Alisa Golden’s new book, Making Handmade Books is creating quite a stir. It was a big hit at the 2011 College Book Art Association in Bloomington, Indiana, where it received an enthusiastic response in their auction, and has received glowing five-star reviews on Amazon. The people have spoken! And it’s no wonder: with over 100 structures, bindings, and forms, all fully illustrated in this photo-rich 256 page tome, it’s the most comprehensive bookmaking resource guide out there.

Want to know what the fuss is about? Well, this is your chance to win a copy of Making Handmade Books and get started on your own bookmaking journey. As an added bonus, the winner will also receive three special “You are It!” tags made by Alisa. You can use them as gift tags for all the handmade books you’ll be making from the book. Don’t you want to be “it?”

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment on this post by 11 pm EST on Tuesday, January 25th. Any comment will do, but I’d love to hear about favorite handmade books you’ve made or received and what you’ve done with them. Journals, sketchbooks, recording dreams, poems, short stories, comics… there’s no end to what you can do with a handmade book. We’ll randomly select a winner and announce the results on Wednesday, January 26th, so be sure to check back in. Click here for the official rules.

For added inspiration, I invite you to read Alisa’s blog and to take a look at some of her artist’s books, which are cataloged by year on her website. This one, called Flashing Lights from 2010, is a cross-flexigon, an intriguing structure Alisa covers in Making Handmade Books, which, almost like magic can be “flexed” or folded in certain ways to reveal different images or “faces” of the story. Square flexagons and tetra-tetra-flexagons (say that three times fast) are also covered in the book.

About the Author: Alisa Golden’s work is collected by such institutions as the New York Public Library; the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the V&A. She currently teaches at California College of the Arts, Oakland and San Francisco.


About the Author

The Craft Your Life team covers traditional general craft topics, from ceramics and paper ...

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59 Responses

    Cindycarawaybeadwork says:

    I have several journals that I’ve made – basically stab bindings but I would love to try a coptic binding! Maybe someday…
    I am intrigued by hand bound books of all sorts and this book would be a wonderful addition to any studio (I hope it will end up in MINE!)

    I have a mini notebook that I made long ago. Dare I say that I thought it was so precious I never put a pencil mark in it? Maybe with this book, I could make oodles and write in them all. :)

    Jmerchant says:

    I would love to add Alisa Golden’s book to my collection of bookbinding books. You can find one of the books I made, a gothic binding with clasps and metal hardware here http://bookclasp.com/blog/?p=195 as well as many others. I haven’t done much lately, but I hope to get back to making some books this year.

    Annamari says:

    My favorite handmade book was a large photo album that I made as a wedding present to my best friend.

    Elaine says:

    I really do love making journals. This would be a fun ‘encouragement’ to take that a bit further…

    Teri C says:

    I love participating with my kids in the Angry Chicken Handmade Book Exchange. Spring session sign ups are happening now and this year all three of my kids get to participate so we are really excited.

    Kaya H says:

    I love making handmade books with my Girl Scout troop and then we exchange them with a younger troop in our council. We did it last year and this year we have several troops participating in it with us .

    Janel says:

    I adore handmade books. This summer I received a spiral-bound blank book that was made out of an old dictionary. It has taken me awhile to figure out what to do with it, but I plan on using it this year to record interesting words and quotes that I come across.

    TesoriTrovati says:

    Awesome! The handmade book that comes to mind was one that I used yarn for the binding for a Haiku poetry book when I was in 7th grade. I recently found this ‘masterpiece’! I made a handmade book once with my 7th grade English class when I was a teacher. They actually had to sew the binding by hand. It was an awesome project. I would love to win this book! Thanks for the opportunity!
    Enjoy the day!

