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Minnesota Center for Book Arts

Open Book Building
1011 Washington Ave S, Ste 100
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Field tripsResourcesGetting there

Minnesota Center for Book Arts celebrates the book as a vibrant contemporary art form that takes many shapes and leads the advancement of the book as an evolving art form.


Field trips

Flexible lesson plans and knowledgeable staff allow you to integrate book arts with your existing curriculum with a teaching style that offers a mix of direct instruction and individual creative expression.

Workshops are offered year-round Tuesday through Friday and other days upon request.

Visit www.mnbookarts.org/schools for currently offered Youth Workshop Descriptions. Don’t see exactly what you are looking for? MCBA can customize a project to suit your needs, or design a richer learning experience for your students by combining workshops (suggestions include using prints, marbled papers or handmade paper as the covers for hardcover books.)

Each workshop is planned so that students successfully complete the structure. Plan additional time at MCBA or in your classroom to complete text and illustration. Ask about extended workshops if you would like to work on your books at MCBA.

Papermaking and printing workshops are held at MCBA studios. Bookbinding workshops are offered at MCBA studios as well as at offsite locations: MCBA instructors can bring all bookbinding materials and tools to your classroom, library or community center.

Dress for mess! Casual clothes and rubber-soled shoes are recommended.

Enhance your workshops by adding an Open Book building tour. This walking tour of the building exposes students to the larger literary community.

Cost per child/student: Workshop prices vary based on the cost of materials used and the length of the workshop.
Cost per adult/educator: no charge to assist, same cost as child/student to participate

Minimum group size: 20 students or fee equivalent
Maximum group size: 30 chairs

Target grade level: options for Kindergarten through 12th grade

Parent/guardian/educator policy: Adults play a vital role in assisting children during this workshop. MCBA requires that a minimum of 1 adult for every 10 students attend in that role but allows no more than 6 adultassistants due to space limitations. Assisting adults are cautioned that they will not sit during the workshop as they will be moving about helping as needed. They will be expected to assist all children equally, not just their own children.

Gathering place recommendations: in the lobby of Open Book, near the Cafe. (No food or beverages inside the classroom or on the tour. Open Book Café is located in the lobby on the first floor for before or after gathering snacks. Rental space is available at a small fee to accommodate bag lunches.)

MCBA studios are accessible to all. Please let MCBA know about special needs when scheduling your program.

For more information, contact Angela Hed Vincent, Youth and Community Programs Director, at ahedvincent [at] mnbookarts [dot] org or 612-215-2529 or visit www.mnbookarts.org/schools


Workshop offerings for printing and printmaking

For a list of current offerings and costs, visit www.mnbookarts.org/schools/

Class Font: Print a Poster
A great introduction to the history of written communication and letterpress printing through a collaborative printing project. After discussing symbols and typographic styles, each student will design one letter to mount on the printing press. The result is a unique limited edition class poster. Each student will crank the press handle and print his or her own copy of the class poster. This workshop is suitable for alphabets from around the world and is a perfect way to explore the development of communicating with pictograms, hieroglyphs, symbols and, of course, letters.
recommended for grades K-12 | 1 hour

Pressure Printing and Pressure Printed Poster
Experience the power of multiples in printmaking. Through a process of paper cutting and collaged paper, each student will create their own multi-tone print design. Students will print multiple copies of their individual design on a Vandercook printing press. Pair pressure prints with a book project! Choose from many formats: note cards, large postcards, 8x10-inch prints, 11x17-inch prints, accordion books, and meander books.
recommended for grades 3–12 | 1½ to 2½hours


Workshop offerings for papermaking, paper marbling and pulp painting

For a list of current offerings and costs, visit www.mnbookarts.org/schools/

Ask about combining your handmade papers with a bookbinding project.

