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VIDEO - Bookbinding

BOOKBINDING- Binding a Personalised Newspaper Book 

 In this video, you will see Gerry binding a personalised Memorable Moments Ireland newspaper book.

Gerry begins firstly by knocking up the pages and glueing the spine. Once dry he will punch holes and thread-sew the book.
The book will then be endpapered front and back, the spine will be lined and the book trimmed on three sides- foredge, top and bottom.

Next step is to set the name and date that is to be embossed on the front cover. They are set using our Ludlow Typograph machine.
The lead 'slug' of the name and date is brought to the blocking machine where Gerry will line up the name in the chaise where it will
be heated and ready for gold embossing. The cover is lined up, gold foil is placed and the name and date will be embossed onto the front cover.

The book is now ready for 'casing in'. Gerry will firstly line up the book in the cover to ensure it fits nicely.
He begins by spreading glue on the front endpaper, pressing, removing any excess glue, then the same process
on the back endpaper. The book is now ready to be placed between notching boards in the book press for around 1-2 hours.

The book is then ready for shipping to the customer.

To order your own personalised newspaper book visit 

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Books and Bindings

Original copy of Winnie-the-Pooh in for rebinding. Bound in red Buckram with gold embossing.

Corporate Branding for Sweeney Oil, Logo embossed onto 2019 Diaries. 

HOTEL MEYRICK Galway, Function Diary 

Snap Printing Custom Gold Embossed Notebooks

"Treasured Memories" custom designed photobook, printed and bound in red leatherette with gold embossing.


Blueprints Express 2019 custom Diaries

IRELAND 1916-2016 - Bound Half Leather, Marble Boards with Matching Slipcase

GMIT Custom Binder


"Ode to Love" custom bound poetry book

The Blue Lagoon in for rebinding.

The Irish Champion BY Peter Maher - Self Published Printed and Hardbound

MARY'S RECIPES - Collection of Family Recipes Scanned, Reprinted and bound.

Unfinished Winters Tale

THIS IS AOIFE - Collection of Newspaper Clippings and Articles Scanned and printed into a book

Family Cookbook scanned, printed and bound

Delia Smith's cookbook, rebound in red buckram embossing on spine


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5 Christmas Gift Ideas

Looking for a personalised gift idea this year? 

Here are our top 5 unique, bespoke handmade, handcrafted Christmas gift Ideas …


A complete edition of the newspaper from the day you were born hardbound with a personalised gold embossed cover. 
The Birthday Edition is beautifully presented in a leatherette cover.
Along with the full newspaper, the book also includes major news and sporting events from that decade.

The book can be ordered from -



A lovely gift for someone about to embark on a vacation or as a wedding
or honeymoon album, hen or bridal shower gift, birthday, anniversary gift idea or
just perfect for your family or annual holiday snaps.
Personalise your album with your own title gold embossed onto the front cover. 

Contact Kennys Bindery to Order: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. // 0871208147 or 0871300656  



A great journal to capture those thoughts or great ideas and can
be used in a variety of ways, e.g. travel journal, diary, scrapbook, memory book, bullet Journal
or for simply keeping notes.
Choose from a variety of colour cover, along with your very own personalised gold embossed title.

 Contact Kennys Bindery to Order: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. // 0871208147 or 0871300656  


If you’re on the hunt for unusual gift ideas for the sports fan in your life,
our range of sports books will do the trick.
Containing the full newspaper reports from the greatest moments in sporting history,
these collections are beautifully presented in hand-bound leatherette covers.
Choose from GAA, golf and rugby books.
The book can be ordered from -



Brighten up your recipes with a beautiful embossed, hardbound book.
Have the book blank to write in your own recipes, or send us on the recipes and we can format,
print and bind it all together. Something to cherish for years to come.