    Daisy says:

    When I was a kid, every summer I used to go to this sort of free daycamp that my town’s parks department did. One summer, one of the things we did in arts & crafts was make little books out of construction paper covers, with blank paper inside, with holes punched on the side and held together with a pipe cleaner. I was amazed and thrilled, and I made little books to write in for years after that. I’d love to read up on how to make a somewhat more grown-up version!

    angela says:

    When I was in college I had to write and illustrate my own children’s book. It was so fun and it really pushed me out of my comfort zone. Now, I’ve got two little children and they love to draw and tell stories…perfect for bookmaking! They are prepping for their third Children’s Handmade Book Swap….hosted by Bird and Little Bird http://birdandlittlebird.typepad.com/blog/ It’s fun and inspirational and motivating…and fun! Did I say that already? Oh yea, right. But really, book making is fun, I would love to win a copy of the book if only to have inspiration at my fingertips.

    Barbara says:

    The only books I’ve made myself is for my youngest son when he was little. I recently received a travel journal that was exquisitely decorated by Cindy Adkins. I would love to win this book and make some nice books myself.

    Sandra at The Art of Greatness says:

    Fantastic! I am just starting with book making, but most certainly my handmade books will always use recycled material. I’m making one binding discarded envelops and it’s been so much fun to create!! Thanks for the great opportunity and I’ll keep my fingers, toes and eyes crossed! :)

    Cheryl says:

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Alisa’s new book. What could be better than new handmade book projects to start the new year?

    john says:

    My favorite is one that my wife purchased at a street fair. You could put multiple pictures in it and it opens quite wide but folds up nicely. She is interested in these types of projects and I would not mind to learn as well.

    Kristy says:

    I’ve never made (or recieved) a handmade book but I do sometimes make paper and I have wanted for some time to be able to bind it in book form. This might be the great resource to get me started!

    Esiff says:

    I love handmade books and have made quite a few..always looking for new methods of making unique books so this would be a splendid resource! I also make handmade paper which can be used in handmade books..new binding methods are intriguing to me!

    Susan Hahaj says:

    My first and so far only handmade book was a class I took at Paper Cowgirls Art Retreat here in TX in Waxahachie. It was so interesting and fun that I have wanted to delve into making more books but just haven’t so far. This would be great inspiration! Suzie purrpage3 at verizon dot net

    DK says:

    I’ve never made a book before, but recently I have seen to many pretty handmade ones around that I really want to give it a go.

    Sharon Driscoll says:

    I’ve recently tried my hand at Coptic bindings.and have been drooling over “500 Handmade Books”. I’ve already made a trip to Hollander’s in Ann Arbor, MI for supplies and made a sewing cradle….look out book world! Now, if I can just fingure out how to bead on these too. Thank You for the opportunity and keep on publishing.

    Dschindall says:

    Would love to win this book so that I could share it with my daughter. She is a student at MICA.

    Kit says:

    My favorite books to make incorporate old postcards. Would love to check this book out!

    Jamie says:

    I have made small little photo books by printing small photos and folding the one sheet of paper that the photos are on to make a book! Very fun! Would love to try my hand at some new books!

    I am obsessed with handmade books! I love to rescue old books and use them for journals. I also like to take a basic moleskine and embellish it with vintage bits and pieces. I have learned how to do japanese stab binding, but I want to know all there is to know about bookbinding! Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!

    The only handmade books I’ve seen in “real life” are scrapbooks. My mum made me a gorgeous scrap book of my wedding, it’s something to treasure. I could fancy having a go at this kind of book making…

    Roycecreative says:

    I love making my own scrapbook covers, but that is about as far as I’ve gone. I’d love to have this book to take this craft to a new level. Looks like some really fun ideas. I made a cover for a book to keep my fiber art photos in, but really have no idea how to bind pages into it. This seems like it would be a endless art form.

    Denise says:

    Bought a great handmade book when on Vancouver Island a few years ago called “Mr. Rabbit’s Christmas Wish”. Would like to learn to make my own books.

    Sharlyngp says:

    A actually made a fabric book for both of my boys when they were young. They were the type that button, zip, tie, and do other things a young child often needs practice while learning. It would be fun to make one for each of them now that they’re grown.

    Staciemakedo says:

    My favorite handmade books right now are the quick “cut & fold one piece of paper” books that my kids take and make into their own comics.

