The ties that bind

Transfer your treasures into a displayable memory book that you've personalized to suit your style.

You've cleaned out all of your closets and drawers, but now what to do with all of those stray papers and photographs you've got left lying around? The trash is no place for such treasures.

A hand-bound memory book could be just the answer to your disorganization woes. It's a fun way to check one more chore off your spring cleaning checklist.

Find inspiration for this endeavour from Keith Valentine's fine-bound book, The Underpainter, shown left. The Underpainter won an award for fine binding from the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild's exhibition, The Art of the Book ‘03.

To help you get started the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG), a not-for-profit charitable association, offers a Home Study Program for the bookbinding beginner.

The Home Study Program incorporates the basics of the CBBAG's In-Studio bookbinding workshops with the comfort and ease of crafting at home. Bookbinding I is a fundamental course that teaches bookbinding terminology, materials, tools, techniques and basic concepts. The projects are very simple when accompanied by lessons found in the course manual and six videos that are included in the package. The comprehensive lessons cover topics from Setting Up the Shop to Making a Picture Frame.

The CBBAG offers two versions of the home study program. The Resource and Reference Stream is the simple purchase of the course package without any further input from the Guild so your learning experience is completely independent. But, if peer support and critical feedback help you complete project goals the second stream may be a better option. In the Monitoring Stream the student is given comment and feedback on specified projects and models from CBBAG instructors.

If your first attempt at bookbinding proves positive, you are encouraged to continue with Bookbinding II and Bookbinding III. The cost for each course, for non-members, is $340 for the Resource and Reference Stream and $490 for the Monitoring Stream.

If taking a course is something you neither have time for nor can afford, never fear. Click here to get instructions for our Nuts n' Bolts no sew scrapbook designed by Leah Buckareff of Coldsnap Bindery. It's quick to make and was recently highlighted at a communal crafting event hosted by Toronto's Church of Craft.

To find out more information about the CBBAG's Home Study Program and to find out what the Guidelines for the course are, visit their web site at

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