"Not all those who wander are lost."

J R R Tolkien

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26 March 2013

Hand binding a leather sketchbook

I have finished my first hand made leather sketchbook. It's gone to a good home today. It can be hard to keep stuff for yourself sometimes! I have used a mix of cartridge paper and Bockingford water colour paper for it. There are 8 signatures, giving 160 pages. The cover is 2 layers of leather, a lovely soft reddy brown, and vegtan on the inside. I have used thick waxed linen for the binding, and light natural waxed thread for sewing the cover. This is a simple piece of work, but I have very pleased with the result. I  will certainly make some more of those books.


  1. Nice piece of craftsmanship.

  2. Knife making, boat building, book binding, you are certainly a man of many talents.

    1. Thanks you Phillip. You know, there are plenty of "transferable" skills in those activities, they all involve wood, metal and leather, just in different forms! And there is one skill I have not yet mastered: making money out of this lot!

  3. Nice work as usual! But noone can hold a candle to your marketing skills at all;-).

    But that´s one of the many reasons I like you;-).

    1. Thanks Markus! Marketing skills? What marketing skills??? :-)

  4. Wow, looks very good!
    I've always wanted to try that too, as my great-gandfather also did a bit of bookbinding and my grandpa always told me about when I was a child. So, I'm off to find some paper to practice ;)

  5. Hello Drui. It's nice to see you here. I have enjoyed making this one. I am now making one for my wife, a diary. I am tearing the edges of the paper, it will look even more hand made!

    1. Yay, it's ready :D Well, that was quick an fun to do, I understand you perfectly ;) Here it is: http://koboldkerker.blogspot.de/2013/04/vielseitigkeit.html

  6. Hello Joel
    I must confess, that I at once wanted to copy your leather books, when I saw your blog.
    For many years I made bookbinding as lumbacked books for many occasions - and I still mwill do - but your pictures fascinated me.
    Living in an area were we still have saddlers in the neighbourhood, it was easy for me to ask
    for leather, rope, needles and so on.
    I thank you very much for beeing so kind and showing us your skilled results.
    With greetings from a frosty Bavaria, Germany and a picture of my latest sketch-book. I know now what to improve when I make my second one...
    closer stitches , more signatures and working from the outside to rthe inside of the leather

    clemens pongratz http://www.clemens-pongratz.homepage.t-online.de/
    dipl.ing.agr. www.roosstoi.blogspot.com