Workshop Review

[Workshop Review] Book Binding Workshop by The Thistle Bindery

Hi, my name is Dawn and I’m a workshop-a-holic. No, I don’t need help.

So yes, I just came to a realisation that I love going for workshops to learn and explore new things. So much that I think I’m becoming a workshop junkie!

Knowing my obsession with attending workshops, Wayne actually planned for us to attend  a half day workshop as part of my birthday celebration this year.

The one that he managed to find, which fits our schedule and also seemed like something I’m keen on, is a book binding workshop by The Thistle Bindery. I think it was my feeble attempt to bind my Prayer Notebook that inspired him to sign us up for this workshop!

The workshop was held, very appropriately, at the lovely compound of The Arts House.

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We were a little late so when we went in, the other students have collected their paper and Ian was just about to start going through the instructions.


I didn’t realise there are so many different types of bookbinding technique and the one that we were going to learn is the Long Stitch Binding.  IMG_6748

We started by making our own covers for the books that we are going to bind. The material that we used for our covers that day were paste papers. They look lovely with all the organic patterns and rich colours, but not entirely easy to work with because they become wet and sticky when we apply glue to them.


After all the gluing, cutting, pasting, we took a break and went on an ‘excursion’ to a craft store on the other side of the bridge.

After the break, it was finally book binding time!

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We tried to accomplish 2 patterns during the 5-hour workshop.

The first pattern was rather straight forward so we didn’t take too long, but the second criss-cross pattern was more complicated and took more prep work to mark out the different holes for the stitches.

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Most of us were not able to complete the second pattern and had to complete it at home.



We made a pact to complete it within the week and Ian will upload the final products on The Thistle Bindery’s facebook page.

And here’s our completed hand bound books!

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5 hours of cutting, pasting, puncturing holes and stitching can be rather back-breaking, especially for beginners like us who did not quite know what to expect. While it’s nice to be able to bring back 2 completed hand bound books, I think completing 1 pattern at the workshop might allow us to learn more about the background and foundation of book binding at a more relaxed pace. I noticed that there are several regular students at the workshop who are already quite versed in book binding so maybe this is not exactly a “beginner’s” workshop.


I am still glad to have attended the workshop because I enjoyed myself and learnt something new. Most importantly, it opened up my perspective on book binding and I now see it as a beautiful form of art.

The workshop fee is $60 and proceeds from each course will be donated to Loving Heart Multi-Service Centre ( which provides community care to disadvantaged families, elderly and at risk youths. You can register for it at LessonsGoWhere or at The Thistle Bindery’s facebook page.


Till the next workshop~!

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