    Ohhh! Monsters really really love making books…and we love being inspired! We got a really amazing book from a friend last year, full of little funny scraps of old books, magazines, newspapers, stickers, etc. We were just looking at it again yesterday, too!

    Jenny says:

    I’d love to received a copy of this book- I’ve moved away from traditional scrapbooks and am running headlong into making my own to record our lives and events!

    Marsy says:

    I was peaking at this in the bookstore…looks like a great book for the craft library!

    sauberfrau says:

    In fact last week I has looked in a book about handmade books and I think this could be also something I would like to do :-) There are so nice handmade books and I would love to be the lucky one to get your book, which looks really inspiring to me.

    Karen says:

    I’ve been making books since I was a kid but I love to see other people’s work. It’s very inspiring and always gives me new ideas.

    Marymoondesigns says:

    Paper, journals, book binding :o)
    I love them all !

    Danna BC says:

    My favorite handmade book is a gratitude journal a former co-worker made for me. :)

    Heidi Bundy says:

    I would LOVE to win this!!! I have a batch of recycled paper that I’ve made and a bag full of leather scraps that I want to stitch together for the cover, but I have no idea on where to start the actual construction. I could definitely use Alisa Golden’s expertise on this!!

    Pam says:

    Oh my gosh! I just added this book to my “Wish List” and now, I find a post about it on my Facebook page. Well, I sure would enjoy winning, what a hoot that would be!

    I’m a writer and picking out a new journal is always such a fun experience. Imagine making my own! But even better, I’m a fiber artist and imaging THAT takes me to some really great ideas!

    Pam says:

    p.s. Thanks for the links to Alisa’s blog and website!

    Sally Knight says:

    I think my very favorite book is my own sketchbook since I sketch in collages more than words. However, I want to make more!

    Laura says:

    I have this book on my wishlist too! My favourite handmade books have been ones I have made for new parents, with their intention to write letters to their child as they grow and discover the world around them!

    Lynn says:

    I’d love to have a copy of this book.

    AnnieG says:

    Inspiration aplenty! Just the catalyst needed for creating beautiful handmade books!

    Shauna says:

    Working with paper provides a great way to bond with my kids – making a book together would be quite an experience!

    Papermuse says:

    I love all of Alisa’s books – the designs are fun and the instructions are always clear. I would love to add this book to my collection!

    Naomi says:

    I don’t own any handmade books but they look so great and I’ve always wanted to know how to bind them… thanks for the lovely giveaway!

    I just made a handmade book which is pictured on my blog: http://www.michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/202-Third-Times-the-Charm.html It has a little chain on it, so I was thinking I could use it as a Christmas ornament.

    Bet says:

    I want to get back to making handmade books…I took a class several years ago and loved it! This book might be the catalyst that will make me get back to it!

    Jenn says:

    Love making journals and now I’m doing them with my kids. I would love to own this book!

    krista says:

    I’ve never made a book, but I’d love to learn how!

    Annabel says:

    I am mostly making new cases and covers for my own old books… some journals and boxes as well! Would be great to read this new book!

    Kristi says:

    What beautiful work! I love the tiny pencil.

    Annie says:

    I just love Alisa’s books and I already own 4 of them. Of course I’d love to have her new book also!
    best, Annie – the Netherlands

    sketch books to inspire me :)

    sketch books to inspire me :)

    sophie says:

    I haven’t made books since I was little and made little books to write my stories in, but I would love to start again! :)

    Lee says:

    I just saw this today – January 28, 2011. I made a hand made poetry book for a class project last semester using hand–made paper, and artistically using typography to visually describe the verses from Song of Solomon 2:8-13. The book contained 4 other students hand-made poems using typography, and the cover was designed with a unique geometric shapes to describe the unity of the group coming together to produce these poems with the title, “Pieced Together.” We used a screwed post binding system, plexiglass covers with vinyl precut colored shapes so the design could be seen through the cover. The final result turned out to be a nice portfolio piece for each student.

    Wow! Thank you! I permanently needed to write on my site something like that. Can I take a fragment of your post to my blog?

    Rattling clear website , thanks for this post.

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