Coptic stitch gratitude journal

gratcopt-1It was inevitable that I would at some point in time create a book.

I don’t know about you, but I have this crazy draw towards blank books and journals… especially if the cover art is beautiful. So when I came across Sea Lemon on YouTube and watched her beautifully-produced videos on book binding I was inspired to do my very own book.

While the urge was planted, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to make one just for my own collection. Something tells me if I make a book, it needs to go out into the world. The idea of doing a coptic stitch-bound book has been stewing in my mind for a couple of months now. Inspiration finally hit while I was at a non-profit gathering the other day and they were announcing an upcoming event where they will have a silent auction and were asking for donations. Immediately the thought popped into my head: “Make a coptic stitch gratitude journal!”

Really this journal was driven by a power greater than myself.

And thus this journal was born. I’m happy I finally made a book, and I’m even more happy to say that it’s going to go out for a good cause, too.

gratcopt-3Yes, there will be more little books to come, as well. I had a really fun time making this, to be honest. From painting the cover to the hand-lettered calligraphy on the front, down to piercing the signatures with an awl. Fun, fun, fun!

I do know if I make another book I’m going to try to figure out how to add a closure of some sort to it, as this one wants to alligator.

I began this project first by taking six sheets of sketch paper and dividing them down into fourths. I folded those fourths in half then inserted them into each other in stacks of four to create the signatures.

When I figured out the size of the paper, I then moved on to the cover design. I first cut out some cardboard from an Amazon delivery package to a width about 1/4″ wider than the paper stock, but to roughly the same height as the paper. I painted the cover design in watercolor on two flat sheets of 140lb. mixed media paper that I cut to be an inch wider and taller all around than the cover board so I could overlap it when adhering it to the cardboard. I hand-lettered the “Gratitude” text with a white Uni-ball Signo pen, doing a couple practice runs on a scratch piece of paper first.

gratcopt-7When the cover pieces were dry, I adhered them to the cardboard with gel medium then attached an interior cover with paper I dyed with Dylusions ink spray and sealed with gel medium.

While I allowed the gel medium on the cover pieces to dry, I templated where I wanted to put the stitches on one of the signatures and then pierced all the signatures with an awl. By the time I was complete with piercing the signatures, the cover was dry so I then pierced it with the awl, as well.

I waxed a piece of embroidery thread then continued to follow the coptic stitch directions on Sea Lemon’s site.

gratcopt-6I can’t tell you how jazzed I was when I was finished. And the coptic stitching was so surprisingly easy to do.

If you’re contemplating doing your own custom-bound book, I encourage you to check out Sea Lemon on YouTube and then just give it a whirl. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how truly simple the process is.

If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment below or like the page and share with your friends. :) Thanks for reading!


List of materials:

Mead sketch paper
Cardboard
Strathmore Mixed Media paper
Winsor & Newton Watercolors
Dylusions spray ink
Golden Soft Gel Matte
Uni-ball Signo white pen
Loops & Threads embroidery thread
Bee’s Wax
Recollections Bone folder
Needle
Awl
X-acto knife
Recollections cutting mat
J.A. Henckles Scissors
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