Crafted By Colette

A place for me to ramble about my art and crafting exploits.

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.

4 responses to “Boldly Bookbinding”

  1. […] currently really into bookbinding, and I’m working my way through all the […]


  2. […] the method, I used the same tutorial I used when I made this […]


  3. […] 275 is to bind a book.  Book binding is something else I’ve been getting into in 2016.  Technically I think I can check this one […]


  4. […] I saw this I knew just what I wanted to do.  I’d made this hardback book while expanding my bookbinding skills, and I wanted a good use for […]


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