Introduction to Papermaking
Students learn the process of turning plants — from papyrus to today’s commercial wood pulp — into paper. Using authentic Western papermaking tools, each student uses a mould and deckle to pull wet paper pulp to make two sheets of cotton paper.
recommended for grades K-12 | 1 hour

Exploring Papermaking
Embossing, handprints, shaped papers, double sided papers, and decorative inclusions allow students to explore a new papermaking technique! Ask about creating your own customized initial embossing. Choose the papermaking experience that best fits your class curriculum. This workshop gives students more time to experiment with the techniques of paper artists.
recommended for grades 2-12 | 1½ hours

Paper Marbling: Ebru marbling
For centuries paper marbling was a highly guarded secret. At MCBA your students can discover the rich tradition of paper marbling as they marble sheets of paper that can be used in future classroom projects. Ebru marbling is a traditional Middle Eastern marbling technique in which students use “combs” to create patterns in colored paint, which is then applied to specially prepared paper.
recommended for grades 3-12 | 1 hours

Paper Marbling: Suminagashi marbling
For centuries paper marbling was a highly guarded secret. At MCBA your students can discover the rich tradition of paper marbling as they marble sheets of paper that can be used in future classroom projects. Suminagashi marbling is a Japanese technique in which students create concentric rings of colors with a brush, other tools, or even their breath!
recommended for grades 3-12 | 1 hour

Pulp Painting and Advanced Pulp Painting
Combine the art and science of papermaking with painting. After pulling a sheet of cotton paper, each student will create a rich image using an assortment of finely pigmented (colored) pulp and stencils. Completed pieces look great by themselves or combined into a group project. This workshop allows students to learn traditional Western papermaking as they explore an aspect of contemporary paper art. An Advanced version of this workshop is available for older students to create more complex imagery.
recommended for grades 2-12 | 1½ hours


Workshop offerings for bookmaking

For a list of current offerings and costs, visit www.mnbookarts.org/schools/

Thematic Pop-Out Books
Stretch your students’ idea of what a book can be. One sheet of paper with a little folding and cutting is transformed into an endless number of possibilities. In addition to making a great first pop-out book, your students will practice their listening skills as they learn how to fold and use a template successfully. With space for writing, this is a great book for younger students. For older students, choose a larger format without a template, which allows students to create their own custom pop-out.
recommended for grades K-12 | 1 hour

Accordion Books
Found in both ancient and contemporary bookbinding traditions, the versatile accordion book is created by folding a long sheet of paper to create individual pages. This structure allows the viewer to read a page at a time or to view the entire book at a glance. A structure for all ages, the accordion is limited only by the imagination. Three age-appropriate formats are available. New: accordion with a pop-out insert available for grades 3 and up. Enhance this workshop with additional techniques such as handmade paper covers, pop-ups, sewn pages or hidden pages. Choose softcover or hardcover.
recommended for grades K-12 | 1 to 2 hours

An Accordion Sampler
Students will explore basic binding techniques by making a hardcover accordion “sampler” book. Your students will learn how to cover bookboard with decorative paper, hinge boards together with book cloth tape, make a pocket endsheet, sew in a single signature with a pamphlet stitch, create a hidden page and a pop-up. Great fundamental knowledge for future independent work.
recommended for grades 9-12 | 2½ hours

Accordion Pocket Folder
An accordion book taken one fold further, the four-pocket folder is a great way to support student writing with text card-pages, hold project materials or to use as an interactive classroom tool. Available in two sizes. Choose softcover or hardcover. Sew in pages to make a journal!
recommended for grades K-12 | 1 to 2 hours

Flag Books
Surprise your students and challenge them to incorporate text and images in a non-traditional book structure. Using an accordion spine, this structure has small alternating pages that wave like flags in the wind and open to reveal a hidden illustration or message. It’s a fun book for poems, riddles and question/answer formats. The extended format is challenging enough for high school use. The full-page flag book stretches out to create a full picture with plenty of room for text. Great book structure for school reports by younger and older students. Choose softcover or hardcover. Ask about extended ABC books.
recommended for grades 2-12 | 1 to 2½ hours

