Workshop Notes


This month we have an open meeting when members of the public may ask questions or join in if they wish. 

We will be making scroll books in this session. Scrolls are one of our most ancient books, so feel free to be inspired by ideas from antiquity!

Please bring along some paper you would enjoy working with, your stamps and inks or paint for decoration and some text  that you think might work for  a scroll. That could be a poem, quotation, or just random words.  If you have anything that you think might work as a base for your scroll, please fell free to bring it along, although I will have some basics with me. 

As always, bring your cutting mat (plus a spare if you have one), scissors, knives, glue stick, bone folder etc. Beads and thread are also useful in terms of decoration.

 APRIL 2018

Our next meeting on Saturday April 7th will be a meeting of  two halves. To begin, we will collect, and admire, everyone’s moth books ready for the Frankenstein exhibition. If you can’t get to the meeting, please entrust your moth to another member or arrange to get it to Marilyn as soon as possible. We’ll also look at the staging of the exhibit, so please bring along anything you think might help, including ideas: we only have a few days after the meeting to get the exhibit to the library. We shall then concentrate on designing the label for the “journeys” book, which Sue Maloney has kindly agreed to calligraph (is that a word?!) for us after we have all agreed a design. Please bring along felt pens, crayons, scissors, glue and a ruler and  Sue will provide the paper. We will look at using calligraphy in book arts in more depth next year.

MARCH 2018
Weathered paint effects

Marilyn  sent the following :
To make a piece of tissue paper look weathered and make it suitable for binding:


1 piece roughly  A4 size tissue paper, any colour
1 piece quality plain paper
Paint- watercolour or acrylic work best
Wax crayons
Acrylic wax to seal


Crumple the tissue paper well
Smooth out but leave creases obvious
Glue the tissue carefully to a piece of reasonable weight paper - ie not copy paper but next weight up
Paint evenly, or different colours to give the look you like
Use wax crayon(s) on their side and gently rub over the tissue paper. Gold works well on a dark colour, but in general use darker colours on lighter tissue - you’re aiming to emphasise the  crease-type marks

Seal with any sealing coat you like, but acrylic wax leave the paper flexible.

Have a look at if this isn’t clear, the first part is most relevant.

February 2018

Our February meeting draws near, and this post is going out to all our current subscribers, but this will be the last one you receive if you have not contacted us to let us know you wish to remain on our list.

Equipment and supplies needed for the February meeting:making the book block

I would suggest making an A6 book as it is easier to handle, but an A5 book will work well too.

30 sheets of paper for an A5 size book.
This can be as simple as copy paper or you can use watercolour paper or cartridge paper, depending on what you want to use your book for. 30 sheets of A5 paper (A4 cut in half) will give an A6 book. Cartridge paper is the simplest to handle, and remember that watercolour paper will make a thicker book so don’t use very heavy paper. If you would like coloured endpapers,  bring 2x A4 pieces of coloured paper.

December 2017 

 Saturday December 2nd sees our last meeting of the year. A chance to catch up, reflect, share our work (especially your ‘ Paper Cuts’ book if you’ve had a go),  enjoy a few snacks and make something slightly Christmassy!

Also, a small plate/bag of food to share. Emphasis on the small as none of us want to take anything home. Bring an appetite too!

Marilyn has copies of the Booths 2017 Christmas book if anyone wants a copy. Sure to be a Collector’s item as today Booths indicated that after 170 years as a family company they are open to offers. How sad.

November 2017  
Long Stitch Binding

Elizabeth Willow ( is an experienced artist and book maker and is well used to teaching. Expect to have a lovely example of long stitch binding after this session, which is a useful technique for binding several signatures together straight into the binding. It is a strong binding, and doesn’t need any glue. Have a look at for a quick peek of just one exampleOur next NWBA session draws near and we are lucky to have Elizabeth Willow coming along to show us a long stitch binding. This is a very decorative binding and I’m sure you’ll enjoy having a go. Elizabeth asks that you bring along :

'Wilderness in a box '

Above is the site address for creating a template for a custom size  matchbox.  Just follow the instructions and save the pdf template to print.  If you do not wish to use this load a copy of  the standard template below that has already been created.  Alternatively use a large matchbox and adabt it to your own idea.

