Boldly Bookbinding

One of my favourite YouTube channels is SeaLemon.  She does various crafts, but the majority of her videos are bookbinding ones.  I imagine there are a bajillion bookbinding tutorials on the internet, but Jennifer makes hers clear and bright and easy to follow, and interesting.  She makes you want to try them.

I started with the easiest method – saddle stitch – a few months ago.  I’ve had notebooks for sale in my store for a while.  This method really is very simple – punch a couple of holes and sew a whole ten stitches.


But you can’t make very thick books that way.  I’m eager to try all the other techniques.

Last week I used up the last page in my sketchbook and I didn’t have another one, so I decided I’d test a new bookbinding technique and make one.  I picked coptic stitch…

…and got my paper and board all set up.  I got started and found the method relatively easy to pick up, but had a few problems.  I kept getting tangled, especially with the second column of stitches from the left.


And I found that using a straight needle for the stitches was absolutely insane, I kept having to open and close the book and got tangled and just very frustrated, so I put the project aside and ordered a set of curved needles from eBay.  When they arrived I found the whole process so much easier.  I finished off the book and was pleased with the way the rest of the stitches looked – even though I couldn’t find the same colour thread I’d started with.

Once I had the curved needle I found the stitch simple and soothing.  It was fun.  So much so that I made another notebook…

…and another one…


…and another one…


…and another one.


I ended up doing coptic stitch all day and completely ignoring everything else I was supposed to be doing.

I still have a lot to learn.  My books are definitely not perfect.  Like this one: I used some paper I had precut from an old project and used some craft card for the cover which was a wee bit too small.  I didn’t bother to cut the paper down because I was basically just practising the stitch.  I’m not too fussed about neatness.


Which is just as well.  All of my crafts have a certain wonkiness to them.  It’s almost a trademark now.

I have some loose bits inside the signatures too….


and my signatures aren’t always aligned properly…

2016-10-22 11.24.13.jpg

…but again, I’m not too fussed about a little wonkiness.  I enjoy coptic stitch.  It really is soothing.  I’ll work on my precision a bit more and maybe add something to the store in the future.  In the meantime, there are a whole bunch of other bookbinding techniques to try.

Author: Colette Horsburgh

A 30-something creator/baker/writer/artist/crafter living with several (but not enough) scatty animals.

4 thoughts on “Boldly Bookbinding”

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