Contact Kennys Bindery to Order: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. // 0871208147 or 0871300656  


 #1: Colour Printing

One big way to save money on your thesis costs is to cut back on colour printing.
Websites, hyperlinks and email address can appear in blue change these to black.
Change any other colour that you don’t need such as page numbers, headers etc to black
giving you a saving of 40c per page!


  #2: Formatting & Proofreading

Before sending your pdf for printing check the PDF file one last time.

Check page numbers are included, check your table of contents, check your name is spelt correctly,
check nothing has jumped to another page.

Take your time and do one last proof-read see if you can spot any last changes.
This will minimise the need for costly reprints.



   #3: Order Form

Before filling out our online thesis order form check with your university if they have any specific binding requirements.
Such as a certain cover and spine layout or a certain colour cover.
Make sure the name you put on the order is the same as it appears on your Student ID card.
Your university might not accept your bound thesis unless it meets their requirements.
By checking this can save you from any re-binding costs. 

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FAQ - Thesis Binding


Q: How long does it take to bind my thesis?

A: Hardback binding takes approx. 3-4 hours.


Q: How much will it cost to bind my thesis?

A: Total cost will depend on the style binding you require, and how many pages are in colour or black and white.
You can find our pricelist here->PRICE LIST


Q: Can I send my thesis by email?

A: Yes. You can order online here->THESIS ORDER FORM  and email us your PDF file to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Q: Can I send multiple files?

A: Yes. Make sure to label them in the order for printing i.e. File1, File2, File3 etc.


Q: How will I know when my thesis is ready for collection?

A: Once printed you will receive a text message with a time for collection and the total cost.


Q: I want to print my thesis myself, do you offer a bind only service?

A: Yes. We offer a bind only service, simply drop in the printed sheets into our workshop and we will bind them for you.


Q: Do you know the layout for the cover of my thesis?

A: We know most of the layouts for the major Irish universities.
It is always best to double check with your college if you're unsure.
We can then meet any specifications you have.


Q: How many pages can you bind into a single book?

A: Depending on the weight of paper we can bind anything up to around 500 pages.


Q: I’m having trouble with PDF, can you print my thesis from MS Word?

A: Yes, but we will have to get you to check the MS word file from the bindery.
If you bring it in on USB key we will have you go through the file from our computer and print from there.


Q: I’m having trouble with numbering the pages on my thesis, can you help?

A: Yes. Either bring it into us in Word or Email it to us and we can see what we can do.


Q: My friend is collecting my thesis, how can I pay?

A: Simply give us a call to make the payment over the phone, or we let us know and we can call you.


Q: Can you deliver my thesis to NUIG?

A: Yes. We offer a free next working day thesis delivery service to NUIG.
We deliver to the Internal Post Office located beside Áras Uí Chathail.


Q: Can you deliver my thesis?

A: Yes. We offer a next working day thesis delivery service in Ireland for €15.
We also offer International Delivery; this is priced by weight and location.


Q: There is a large thesis deadline coming up. Can you cope with the demand?

A: We are over 40 years binding thesis.
We have experienced trained bookbinders to deal with the busy deadline days. 
No need to worry, we guarantee a same day service.






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Preparing your Thesis for Binding

Tips on How to Prepare your Thesis for Binding



When we bind your thesis will drill it and thread-sew it on the left-hand margin, once endpapered and lined we
will trim your thesis on the head, tail and foredge.
If the margins aren’t set parts of your text could be trimmed off,
or unreadable on the inner margin.

See article here on how to apply margins to your thesis ->




When a  Word File is opened on different computers text/images could move around,
messing up your layout, which is the last thing you want!
To make sure everything stays put convert to PDF. This type of file will ensure
that the layout of your thesis remains the same.

See tips here on how to create a pdf file ->



If we are printing your thesis we print on a high-quality 120gms “ice white” paper.  
The higher grammage paper ensures a durable flat finish to your thesis.

If you are printing your thesis yourself we would recommend using a minimum of 110gsm paper.
If you are using a lighter 80gsm paper be aware it can tend to wave and curl when put through the heat of a printer.
Which doesn't give a nice flat finish when your thesis is bound.



