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Make a Book by Hand

August 11, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Learn to sew a handmade book with stiff covers in this two-session workshop, using either traditional binding materials or upcycled material

Part One is August 11 thfrom 6:00-7:00pm

Part Two is August 13th from 6:00-8:00pm

Learn to sew a handmade book with stiff covers in this two session workshop, using either traditional binding materials or upcycled materials found around the home (a few additional supplies may be needed). We will use a classic sewn-on-tapes stitch that’s been used for hundreds of years to create blank journals that can be used for writing, gifts, or as a model for future art books. Depending on the materials you choose, this can have an elegant or a funky upcycled look.


Material kits can be purchased (https://www.lineco.com/books-by-hand-linen-tape-journal.html – please call to ensure they have this in stock and will ship in time, or order from an alternate supplier), or participants can acquire supplies from the following list: 24 sheets of copy paper, letter sized; 2 to 8 pieces of chipboard (can use cereal boxes, mailers, etc. – the more pieces, the thicker your cover will be) sized 8 3/4″ x 11 1/4″; 3 ribbons or strips of tyvek envelope or strips of stable fabric cut to 3/4″ x 3″; decorative paper to cover chipboard (optional) at 2 pieces at 6 3/4″ x 9 3/4″; cutting mat, Exacto or Olfa knife, ruler, pencil to prepare these materials; bookbinding or sewing needle; sturdy thread such as linen binding thread or a thin hemp beading cord, or carpet thread, strong nylon thread, or even waxed dental floss (expect to use ~ 7 feet).

Tools needed by all participants:

Scissors, pencil, bonefolder (optional), glue (PVA preferred, but Elmer’s will work), glue brush, container to hold glue, wax paper or mylar, scrap paper, awl or push pin, strip or piece of corrugated cardboard (approx. 2″ x 8.5″). This online class requires students to have a device to join the class with reliable internet access.

About The Instructor

Mary Tasillo is a Philadelphia-based artist and arts educator working in print, handmade paper, book & zine formats, & social practice. Mary is Director of Common Press, co-founder of The Soapbox: Community Print Shop & Zine Library, and part of the street-based Book Bombs project. Mary’s work combines text and image, personal narrative, and political concerns.


$15 Community / $30 Cost of Workshop / $45 Sponsor

In an effort to keep workshops accessible to as many as possible, while compensating our instructors fairly and covering Soapbox costs, we’re pleased to offer a sliding scale. Our “Cost of Workshop” rate is the real cost of our workshop, and we need most people to register at this rate to run the workshop. For those who are able, please consider selecting the “Sponsor” rate to allow someone who cannot afford the real cost to participate. If you are someone experiencing hardship, please register at the “Community” rate. In evaluating where you fall on the scale, we ask you to consider the difference between sacrifice (making trade-offs in my discretionary spending) vs. hardship (paying full cost for this workshop prevents me from meeting basic needs). For further guidance and information, visit http://www.phillysoapbox.org/sliding-scale/.


August 11
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


The Soapbox: Community Print Shop & Zine Library