Vellum Strap Binding

This weekend I was lucky enough to attend 2 unique bookmaking workshops. On Saturday afternoon, we made books using a Vellum Strap Binding, where signatures were sewn onto straps of genuine natural vellum. The covers were made from gorgeous St. Armand Paper.

Our instructor, local bookmaker Janet Carroll, showed us many variations with the straps and options for adding embellishments to the covers. I have never worked with genuine vellum before, and was surprised to note the variations in appearance and texture, and to learn that you can also purchase dyed vellum (just like leather).

Here is a sampling of Janet's lovely books:

I'm learning that it is helpful to have a camera handy at a workshop. Being a visual person, I remember instructions better with visuals attached, so when the stitching gets complicated in terms of direction and placement, it's very helpful to take a quick pic:

I used flat button beads to anchor the straps to the front cover, and the straps on the back are woven into the back cover. Here is my finished book:

We were a small class, so we received lots of personal attention! Here are all the books made by the class:

In my next post, I'll fill you in on Sunday's workshop!


  1. these are so cool! janet's work is lovely and look what each student wasa ble to do in one class. i bet you are very inspired to keep using these new methods in your journals.

  2. these are fabulous, laura!! i'm such a tab and button gal, this is right up my alley!! beautiful!! :)

  3. The books look great, and I like the red on white in the photo of the sewing :-) Thanks for pointing me to this post!
    I might try to do something like that.


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