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Upcycled Soap Box Book

February 12 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pm



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An In-Studio Workshop!

Saturday, February 12, 11am-4pm

View our current in-studio Health and Safety Policies >>

About this Workshop:

You’ll never throw away a soap box again! In this introductory bookbinding class by Bel Mills, students will learn how to turn that ordinary little box into an extraordinary little blank book with a hand stitched spine. Patterned paper, book cloth, and waxed linen thread are among the few supplies required to produce this pocket-sized, personalized journal. Ideal for taking on the road or giving as a gift. The inside pages are blank and ready to fill with tiny goodness. Students can use the finished journal as a mini art-journal, habit-tracker, dream journal, or line-a-day diary. Also a great place for artists to test pens and paints, or demo rubber stamps. A variety of basic bookbinding techniques will be covered, including proper folding, gluing and stitching. 

Level: All levels, both novice and intermediate bookmakers, welcome.

Registration closes February 2, 2022 to allow time for students to gather/purchase any needed supplies for class. Material fees are included with your registration to cover items provided in class, including cardstock, papers, templates, thread, PVA glue, and more.

Sample images by Bel Mills.


Registration includes a $4 materials fee to cover consumable materials provided in class, including cardstock, papers, templates, thread, PVA glue, and more. Students will need to supply additional materials of their own, including:

  • 1 Soap Box  (should measure at least 3 3/4″ tall and 2.5 inches wide)
  • 1 Roll of 3” wide Book Cloth Tape (OR Gaffers Tape OR Duct Tape)
  • 1 Half-inch-wide button 
  • (Optional) 1 Sheet of your favorite patterned paper, at least 8.5″x11″


Bel Mills is a collage artist and book designer inspired by second-hand, vintage and commonplace paper. In her Northern Virginia studio, Scrap Paper Circus, she uses old books, magazines, maps, and office supplies—among other materials—to create one-of-a-kind journals and collaged artist books. She believes in reusing old paper not only as a method, but also as a muse. As she tells her students, second-hand paper frees an artist from worrying excessively about waste and allows her to experiment and take risks without agonizing about mistakes or about ruining precious materials. She embraces accidents and rejects persnickety bookbinding dogma except when absolutely necessary; infusing her work (and her classes) with a sense of possibility, whimsy and delight. You can find more of Bel’s work on Facebook, Instagram, and Etsy. Visit her website to learn more: www.scrappapercircus.com.

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