Dos-a-Dos: An Accordion With a Twist
Two books in one! There are three different formats to choose from. The traditional dos-a-dos opens in two opposite directions; each is sewn with Western pamphlet pages. Not only does this offer plenty of writing space, it provides a format to write from different perspectives; one voice from the first side and a second from the opposite side. The landscape dos-a-dos combines Eastern and Western book binding traditions. Open the landscape dos-a-dos from one direction to find the traditional Western sewn pages. Open the other side to an Eastern-style accordion fold that lends itself to landscape scenes or single sheets for charts, graphs or pictures. The pop-up dos-a-dos includes the Western sewn pages on one end and a pop-out scene on the opposite end. Choose softcover or hardcover. The structure of the traditional dos-a-dos offers 16 sheets of paper — twice the number of most other structures.
recommended for grades | hours

Tunnel Books
Whether you choose the single section tunnel with cover and writing space for younger students or the hardcover meander tunnel for older students, all will be encouraged to think creatively as they explore depth perspective with text and image. The new multi-section tunnel format allows for even more expansive layered imagery. Great for older students. No matter what the topic or size, tunnel books draw in the reader and creator to learn more. Choose softcover or hardcover. Colorful cover-weight papers available upon request
recommended for grades K-12 | 1 to 2 hours

Petal Fold Books
This sculptural book has petal-shaped pages inspired by origami. Choose between the circular star format or the linear bridge format. A photocopier template for composing text is available prior to your workshop to create easy collaborative books. A versatile book form, the star format is easily turned into a color wheel book, Valentine heart book or snowflake book. Add a tassel and the bridge format turns into a graduation book. Softcover or hardcover. MCBA can photocopy student writing for a fee. Usually offered with bright colored pages. Specific colors available upon request.
recommended for grades 3-12 | 1 to 1½ hours

Pop-Up Books
Explore the third dimension in bookmaking through paper engineering. Create a simple portrait or a tower base that transforms into animals, real or fanciful. Explore a variety of pop-up techniques to create a landscape scene. From the simple to the elaborate, there is a pop-up book that will fit your curriculum and inspire your students. Options include hardcover or softcover. Format options include 3-section or 4-section pop-up, landscape pop-up, tower pop-up, or portrait pop-up.
recommended for grades K-12 | 1 to 2 hours


Workshop offerings for journals, sketchbooks and group publishing

For a list of current offerings and costs, visit www.mnbookarts.org/schools/

Most projects you see here start with a standard 8 sheets of paper — that can equal up to 32 usable pages!

Consider enhancing any bookbinding project with handmade paper.

Hardcover or Softcover Sketchbook/Journal
This classic hardcover book is a great introduction to Western bookbinding techniques. Students often experience a sense of accomplishment when they bind the traditional personal book. This blank book is perfect for future writing or drawing activities. Completed student writing may also be bound. Pockets and/or a CD holder may be added upon request. Ask about page layout for student writing. The sketchbook journal can be made as a double or multiple signature book. A signature is a section of 8 pages folded in half.
recommended for grades 3-12 | 2 to 2½ hours

Stab Binding
Students will learn an Eastern bookbinding technique with this simple yet elegant design, well-suited for single sheets. Students make a blank book and learn a binding skill they can easily apply to future school projects. Ideal for publishing student writing. New: Advanced decorative stitching available for high school students. New: Advanced decorative stitching available for high school students. Available in two sizes. Publishing and template available for student writing. Adding more pages simply requires MCBA staff to drill holes in additional pages before your workshop.
recommended for grades 3-12 | 1 hour

Folders to Books: The Japanese Paper Folder
This Japanese folder is a single piece of decorative paper folded several times to create multiple pockets. By itself it is perfect to hold papers or cards. Add sewn pages to create a softcover book. Utilize the many pockets for a great research journal. The small format is the perfect size to hold CDs!
recommended for grades 3-12 | 1 to 1½ hours