Colour Printing

To save on printing costs, change any colour you don’t want into black,  
such as  Hyperlinks / Websites in blue, Page numbers, Headers / Sub Headings etc.



Don’t stress!

At Kennys Bindery we have over 40 years experience in the binding of thesis,
we have been around since the typewriter days. (Imagine having to type up your thesis on a typewriter!!)
Any questions call us, email us, pop into us and we can help!
Don’t worry if you are working right up to the last minute, we can guarantee we will
print and bind your thesis as quickly, efficiently and to the highest of standard as we can.




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This is Your Life Book

Maybe you have heard of the TV show “This is Your Life”? It was a programme aired on BBC back in the 60’s.
In the show the host surprises a special guest, before taking them through their life with the help of the 'big red book'.

It is a collection of old photos and new photos complied into chapters, printed and bound in a beautiful handmade red leatherette cover
with the title "This is Your Life" gold emboosed onto the cover along with the persons name.

It really is a bespoke gift idea that would be cherished for years to come.
A trip down memory lane!



Where to Start?

I created a “This is Your Life” style photobook recently for my husband’s 30th Birthday. THIS IS YOUR LIFE
I first began by contacting family and friends to send on any pictures they may have old or new.
I gathered all the photos I had at home as well, picked out the ones I was going to use, and grouped them by Chapters.

I split the book into the following chapters-

  • Early Years
  • Growing Up
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Adventures
  • The Mrs and the Dog

Other Chapter Ideas could be-

  • School/College Years
  • Achievements
  • Happy Memories
  •  Work
  •  Messages


What to do next?

Send us all the photos and messages,
There is a few ways you can get the messages to us-

  1. Email us directly at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    If the photos are too big to send by email you can send by
  2. Or you can drop into us or post us the photos, usb key / cd



For the standard book allow approx 5 working days.

Roughly the time frame is broken down like this-

  • 1-2 working days for formatting
  • 1-2 working days for edits
  • 1 working day for printing and binding
  • 1 working day for delivery




  • €35 - Hardbound Cover with personalised embossing on front cover
             choice of colours: purple, black, navy, green, wine, red, white



  • 15cent per black and white page
  • 55cent per colour page

Postage in Republic of Ireland €15
We can also ship Worldwide, contact us for prices.

for example,
If the book worked out at 20 pages full colour the price breakdown would be-

  • 1 x hardbound @€35.00 = €35.00
  • 20 pages x colour printing @55cent = €11.00

Total : €46.00

This is Your Life Book

This is Your Life Book

This is Your Life book

This is Your Life Book



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5 Tips : Formatting your Thesis

Microsoft Office is one of the most popular office suites out there.
Microsoft Word is our go-to program for formatting books. Learn these key features for efficiency and a consistant professional looking document.

Here are 5 tips you need to know! Setup your document right at the start and the rest will be a breeze.



Often forgotten about but make sure your page is set as A4 not US Letter, which can be default in some versions of Word.

To set your page size, from the top menu-

  • Select "PAGE LAYOUT"
  • Select "SIZE"
  • Select "A4"


Thesis Page Size




Margins are very important when it comes to binding. No margins = Text/images cut off in the binding process.

For single sided printing we recommend a margin of 3cm on the left side and 2.5cms on the other three sides.
For double sided printing we recommend a margin of 2.5cms on all four sides.