For this month's meeting, we will be making a dual layer exploded book made from scratch, with the opportunity to look at a template too. You will need to bring the following:

To make a 10 cm square box.
2 pieces of card with some body but not too thick, ideally in contrasting colours. One piece to be 30 cm square, the  other 27 cm square.
Some decorated paper pieces of about 6 cm square or larger
Glue stick or double sided sticky tape

To make a 6 cm square box
All of the above, but one piece of card should be 18cm square and the other 15 cm square, which can be got from an A4 sheet.

All the usual tools of bone folder, ruler, pencil, scissors and knife and mat are needed for this project. It will help in terms of time if  you decide which box size you are going to make ahead of the meeting, and have your squares cut to size.


Here are the details from our speaker on Saturday, giving information about what she hopes to cover during the session. We hope to have time to try a few ideas out at the end of our time, but it depends on how the session goes. I expect it to run for the whole 3 hours this time. We'll be in meeting room 2 as usual, 10.30 a.m. start. I look forward to seeing you then,  Marilyn

From Ann Patterson
As my talk, demonstration and workshop usually takes up a whole day, I am having to considerably compress the details to fit into the time available.

After a discussion with Marilyn we agreed that I would give a talk about fabric books, fabric and paper books and paper books which include fabric. I will also discuss how the inclusion of fabric into a book form can affect its structure, especially the spine and bindings.    Examples of my own work will be passed around for you to handle and inspect and there will be an opportunity for you to interact with questions and problems.

After the talk, I will demonstrate mark making on both fabric and paper using art supplies that on the face of it are not what you would normally use.

Can you bring along your usual book making supplies, and a small supply of paper ( a range of heavy and light papers if possible)? I will bring small scraps of fabric for you to try.
A small amount of mark making tools can also be helpful - pencil, pens ( any sort), stamps and stamp pads and anything you have lying around which you think will work.
 I will have some items you can try.  The idea behind this talk is to open your mind to the possibilities of using unfamiliar materials in the construction of books and also to show a wide variety of unusual book structures and forms."


Saturday sees us in the library meeting room 2 once more, when we will be looking at books that don't look like books. Interesting! Please bring along your usual cutting mat and tools, plus some paper. No particular sort of paper required for this session.

We shall also of course be looking at the Liverpool fair outcomes, and I will be bringing back books for those of you who had not collected them at the end of the fair, plus of course paying anyone whose work sold. Those of you who participated on the table, please bring some change to pay your share of our table, likely to be £10 or under. Also, as Frances reminded us recently, it would be good to see your map pages and we can then bind them together. If anyone is making a map page and can't get to the meeting for some reason, please let me know as we need all the pages before they can be bound.  Work in progress or questions as always welcome if you wish to share, but absolutely no requirement for this.

July 1st 2017

Our next meeting is in meeting Room 2 at 10.30a.m

Estella is kindly taking the meeting in my absence, and she wants you to bring along an envelope of paper scraps of all/any description, your usual mat, knife etc and some A4 paper. I know you'll enjoy this fun session as I've done a couple myself before.  As well as your envelope of paper offcuts, Estella also requests that you bring along materials for making either a pamphlet stitch or an accordion-style book.

If you have made a Sgt Pepper themed book, please don't forget to let us know which song you have referenced in your book,  as we may well take up Brenda's idea of a quiz based on the theme, which will help with funds.

We also need the books which you wish to sell at the Liverpool Book Art Fair, along with any that are for exhibit only. Once I know how many of you are putting books on the table I can divide the costs between us at the August meeting.
Please remember to package your books in a small box or large envelope with your name clearly written on it, and also enclose a list of books. (Form was attached in email)
Those of you who have volunteered to help over the two days have my grateful thanks. I think you will enjoy the experience-I know I always do. Frances and Cath will help to set up on the Saturday morning, and I  will take all the books away on the Sunday, which is where the clear packaging really helps..........Marilyn