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Upcycled Book Class Sep 26 & Oct 3

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Upcycled Book Class Online Class
Two sessions: Sunday, Sep 26 & Oct 3, 1:30-4pm MDT
Instructor: Kristen Lewis
Limit: 15 students. Includes class kit + shipping
To receive your class kit in time for class, register by Sep 5 if outside Colorado or Sep 12 if in Colorado. We will do our best to get you your kit if you register after the recommended deadline.

We’re big fans of upcycling! We particularly like how local book artist Kristen Lewis has created a new life for old, abandoned books by turning them into unique journals that are pleasantly reminiscent of an earlier time. Their blank pages are just begging to be filled with new stories and drawings. Kristen upcycles hardback books with sturdy covers that are embossed, covered in fabric, or printed with an interesting pattern. She’s also attracted, though, to the color or the title of a book. In this multi-session class you’ll learn the process she follows as well as how it can be applied to other books. (We’ll bet anything you have a few treasures lying around . . .)

There are two video instruction sessions so that you can do the homework at your own pace, and two live Zoom sessions to make good use of community time together as a group. Over the course of the class you’ll upcycle and decorate covers, prepare pages, learn about jig-making/registration, and be introduced to the beautiful Coptic chain stitch. It’s similar to the chain stitch in embroidery and is the simplest of the Coptic bindings to learn. During the first of the live sessions you’ll practice the Coptic chain on a unique sewing card to get the hang of the stitching pattern. The second class session pulls everything together. It’s a chance for everyone to check in, ask questions, and share what they discovered – both challenges and surprises. It’s also a time for Kristen to show you more advanced variations on upcycled books, some of which are mind boggling.

Your reward for the week’s work is a unique journal that has a history and more stories to tell. After seeing Kristen’s re-imagined books, we’re feeling the need to scour our bookshelves for likely candidates for more upcycling! Your class kit includes a set of covers, the correctly sized blank pages, and other fun materials. Note that the total homework for the class will take about 2-½ to 3 hours: about 1 hour before the first live session and 1-½ to 2 hours before the second live session. These times are estimates. Please allow yourself plenty of time for the homework since everyone’s pace is different.

This online class will be recorded
and made available to class participants for 10 days after the class.

Class Materials

Please bring the following materials:

  • Scissors
  • Old magazine, newsprint, or other paper for keeping glue off the work surface.
  • Xacto knife with extra blades
  • Cutting mat or other surface for punching/cutting
  • Awl
  • 12” ruler (metal)
  • Glue: PVA or Alene’s Tacky Glue. Both are acid free and dry in a flexible way. A glue brush is included in your kit.
  • Optional: pencil and eraser, preferably kneaded
  • Optional but very useful: bone folder
  • Optional but very useful: damp paper towels, hand towels, or baby wipes in case of glue mistakes and to keep fingers clean

Class Kit Includes:

  • Waxed linen thread
  • Foam brush for applying glue
  • Decorative paper
  • Blank text weight paper for signatures
  • Bookbinding needles
  • Handouts 
  • Several technique videos
  • Reader’s Digest covers + illustrated pages from the book
  • Paper jig

We ship class kits approximately 3 weeks before the class via USPS Priority Mail. You will receive a tracking number once your kit ships. Kits can only be shipped within the USA. If you’re outside the USA and would like to take the class, please contact us for information.

Zoom Info

Be sure to look for an email with class details sent out the Monday before the class. The email includes a Zoom link to login, the class agenda, a materials list, and information on any pre-class prep. You’ll also receive a reminder email the day before the class. If you don’t see the class email from us check your spam folder. No email? Double check the email address you entered when you registered. It's on your order confirmation. If there's still an issue, contact

Class Refund/Cancellation Policy

For cancellation made 3 weeks before class we can either issue a refund or apply the funds to another class. We deduct the price of the class kit plus shipping if we’ve already shipped the kit, and we retain a $10 processing fee for EACH class cancelled. If you cancel fewer than 3 weeks before the class there is no refund or credit. If Two Hands Paperie cancels a class, we’ll contact you by email and refund the FULL class fee.

Instructor Bio

Kristen Law Lewis was bitten hard by the book bug during the last semester of her undergrad studies in Studio Art at CU Boulder. She's made all kinds of books since, and even created a line of hand bound books that she sold in galleries throughout Colorado under the name Papercuts Press. She later pursued artifact conservation, a second love, and earned a degree in Museum Studies. Kristen mixes her time between sculpture, bookmaking, and caring for museum collections. Her artwork - which reveals her deep love for paper, books, and maps - originates in her study of nature, and melds scientific and spiritual habits like collecting. These days she finds herself teaching others the art of bookmaking and loving every minute of it! One of her favorite things about book making is that the definition of "book" is so broad. Can you imagine using a paperwasp nest in a book? Kristen could. Using a rainbow of threads, she carefully stitched the nest to form the cover of a book for the 2011 Eccentric Artists Garden Exhibit in Boulder. She's constantly experimenting. Her latest work is with sewable electronics, which can add light to almost any piece of art. To quote her, "Book making is the perfect combination of craft and technology". Her blog is at