August 26, 2014

Leather Books your Dad Will Love this Father's Day

Father's Day is fast approaching!  

We have a fantastic range of leather books to make a perfect present for your Dad!  With the addition of an embossed name, initials or a title, your dad will be impressed with both your thoughtfulness and creativity!

Have a look at some our favourite leather bound journals pictured below or click through for our extensive range of leather books for dad.  

All books handcrafted in Bendigo.


We Craft the Book,  You Create the Story...



Products Featured (clockwise from top right): Italian Script Half Leather Journal, Marble Peacock Green Half Leather Journal, Rustic Wrap Journals, World Maps Half Leather Journal, Full Leather Journal in chestnut (Large and Small sizes pictured) 

August 01, 2014

Children's Artbooks

Is your fridge cluttered with paintings and drawings that you can't bear to part with?
Are you wondering what to do with all that kid's art?  It is just so precious but takes up so much room!  
A few years ago, we had a collection of artwork stored on a shelf that we didn't want to part with.  We thought it would be great to look back on, and thought our daughter would love to look at some of her previous work too.  It was then that we decided to bind it all into a hard covered book with her name and year on the front cover.  

Now, 3 children later, we are still compiling collections of artwork and having them bound into hard-covered books.  Each child has their own 'volumes' of artwork to keep and look at whenever they like.
After several requests from friends and customers to do something similar for them, we have decided to make this service available through our online store.  We have created a range of cover options - all Italian and Japanese paper designs with book cloth spines - for you to select from.  You then get to decide what you would like embossed as the 'title' on the front cover.
To order an Artbook for your child, just click the ORDER NOW at the end of this post, select the cover option you would like and enter what you would like embossed on the front cover in the text box provided. The books are A4 in size and can be bound in either portrait or landscape orientation, so once you have ordered your book make sure you roughly trim any larger artworks so the bits you would like are retained. Put the artwork in the order you would like and then post it to us with a copy of your receipt.
Your personalised artbook will be crafted and on it's way back to you within the week!  It can also make a great gift for grandparents or special friends and relatives.  
Check out these cute cover options! (More options available- click order now to see complete range)
May 04, 2014

Hand Sewing the Book Block

Want to know why our handcrafted books can last a lifetime and beyond?
Before the cover is crafted, there is a lot of work that goes into preparing the book block to get it strong and ready for the binding.  This short clip shows one part of the preparation of the book block before a new leather cover is made.  As you will see the sections are hand sewn to form the basis for a strong, durable binding.  
Hope this gives you some insight into the process.  Enjoy!
April 30, 2014

Say it Your Way, This Mother's Day....Personalised Leather Journals and Albums

Impress Mum, this Mother's Day with a unique and personal gift.  Read on for our SPECIAL OFFER!

Our handcrafted journals and albums are created from the finest leathers and paper from around the world.  They are a perfect gift that can become a treasured keepsake for many years.  Whether you opt for a blank journal for mum to write her stories, recipes or her family history in, or an album to house treasured family memories, you can make yours totally unique by adding a name, title or special quote to be embossed on the fine leather cover.

For a limited time, we are offering personalisation of names, dates and titles (Up to 35 characters) for FREE to our valued Facebook fans...or if you click the SPECIAL OFFER tab to the right and Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter or sign up for our newsletter you will get the discount code that will allow you to personalise your book for free! ($25 value)

Buy one for your mum, mother in law, wife or a mother to be. Whoever you are buying a gift for, you can say it your way and show them how much you care.

If you're still stuck for ideas, have a look at the books below for some inspiration.

Be creative!




April 17, 2014

Letterpress Collection Gift Picks For Mum

Half Leather Journal in Letterpress design 





If you are starting to think about Mother's Day, you will want to check out our Letterpress collection.

The collection includes books and stationery featuring gorgeous letterpress printed paper designed by the reknowned Italian company Rossi.  The journals, albums and  signature books are all handcrafted in our View Street bindery, matching the gorgeous paper with a fine navy leather finished with decorative hand tooling.  

You can even have your book personalised with a name, date or special message for your mum.  Boxed stationery sets, wax seals and ostrich feather quills are other unique gift options.

For more Mother's Day gift inspiration, have a look at some of our favourite picks below.




Clockwise from top left: Letterpress pencil pack, Boxed Set of Correspondence Cards, Full Navy Leather Signature Book with Letterpress endpapers, Navy Wrap Journals (2 sizes), Pink Ostrich Feather Quill, Half Leather Journals in Letterpress design (2 sizes)

April 10, 2014

Getting Married? We've got the Perfect Guest Book.

Planning a wedding?  Want a gorgeous and unique wedding guest book? 

Here are 3 great reasons that you should come and see us before your big day:

1. Design your own - With a huge range of leather, book cloth and paper designs to choose from, you can select the perfect colour, style and size to suit your big day.  If too much choice is a problem, we have lots of examples and friendly advice to help you make the perfect selection.

2. Personalise It- Once the cover and pages are chosen you have the option of adding your names, the date, a quote or the reception venue to the cover. 

3. Handcrafted from the finest materials - We use only the finest materials to hand craft every book using traditional bookbinding techniques and equipment.  Your book will be totally unique and something that can become a lasting keepsake of your wedding day.

And we don't just stop at guest books.  We can craft an album for the snaps from your honeymoon or wedding reception, a journal to record your life together, or even an Italian feathered quill or glass dip pen to use to sign the marriage register.  

For more information don't hesitate to contact us by using our online form, browse our guest book collection online or come in store and see us.


March 16, 2014

Going Somewhere? We've Got the Perfect Companion.

Whether you are heading on the trip of a lifetime, or just going interstate to catch up with family. Taking the time to write while you are away, will be valued by you and most likely other members of your family in years to come.

Our leather bound journals and photo albums are exquisitely hand crafted from archival quality materials ensuring that your precious memories are kept in pristine condition for many years to come. Make your hand bound book truly unique by having the date or travel destinations embossed on the cover.

View full article →
March 07, 2014

Hard Cover Binding



It's not often that I have the chance to 'fire up' the Swift glue machine, but when I need to do some production style binding (for larger volumes of the same book) this machine is my best friend. It really makes gluing out the cloth a 2 second job!

Check out this short clip where I use the machine to evenly apply the glue and then continue to create the hard covers that will encase 50 + volumes of Council archives.



 Any questions, post below or to find out more about our minutes, thesis and journal binding service click here



February 25, 2014

Crafting a Full Leather Journal

There's handcrafted and there is truly handcrafted. 

This term can be used loosely and I often find that products that are labelled as handcrafted will have only 'just' come into contact with hands ... But when we say that we craft our books by hand, we mean just that.  Every individual book is crafted by hand, from the pared leather and raised bands to gluing the boards.  It is a fairly time consuming and labour intensive process, but for us it is a labour of love.  Each book is individual, not machine replicated, and it is this care and attention to detail which guarantees the longevity of our books.  

People often put their head into our View Street bindery and ask questions about the process of binding a book.  So to give you a bit of an idea, here are a few pictures showing some of the steps involved in 'hand' crafting the cover of one of our full leather journals.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions at the bottom of the post.






February 02, 2014

Book Care Pt 2: Aged Leather Books



If you would like to learn about caring for a new leather book, you can find that blog post here.

Caring for old leather books can be a complicated and delicate process. It really comes down to knowing the age and condition of the binding in question. Best practise would be to have your book examined by a book restorer or conservator to determine whether any work should be done. Attending to damage quickly is one of the best ways to prevent further and often irreparable damage from occurring.

Leather that has become powdery and is beginning to disintegrate is known as having ‘Red Rot’. It is recommended that these books not be handled, and that they undergo some type of restoration to retain as much of the remaining cover as possible. Never try to use any type of leather dressing to ‘restore’ leather that has become powdery. Another possible course of action is to invest in a custom made archival housing for the book. A clam shell box, Solander box or other box of archival quality will help to protect the binding from air borne elements that may cause further deterioration.

Generally speaking, an old leather book that is either in fairly good repair or has undergone restoration should be housed in a bookshelf where the covers are totally supported. A small to medium sized book can be placed on a shelf in an upright position (not leaning) with similar sized books or book ends supporting its sides. A very large book, such as a Victorian Family Bible is best stored lying on its side so that the weight of this immense volume is fully supported. In addition to storing on a bookshelf, an archival housing as mentioned previously would be of benefit to a very old or precious book. This should be custom made for the book out of archival quality, acid free materials.


All books, including old leather books should be kept somewhere where the temperature is stable - room temperature or cooler. They should not be directly exposed to sunlight or any other harsh lighting. Ensure that the bookshelf where your book is stored is not in close proximity to heating or cooling vents and the room is not overly damp or humid (recommended humidity is around 35%)

Books are meant to be functional, however extremely old books can become very delicate and quite brittle. It is recommended not to over handle these books. You can do this by placing a book on a table to read and not touching the pages except to turn. Do not press the book down in order to force it to lie open as the stress can damage the hinges and put strain on the sewing, causing pages to come loose.

Never, ever attempt to repair an old book (or any book for that matter) with household adhesive tapes and glues! These may ‘do the job’ for a short time however they cause a lot of further damage!

Dressing the leather has been and still is, a common part of book care and preservation. Whether dressing a book on a regular basis (every 1 to 2 years) actually helps to prevent the leather from deteriorating is fiercely debated. Most research suggests that at best, leather dressing instantly improves the feel of the leather and can improve the flexibility of the hinges if the book is one that needs to continue to be used. In my experience at the bindery, I find that dressing the leather improves the look and feel of the leather and also seems to prevent the leather from drying out or cracking. I apply a leather dressing to completed restorations and new bindings, but as previously stated I would never apply this type of dressing to a book with red rot (unless it has been fully restored or rebound). If you choose to dress your old leather bindings I would recommend doing so no more than once every 1 to 2 years using a good quality dressing such as JHS Leather dressing or Marney’s Leather Dressing.

As always, please add any comments or questions below. If you have a enquiry about a particular restoration or custom binding need please fill in our online enquiry form.


Our next, and final book care blog post in this 3 part series, covers general care of non leather books.

Hope this answers some of your questions.