The Sewn Boards Binding online workshop

 Registration is closed for this event
$ 120.00

August 11th, 2021 3:00 PM

  • Instructor: Karen Hanmer
  • Workshop Type: Binding
  • Workshop Status: Wait-list
  • Workshop Start: August 11th, 2021 3:00 PM
  • Workshop End: August 11th, 2021 6:00 PM
  • Sessions: 1
  • In-person or Online?: Online

This is a single-session online workshop.

The Sewn Boards binding is Gary Frost’s elegant, modern adaptation of an ancient method of board attachment. Stiffened outer signatures sewn along with the text block function as the book’s boards. 

The book 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. 

Sewn boards is an excellent structure for newer binders with some experience - class will move quickly. 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 fee includes a kit containing all papers, thread, boards, bookcloth, and decorative papers required to make one Sewn Boards binding.

Materials to Bring:

Class kit mailed to you from SFCB (see details above)


  • PVA
  • Bone or teflon folder    
  • Small self-healing cutting mat 
  • Metal ruler or straightedge, 12” is adequate        
  • X-acto, scalpel or olfa knife and a few extra blades    
  • Scissors
  • Awl
  • Beeswax for sewing thread
  • #18 bookbinding needle or equivalent (2" straight needle with a medium-sized eye)
  • Small glue brush 
  • A pair of gluing up boards: scrap book board 6.25 x 4", one of the long edges of each covered in clear packing tape
  • Waste paper
  • Pencil


  • Microspatula; Talas #TTB002001 or similar
  • Dividers; Talas #TTB033004 or similar
  • Square with base; Talas #TTB041001, or some device to keep text block and boards square
  • Signature punching cradle (instructions to make an easy one here, scroll to page 22)
  • “Paper Rulers” strips of paper 1/2” wide to use for quick measuring when ruler is awkward or unnecessary

Workshop Fee (includes mailed kit): $120

Date & Time: Wednesday, August 11, 2021 :: 3-6pm Pacific time

Location: Online over Zoom

SFCB online workshops are recorded; all registered students will have access to the videos for a limited time.

Please read over the SFCB Registration Policies before signing up for a class.


About the Instructor | Karen Hanmer

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, and as frequent exhibition curator and juror. She offers workshops and private instruction focusing on a solid foundation in traditional binding skills.

Past Student Reviews:

“Karen was so well-prepared and patient. The kit and the handout made following her instructions easy in spite of the pace. I learned several little tricks for basic bookbinding tasks. And I really like my little book.”

“Really liked this binding!  Karen was organized and methodical.  Also, having everything in kit form and being amazed to have the book finished in 3 hours.”

"Loved her no-fuss approach, good filming, GREAT attitude.”

$ 120.00
Online via Zoom
United States