout paper.
  • Board
  • Glue brushes
  • Self-healing cutting mat (may also be borrowed)

Please note that this course will not cover leather binding or restoration work, if this is your interest, please book a place on one of our alternative bookbinding courses.


Susan Hufton

Susan Hufton trained at Roehampton and now teaches and writes about calligraphy and bookbinding in the UK and abroad. She undertakes public and private commissions, and has pieces in V&A and Crafts Study Centre collections. Susan is a Fellow of The Society of Scribes and Illuminators and Full Member of Letter Exchange.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest