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Basic Bookbinding

Stitch Your Journals

In Basic Bookbinding, you will learn how to bind four different types of journals. This course is great for beginners and will explain what tools you need to get started, plus options for using what you likely already have on hand. Each tutorial has step by step photos, and written instructions so that it feels like a friend is next to you, helping you through each stitch.

Vanessa has created a beautiful, simple, and infinitely expandable set of four tutorials for you in this course that will help you create unique and personal books. With this course, you will be able to fulfil all your own creative needs and desires to create the perfect custom book to store all of your beautiful art and precious thoughts in.

Whatever your inner artist needs to create, build yourself the perfect handbound book with this course to capture all of your beautiful art and precious words.

The projects in this class are suitable for children and adults, beginners and experienced art journalers who are ready to stop buying boring, run of the mill journals. The books you create with these techniques are perfect for art journaling, writing, list making, idea catching, collaging, cutting, pasting, and anything else you can imagine doing in your notebook.

There are no rules or standards you must follow when bookbinding. This class is simply a technique based course that will be your base for creating the perfect journal to suit your needs.

Lesson Plan

What’s Included


4 bookbinding stitching techniques – pamphlet, long, French, and Coptic stitches

Details Photos

Step by step photos and instructions for each stitch


Variations, ideas, and suggestions to take each stitch further


Detailed bookbinding supply list and vocabulary glossary


A beautiful, printable workbook.


Access to the course teacher, community support and inspiration through the course hashtag #basicbookbindingclass

Student Art

Here’s just some of the wonderful art that students have produced in this class.

Vanessa Oliver-Lloyd


Vanessa is an archaeologist and an artist. She has been binding books since 2012 when she discovered how much she loved choosing her own papers and putting them into a book. Her love for paper patterns and textures shines through in the books she makes, both for her use and for that of other artists. She loves to share what she has learned.

Get Messy and Art Feeds

We believe art heals. With every purchase you make through Get Messy, we give 10% to Art Feeds. Art Feeds provides free therapeutic art and creative education programs within schools and children’s organisations. 


What format do I receive the class in?
Upon purchase, you will be redirected to create a login for the private site. You can choose your own username and password. If you already have a login for this site, please use that so all of your content is accessible to you under one username.

The class will be available through this private site, along with a workbook in PDF format for you to download and print.

Do I have to start on a specific date?
No, this is a self-paced class. You start when you are ready and work according to your own rhythm.
What do I need for this class?
A journal, your current preferred supplies and an open heart! A detailed list of supplies is shared inside the course, but you likely have what you need on hand and we never recommend spending a lot of money on supplies without knowing how and if you will use them.
Can I share my work and what I learn in the class?
Yes! Please share your work and your responses to the class on your social media sites of choice! We love instagram, so share your pages using the course hashtag #gmheartjournal and you may see your work shared on the Get Messy account. However, please do not share text or photos directly from the course.
Class access does not expire and is not linked to your Get Messy membership.
Can I contact the teacher if I have questions?

We recommend tagging @dansmoncrane on Instagram when you share your work from the class so she can see!

Do you offer refunds?
Due to the digital nature of our content, we do not offer refunds.