Inspiring Bookbinding Projects of October

We continue our series of inspiring bookbinding projects with several new objects. All these books (not only books) are quite different, but the thing that unites them is that there is something special about every single one of them. It may be either format, use of materials, or the color scheme. We hope they will encourage you to experiment and create more beautiful things!

Ultra-Microminiature Book by Tatyana Shapkina

There are several approaches to defining miniature books. In the United States, a miniature book is usually considered to be one not larger than three inches (~7,5 cm) in height, width, or thickness. These are also called macrominiature books. But then there are microminiature and ultra-microminiature books as well. Books less than 1 inch (2,5 cm) in all dimensions are called microminiature books. Books less than 1/4 inch (0,8 cm) in all dimensions are known as ultra-microminiature books.

According to this classification, the tome made by Tatyana Shapkina, a librarian and a restoration specialist at the Chelyabinsk Regional Universal Scientific Library, is an ultra-microminiature book, as it is 6 mm high and 4 mm wide.

Half-leather binding with marbled paper. Fake bands on the spine. For a book block, Tatyana makes a concertina-type structure that is glued and then bound similarly to how the larger books are bound. To work with miniature objects, she uses pincers, scalpel, and illuminated magnifier.

You can follow Tatyana on Facebook.

Armenian Endbands Sewn by Giorgos Boudalis

This project attracted our attention both because the Armenian endbands are not the easiest in making and because of the color scheme chosen by Giorgos Boudalis.

As a bonus, here is another Armenian endband sewn by Giorgos Boudalis in a different color scheme:

To follow Giorgos on Facebook, please use this link.

Curvy Boxes by Piotr Jarosz

We first talked to Piotr when he won his Ash Rare Books Lettering Award at the Designer Bookbinders Competition in 2016. He’s a professional bookbinder who works at the Wyvern Bindery in London.

Here is what Piotr told us about the project:

So basically, this is a private project motivated by the need to get out of that rectangular shape that we all so follow. I have never seen anything like that, and I believe there must be a way to bend those edges while being accurate and keeping the high standard. So I go for it.

Also, it is a way to relax and vent. Sometimes when I get busy with all the commissions, deadlines, and all the stress that follows, I need to take a break and let my mind run free. I am really scared of getting bored with bookbinding by making the same books, the same portfolios, the same boxes. This helps me to stay motivated and works as a sort of investigation that not many people have done (or succeeded) before. I don’t find pleasure in just following procedures, so I challenge myself by coming up with something ridiculous. I believe it is good for me, healthy and keeps me sane.

This is an ongoing project, and I am nowhere near being satisfied with the outcome, but as we all know, it’s not about the destination but the journey, isn’t it.

And here is a previous take on the same theme:


  • Grey board
  • Bookcloth
  • PVA.

Piotr commented that Windsor from Ratchford stretches a bit better when wet than, for example, Brillianta from Winters, so that’s the choice for this type of projects.

To follow Piotr’s projects, subscribe to his Instagram feed.

The Sea Inside by Olaya Balcells

Olaya Balcells is a bookbinder and book conservator from Santiago, Chile. She’s a professional who studied in Florence, Italy and had internships in the US and France, and a person behind the project Taller de Oficios del Libro.

Here is Olaya’s description of the project:

I’m a bookbinder, so the book is the primary object of my work. I also write since I was very young. As for the sea, it is one of my greatest loves besides books. A love undoubtedly inherited from my father, the Chilean poet Ignacio Balcells. Once upon a time, he had crossed the Pacific Ocean on a long journey, lasting months to write one of his most important books La Mar. And later, he built a house in front of that same ocean to live there for the rest of his life.

To follow Olaya you can visit her website or her Facebook and Behance accounts. You can also visit the Taller de Oficios del Libro website.

Wedding Album by TeoStudio

Teodora Poiata is a Romanian bookbinder who lives in Portugal. With her project TeoStudio, she often plays with medieval themes adding some fantasy or even a bit of steampunk flair to them.

This is a wedding guestbook that can also serve as a photo album. The book is covered with silver leather. The ornaments are tooled into the leather and finished with leather paints, each small element at a time. The center features a double heart made of two halves, one on each cover. They complete each other when the book is closed.

Some technical details:

  • The album measures 10×10 inches (26 x 26 cm)
  • 60 pages of warm white Fabriano paper with a soft texture (250 g/m²)
  • The headbands are hand sewn from grey and white silk threads
  • The endleaves are made with decorative paper that has parchment texture

You can find Teodora’s works at her webshop, or on Facebook and Instagram.

Free-Form Stenciling by Elaine Chu

Here’s another inspiring and colorful approach to cover design. This free-form stenciling book cover is made by Elaine Chu — art and music educator and book artist from Berkeley, California.

Please follow Elaine on Facebook or Instagram. You’ll find announcements of her workshops there.

F A N T A I S I E — Miniature Book by Sandra Aftalion

That’s a miniature book on vellum, 4×3 cm in size. Fantaisie by Gérard de Nerval. 5 engravings by Anick Butré. Printrun: 10 copies. Goes along with a leather box. As Sandra herself described it: “Blend of fantasy and classic”.

You can find other Sandra’s works on Facebook and Instagram


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