Friday, August 19, 2011

My Coptic bound book

I told you guys I was making a book. I wanted to show you what I did.
This one is the first one I did. It has a nice cover. I learned a lot.

I used chipboard for the covers. I only have thin stuff, so I taped three sheets together to make it more like a real book.
This is some hand-made paper I've had forever.

I love the way the covers turned out.

I used some scrap paper I had for the inside cover.
I had this colored card stock that I rarely use so I made the inside papers out of it. There are some orange petals in the paper on the cover and I thought it would look better than it does ;-D

It looks OK with the back inside cover.
Another piece of scrap.

Here is the stitching that I used per the YouTube instructions.
I think that the heavy-duty thread I used is not heavy enough for this job.
Down by my thumb I pulled the thread too hard and ripped one of the pages (called stations by the man who was teaching it).

Now this one is my second attempt and I took my time and went through things thoroughly. I liked doing it enough the first to try again.
I really like learning old school things that may one day become a lost art. Plus I believe that building your body of knowledge or skills will only help you in the long-term.
It also given me a great appreciation of modern conveniences and technology.

This is the spine of the 2nd book. I used a much thicker cord, it is waxed linen I have had for an age, I knew it would come in handy one day.

Worked beautifully. I also used curved upholstery needle this time. What a difference a needle can make.

I used a creamy yellow card stock for the pages this time.

I used the great green sage paper with leaves and stems painted on them. This is the inside back and front cover.

My stitching looks so much better with this waxed linen and it stays in place when you pull it there. It also does not seem to bind, knot, or tangle as much as the other thread.

Pretty neat all the way across the spine.

The book opens nicely and will lay flat on the table too.

This is the back inside cover.
Book laying flat.

I used a great craft paper for the outside covers. I am so very happy with the way this came out, I am making another one ;-D


  1. Beautiful Marie!
    The thread for the second book really does make all the difference---I love that stitch.
    Hand made books fascinate me and I suppose at some point I will try another, with better supplies, etc so that it turns into a REAL book.
    Or maybe mine are just destined to be artsy fartsy oddballs.
    And that's okay too!


  2. Beautiful job! And you are so right about increasing your skills! I'm try making chain mail jewelry now.

  3. Great job Marie! They are wonderful! I really love them!

  4. Wonderful work Marie!
    I love making coptic stitch books! And yes, I just discovered curved needles and WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Makes life sooooo much easier! ; )

    Why don't you try adding eyelets to the holes in your covers? I think they make a nice finish. I've just recently started using them and my family all agree it finishes off the journal nicely.

    One more thing. If your covers are a bit loose, try and wrap the thread twice before going into the signature.
    Take it easy

  5. Beautiful! That's the sort of viscerally satisfying art that makes people keep buying handmade.

  6. Really, really gorgeous. I loved seeing this.

  7. Your books have turned out beautifully. The stitching, especially on the second one, looks great. I have always heard the paper sections called signatures. so what do you plan to do with these books? It is always fun to find use for these things we have held onto for so long, like your waxed linen thread. Well done, Marie!

  8. Wonderful handmade books! I've done coptic stitch before and loved doing it, too. One of these days I'll get around to making more of them :)

  9. Wow great book. For some reason my blog did not update the blogs I follow and I only just saw this. Blogger hasn't been showing who follows me all the time either. Bad Blogger. Anyway great job!!

  10. Marie this is just a wonderful job. I love hand made books.

  11. Wonderful work. I've always wanted to make a book.

  12. Hi Marie! I love looking at that waxed linen stitching. Was it hard to pull the thread through? I have to be careful with my poor hand (carpal), but I love the way this looks. I think I am a texture junkie. :) Beautiful work! xox Pam

  13. Oh how beautiful this is, Marie! I love the earthy feel to it. You did a great job with this!!! :)

  14. Love your coptic journal ~ very well done ~ thanks for sharing the process ~ namaste, Carol ^_^


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