Hand bound leather journals, diaries, and custom books.

4 Sales


Hand bound leather journals, diaries, and custom books.

4 Sales On Etsy since 2011

0 out of 5 stars (1)

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Hagen Miller

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Hagen Miller


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Shop policies

Last updated on October 7, 2011
Welcome to Swing Shift.

We follow as much as possible traditional binding principles and techniques. All of our books are made by hand in every aspect: pages folded and trimmed, hand sewn, properly rounded/backed, laced into boards, etc. -- even dyed by hand to achieve the unique look found in books of the past.

Feel free to visit sites.google.com/site/swingshiftbindery for more information.

Accepted payment methods

  • Money Order
  • Check
  • Other Method
Returns and exchanges
Refunds are provided if the item is grossly outside of your expectations or will not serve its intended purpose. Examples: leather or marbled paper differs greatly or is completely different in comparison to the pictured product, the book was to be given as a wedding gift but the wedding was called off. Contact us if you're considering a refund. Please keep in mind that each piece will show minor differences because each is hand made.

If the item becomes damaged in transit, please send it back to us -- we will either repair the damage or furnish you with a duplicate product.

If your item exhibits problems after being used, please let us know immediately. We value feedback and continually improve our work. If the book exhibits peeling or detached areas within 30 days of purchase, send it back to us and we will perform repairs. In extreme cases, a book may become severely damaged. If you have already written in or added content to your book, we will attempt to re-bind the volume in the style of the original piece.
Accepted payment methods are cash, check, money order and PayPal. Orders are shipped once a week (every Wednesday), unless an unusually large amount of orders takes place, in which case orders will ship Mondays and Wednesdays.

If your order needs to be rushed, i.e. for a birthday or other occasion, please indicate as such when placing your order. We'll be happy to accommodate your needs.

Kansas State sales tax is included in every order.
We ship primarily via FedEx, but can also ship via USPS and UPS. All items are insured according to their purchase price. Tracking numbers will be provided.
Additional policies and FAQs
Custom orders are welcome and gratefully received -- we love taking on new and interesting work! To see some examples, visit


Q: If a book is not readily available but made-to-order, how long does it take to construct?

A: Well, it depends. A simple 3.5x5" notebook fully bound in leather or quarter bound can be made in just a few hours, whereas a more intricate raised-band binding with custom dyeing can take a few days. Custom orders, such as a 400+ page tome with double raised bands and ornate tooling can take approximately 40 working hours. Generally, a book can be bound in 1-3 days depending on its complexity.

Q: How much does a custom order cost?

A: Well, it depends. The two largest costs will be to cover the paper and leather. Additionally, the type of paper and leather factors into the cost, as well as the labor involved in the project. Custom dyeing increases the cost, but is well worth it if one is seeking a book that looks as if it had been bound long ago (but new). Contact us and we'll work with you on your budget and binding options.

Q: What's the difference between your books and others on Etsy? How are they better?

A: "Better" may not be the right term. Any and all bookbinders should be applauded for even making an attempt to bind a book. It's really freakin' hard.

Swing Shift follows the "old ways" as much as our knowledge and experience allows. Rather than simply sewing pages and pasting them together at the spine, our books are sewn using the appropriate method (there are many!), then rounded and backed using a backing hammer to achieve a nice, rounded and "mushroomed" spine. This also produces a kind of shoulder for the cover boards so that when laced on the spine and board are flush.

We absolutely love period style books, the kind you'll find in an old library with raised bands and colored spine labels. Love'em. Would marry them if possible. We believe that everyone should experience the warmth and unique feel of such a book. Not just a notebook, or other journal or diary, it will hold up to the test of time.

While we do use aniline-dyed modern leather for many bindings, we prefer the "old school" approach of using natural dyes to color leather. Not only do natural dyes produce far richer colors, they are safer for the leather, and will not become brittle and flaky or deteriorate as modern leather skins do. Well, not as fast, anyway. Nothing is invincible.

The use of natural dyes is very uncommon in bookbinding these days -- extremely rare, in fact. However, we've worked diligently to reproduce the age-old craft, and would like for you to experience the difference.