Monday, May 4, 2009

Coptic Binding: How I learned in one Weekend

Well, most of it I learned this weekend - I've been picking up bits and pieces of information over the last several weeks, but this weekend I actually made a journal (and it turned out pretty darn well, if you ask me!)

Above is some pictures from my process, which is a very fun - though a somewhat long process. To create the book I used six signatures (a stack of five sheets of 8.5x11" folded in half together), a finishing nail and hammer, box cutter, book board (heavy duty non-corrugated cardboard works), binder clips (to use as clamps), gift wrap, PVA (poly vinyl acetate) glue and a brush.

The first step is creating your signatures, which like I said above, I just took 5 pieces of paper (smooth 70lb) and folded them in half, making sure that all the pieces were lined up. Once I did that I punched five holes along the edge of all of them (to make them all even I created a template from scrap paper). The holes start .5 inches from the end and then are evenly spaced between those points. I used a finishing nail and hammer to create the holes. Also, to make sure the paper is folded flat enough I used a bone flattener (not technical name but is in first picture above).

Second, I cut out the board with a box cutter and the gift wrap with an X-Acto knife(.25 inches bigger all around to fold around edges of board). Then, using the PVA glue and brush I brushed a thin layer of glue onto the book board and centered it on the gift wrap and folded the edges of gift wrap around the board. I used card stock for the inside cover (not shown). Punch holes in the cover with finishing nail and hammer, .25 inches from the edge. Use the same template as the paper.

I don't have any pictures of the stitching here because I wasn't quite talented enough to stop mid sewing to take pictures. A really good tutorial is found here from jaescala on YouTube. That's what I followed to do the stitching. And voila! You have a finished journal. All of this took me 4-5 hours. The next post will have the finished product! :)

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