Hardcover Post-Bound Portfolio Journal
Not just for photo albums, the versatile hinged screw-post binding is useful for gathering single sheets to use as a portfolio, journal, or to publish student writing. The removable screw-post allows for addition, subtraction and reordering of pages in the classroom. Two sizes are available. Holes can be spaced to allow standard 3-hole punched paper in the large format. Optional handmade paper covers. The post-bound portfolio is quite versatile — adjust the length of your screw posts to the thickness of your pages.
recommended for grades 3-12 | 2 to 2½ hours

Historical Book Structures: Faux Limp Vellum
Looking for a historical book? Using the ancient tacket binding and faux leather with sewn pages, this lovely book is reminiscent of books from the Middle Ages. It’s great as a personal journal; sturdy and flexible with a faux leather strap closure.
recommended for grades 3-12 | 1 hour

Historical Book Structures: Jian Ce Chinese Slat Book
Before inventing paper, these first Chinese books were made with narrow strips of bamboo bound together with silk or hemp cord. In the custom of Chinese writing, characters were drawn on the strips of bamboo with brush and ink from top to bottom. In the MCBA version of the Slat Book, black matboard is used with waxed linen thread to create a unique book great for acrostic poems, timelines and much more.
recommended for grades 3-12 | 1 hour


Custom Workshops

Don’t see exactly what you are looking for? MCBA can customize a project to suit your needs.

For a list of current offerings and costs, visit www.mnbookarts.org/schools/


Resources to learn more

  • The Pocket Paper Engineer, Volume I: Basic Forms: How to Make Pop-Ups Step-by-Step, by Carol Barton
  • Handmade Prints: An Introduction to Creative Printmaking without a Press, by by Anne Desmet & Jim Anderson
  • Elements of Pop Up: A Pop Up Book for Aspiring Paper Engineers, by James Diaz & David A. Carter
  • Bookbinding: Its Background and Technique, by Edith Dieh
  • Making Books That Fly, Fold, Wrap, Hide, Pop Up, Twist & Turn: Books for Kids to Make, by Gwen Diehn
  • Simple Printmaking: A Beginner's Guide to Making Relief Prints with Rubber Stamps, Linoleum Blocks, Wood Blocks, Found objects, by Gwen Diehn
  • Creating Handmade Books, by Alisa Golden
  • Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures & Forms, by Alisa Golden
  • Papermaking: The History and Technique of an Ancient Craft, by Dard Hunter
  • Literacy Through the Book Arts, by Paul Johnson
  • Pictures & Words Together: Children Illustrating and Writing Their Own Books, by Paul Johnson
  • Pop-Up Paper Engineering: Cross-Curricular Activities in Design Technology, English and Art, by Paul Johnson
  • The Art of Making Paste Papers, by Diane K. Maurer-Mathison
  • The book on the bookshelf, by Henry Petroski
  • Teaching Hand Papermaking: A Classroom Guide, by Gloria Zmolek Smith
  • Five Hundred Years of Printing, by Sigfrid H. Steinberg
  • The Art & Craft of Handmade Paper, by Vance Studley
  • Altered Art: Techniques for Creating Altered Books, Boxes, Cards & More, by Terry Taylor
  • Bookbinding, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Getting there

Parking information: There is limited free parking available in the Open Book lot adjacent to the building, and metered street parking, pay lots and public ramps are all available nearby. Reserved handicapped parking spaces are located near both the front and rear entrances to the building. Participants should not park in spaces reserved for building tenants or staff. Participants are cautioned that events in the building may limit availability of spaces in the Open Book lot and that Metrodome events can affect parking availability in the neighborhood.

Driving directions: Minnesota Center for Book Arts is located on the first floor of the Open Book building. The Open Book building is located in downtown Minneapolis on Washington Ave. S. between 10th and 11th Avenues, near the Metrodome and just across I-35W from the University of Minnesota’s West Bank campus.



Information subject to change. Please check with Minnesota Center for Book Arts for the most current information. Last updated on Sat, Jul 29, 2017.