Introduction: DIY Coptic Stitch Bound Notebook

About: The best and the worst.

Hi there! Okay, so I welcome you to yet another Instructable. And yes, back to crafting. This time it's a notebook. Not any run of the mill notebook; I present to you a delicacy of Coptic stitch binding encased in a beautiful wave pattern.

The design was inspired by one of Ruth Bleakley's. You can check out her work here:

I really enjoyed making this notebook and I hope you do too when you decide to make one. Happy reading!

Step 1: You Will Need...

1. Landscape lined sheets
2. Cardboard/ Chipboard/ Hardback cover or any other suitable substitute
3. Something to cover e.g. A4 paper
4. White Glue
5. Paints
6. Gold and Silver Paint Markers
7. Thread

1. Utility Knife/ Cutter
2. Scissors
3. Ruler/ A straight edge
4. Paint Brushes
5. Needle
6. Sponge/ Sponge applicator

Step 2: Preparing Signatures

First of all, take your Landscape Sheets and fold them in half. When all the sheets are folded, take one sheet and put it in another sheet in between the fold and so on until you have five grouped in a signature. You can take five in a signature or less or more, depending on how thick you want your signatures to be, but I found five an optimum number. I had 60 sheets and I ended up with 12 signatures.

Step 3: Pierce

For this step, you would want something like a a piece of thermocol sheet with a straight edge or something similar. Now put each signature on the foam and align the fold with the right angle at the edge. Since I am using lined paper, I didn't find the need to mark where wanted my holes to be. So basically I pierced eight holes on each signature. You can see in the fourth image of the step as to where exactly I made the holes as it is not easy to describe. Put the signatures carefully back in the order so as to not disturb the holes.

Step 4: The Cover

Now for the cover you want to take the size of you signatures. Measure the length and breadth of the signature and accordingly cut out two identical pieces of chipboard for the cover. (My length and breadth were 23 cm and 15 cm respectively).

To cover the chipboard, I used regular peach colored A4 paper. Sponging on white glue to the chipboard, glue it to the paper, and fold the rest to the back and glue it down as shown in the images. Take half of an another A4 paper to cover the back of the rectangle. The two rectangles will take a total of 3 A4 papers.

Now, I didn't really want a peach background so I water colored it to an orangish shade. You could leave out this step totally if you have your desired color on the cover in the first place. And yes water coloring it, gave it a nice textural background which I wanted.

Step 5: Painting

Painting. This step really requires a skill; to paint. I wouldn't say, I am much of a painter myself but whatever I did, worked for me very well. But still you should have a nice hand of it.

For the color of waves, I mixed blue with a lot of white and a tinge of dark green to obtain a minty blue color. So technically, you might want to download some wave images, lightly sketch them on the cover and paint it accordingly. At least that's what I did. I am sorry, yet again, I can't really explain the brush strokes that I made as I am not much of a painter myself. You may refer to the step-by-step images of the painting to get an idea how to go ahead with it. Make sure that you extend your painting to the edges of the covers too.

When I was done with the the waves, I applied a coat of watery silver to the painting I had done to give it a shiny effect; I love shiny things. This is totally optional.

Aligning the pages with the covers, paint the lower part of the pages minty blue. Then I gold lined the waves and silver lined the white bits as shown in the images. Now you basically want to continue the wave pattern on to the signatures.

After that, you may cover your work with a layer of white glue.

Step 6: The Holes

Draw a line 2 cm from the edge of the notebook as shown in the images. Then align a signature with the drawn line and mark the points on the line against the holes on the signature.

Then hammer a nail of your desired diameter into the points marked. I simply lined the circumference of the holes with the gold marker to give it a nice look.

Step 7: Stitching

For this step, you will need a thread; waxed cotton or linen. Waxed thread allows better stitching as it does not tangle as much as normal thread. Double thread a needle; make it long so that you don't run out of thread very much but keep it in your comfortable working range.

Align the front cover with a signature and pass the needle from the inside of the first hole in the signature; then pass the needle through the first hole on the cover as shown in the third and fourth image. Tighten so that the signature is aligned with the cover again, then take your needle behind the first stitch you made to make a loop and tighten as shown in the fifth and sixth image. Now go back into the first signature hole as shown in the seventh image.

Then pass your needle from the inside of your signature through the second hole and repeat the previous stitching process until you reach the last hole. If in between you run out of thread, when you go to the inside of your signature make a knot with the previous stitch line as shown in the ninth and tenth image.

When you reach the last hole, and once you have made the loop around the stitch don't go back into the hole, except grab another signature, align it with the first and go, from the outside, into the adjacent hole of the second signature as shown in eleventh and twelfth images.

Then pass your needle through the next hole from the inside and come to the outside. Then make a loop through the previous adjacent stitch by going around it two signatures back, including the one you are working on, as shown in fourteenth and fifteenth images. Tighten your loop and go back into the hole same hole. Come to the outside through the next hole and repeat the process for each hole. For the last hole take another signature and go into its adjacent hole and continue. Make a loop everytime around the previous stitch by passing the needle two signatures back, including the one you are working on.

Once you reach last hole of the second last signature, don't go back into the hole but align the last signature and the cover with the rest. Then go through the adjacent hole on the cover from the outside and tighten the stitch, then go around the stitch you made as you did in step 1 of the stitching. Tighten the loop and go into the adjacent hole of the last signature. Refer to twenty third to twenty sixth images. Repeat the process for all the holes and when you go back into the last hole make a double knot with the previous stitch to secure all your work. Refer to the last images of the step.

Nearly done!

Step 8: Finishing

I painted some portion of the inside of the cover with the same minty color and made a geometric pattern with my gold marker. Next, optionally, you can cover your work with a layer of white glue.

Then, as I thought the waves did not stand out enough, I outlined them with a black pen.

Lastly, an important step though, I leveled the edges of the pages by use of a cutter and sanding them after. Sorry, I missed the images of this step and I hope you get the idea.

Then to give it a durable finish, I gave my spine a layer of PVA glue. Again no images. Sorry.

Step 9: Done.

There you are!
It was quite a project. I have honestly no words.

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you liked it. I would be grateful if you show some love and vote for it in the Cardboard Contest.

And also if you are into book making stuff, check out my instructable; DIY Vintage Hogwarts Journal. I am sure you'll like it.

Cardboard Contest 2016

Participated in the
Cardboard Contest 2016