To set your page margin, from the top menu-

  • Select "PAGE LAYOUT"
  • Select "MARGINS"
  • Input "top, left, bottom and right" sizes as per requirements


Thesis Margin



The styles menu is an absolute must for any document!
What are styles? Styles is pre-defined formatting that you can use repeatedly throughout your thesis. 
Want all your headers/subheadings/paragraphs to be formatted the same, use the styles menu.
Also, if you use styles, it brings me to my next tip "Automatic TOC"

Here is a great video on how to use "Styles" - How to Use the Styles Menu



Thesis Styles




If you used styles for your headings, you can now use the Automatic Table of Contents feature.
See our previous post on how to create an AUTOMATIC TABLE OF CONTENTS here > Creating Automatic Table of Contents MS Word



Thesis Table of Contents




Every thesis will require roman numerals for the title page/table of contents pages and Arabic numbers from chapter one onwards.
Here is a very useful guide on how to number pages differently > Add different page numbers or number formats to different sections
Thesis Page Numbers









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Top 10 of the Month - June

The Amplified Bible

The Amplified Bible in for rebinding.
Rebound in a red buckram with title gold embossed on the spine with gold tooling top and bottom.


Retirement Book

Retirement Gift "Ann T Reynolds"
Custom designed inner pages with quotes, images and blank pages for messages.
Bound in a grey cloth with white embossing


Leather Iphone Case

22carat Gold Tooling a  Leather iPhone Case

Fine Binding

Three books re-bound by Mina as Gifts for Friends and Family when she goes back to Japan later next Month.
Each book was re-sewn, rounded and jointed, bound in half goatskin with beautiful traditional Japanese
marble papers, raised bands, gold gilt top edge, embossed leather label with gold tooling.



Big Congratulations to Sana Terada (Left) in picking up her Bachelor of Business thesis!
Sana completed her Bachelor with Galway Business School while working full-time in Kappa-ya.

Jacks new Dress

Some days were cold. Jack styling his latest creation.

1 year anniversary

"1 year anniversary" hardbound photobook in a blue buckram with title embossed in Gold.
Typeface: Garmond 24pt

Bespoke Wedding Guestbook

Bespoke Wedding Guestbook - Bound in marble boards with gold embossed leather label

Fling Before the Ring

Scrapbook style Hen Party Memory Book
Pages were blank for  messages and photos to be stuck in

Glenn Gibson Clamshel Box

Embossed Clamshell boxes for Glenn Gibson Sculpture






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VIDEO - 22ct Gold Tooling a Leather Spine

In the below videos, you will see Gerry tooling  22carat gold leaf onto the spine of a leather bound book.

There are many different types of leather, we mainly use Goatskin leather which is soft, and flexible.
To prepare the leather for gilding Gerry will apply a “size”. The “size” is a mixture of egg white, vinegar, salt, and glycerine,
it works as an adhesive which the gold leaf will stick to. The mixture will be applied onto the leather spine, and let dry for a few minutes.

While its drying Gerry will place the brass tool he chose onto to stove to heat up.

The 22ct gold leaf needs to be prepared next. Firstly he will need to sharpen his gilders knife with pumice powder.
He applies the pumice powder to the cushion, spreads the powder across the surface, back and forth, then removing any excess from his knife.

To move a sheet of gold leaf onto the cushion, he will lightly bang his knife to create a breeze, place his knife beneath the leaf,
and gently place it onto the cushion. It may crease as it is very delicate, he will lightly blow on it to flatten it out.
He will then cut the 22carat gold leaf into small squares.

Gerry needs to cool down the brass tool to the right temperature, he does this by placing it in a cloth soaked in water.
Next, he applies a small dab of vaseline to the brass tool, this will enable the gold leaf to adhere to the tool.

Then the difficult part, Gerry will press the tool onto the spine of the book.

The key to tooling on leather is in understanding and working with the 3 variables - Heat, Pressure and Dwell.
The heat of the tools is fairly important, also how much pressure is applied and how long you stay in contact.

Any surplus leaf will be lightly brushed away with a cloth, leaving the gilded decoration on the spine.

If he is not happy with the tooling he may have to go over it again, which takes an extremely good eye and a steady hand.



Richard Percy Gold ToolingRichard Percy Gold Tooling

pictured above Richard Percy (now retired)

"A Life Worth Living" by Michael Smurfit






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