How to Make a Coptic Stitch Sketchbook | Maribel Reyes | Skillshare

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How to Make a Coptic Stitch Sketchbook

teacher avatar Maribel Reyes, Graphic Designer and Maker

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Coptic Stitch


    • 2.



    • 3.

      Cover for the sketchbook (Fabric optional)


    • 4.

      Making Bookcloth


    • 5.

      Fabric Covering


    • 6.

      Cover Ready


    • 7.

      Waxing your thread and making signatures


    • 8.

      Marking and punching the holes on the signature


    • 9.

      Marking and punching the holes on the covers


    • 10.

      Trimming the signatures


    • 11.



    • 12.

      Back cover


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About This Class

Welcome to Bookbinding Class!

You will learn how to make a coptic stitch sketchbook, this type of binding doesn't require any glue and it lays completely flat, so you can scan your sketches easily and bring them to life.

I will be demonstrating how to make your own book cloth, if you decide to cover your book with fabric, how to make waxed thread, so you can choose the color you want for your books. The options are endless!

Please check out the attached .pdf document with clickable links to get your supplies

Start making something unique for you or to give to someone this holidays.! 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Maribel Reyes

Graphic Designer and Maker


Hi I'm Maribel a Graphic Designer by trade and a lover of all handmade things.

I find inspiration everywhere and try to keep making things, some projects I finish others not so much...but I believe that getting my hands engaged it's half the battle, I love to share what I have learned thru trial and error, so you don't have to waste your precious time and can get your creative juices flowing.

Enjoy where you are, but get excited about the future!

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1. Coptic Stitch: Hi. And Maribel M. A graphic designer that looks bookbinding in this class. I'm gonna show you how to make your own Coptic stitch sketchbook like this. How to make your own book close. We will also be making her own waxed thread so we can match it to the cover over sketchbook . I love bookbinding. I took a class once in college and I was hooked. I've been making books ever since, and I want to show you step by step, how to make this Coptic stitch sketchbook. This type of book has a flexible spine on, supported by paper or boards just connected by threat. And it also lays completely flat. I find this very useful when it comes to scanning your sketches. So join me and let's start making something cool. 2. Materials: Hi. Welcome to class. Let's talk about materials we will be using on this project. But don't worry, I will provide you with a pdf with links toe all the materials discussed here. First book board. You can bite at the store, Prica. Or you can use the back of paper pats like I'm doing Cutting mat matter Ruler Beeswax book . I use it to put my needles in as you can see drill bits in a hand drill. These come in different thicknesses and spices and they're optional. I will also be used in an all in an Exacto knife with number 11 blades. My 45 degree a ruler, a pencil bone folder. Make sure has a nice tick. I'm also going to be using foam brushes in a container where they fit. I'd like to immerse them in the loop. I'm going to be used in Elmer's School, Blue Heat and bond. If you're making your own book close, this one is ultra hold, but they have light depending on your fabric paper. Because you're not using fabric, choose any beautiful pattern that you like. I sometimes use maps. I find them to be beautiful and interesting especially if it's a sketchbook about problem. White tissue paper or any color you have handy. I prefer white, so I can see my corner marks. Fabric is optional. I'm gonna be making my sketchbook with book close. So I have my fabric ready. Also thread. I will be using craft thread. I'll be showing you how to wax your own threat or if you prefer, you can just buy the one they send at the store. Needles. I used upholstery needles. They have a blunt tip. You could use a curved needle if you have one, bind their slip. I'm gonna use one binder clip car stuck took over the inside of our sketch book covers and , of course, paper for the pages of our sketchbook. Get a paper that is big enough. So when you fold it in half, the final size will be the size of your sketchbook. We will be making signatures. That means that we will be nesting one page inside another. So please check out the pdf, gather your materials in Mr Making our sketchbook 3. Cover for the sketchbook (Fabric optional): Okay, so I'm ironing my fabric to make it as wrinkle free as possible. Before I lay my book ports on top, I'm using the back of paper pads as my book boards. As you can see, they have so marks and some paper there you can also buy them pre made at the store. So my boards measure six by nine and I'm just gonna lay them on top of my fabric roughly measure and in child around, we're gonna find two night later on. But for now, I'm just gonna place my boards and mark the corners where they're gonna go. If you use a pencil when you're making your marks, they will guide us. When we're placing our boards on top off the glue, mark the corners for the other Kovar a swell. Trim your fabric in half. I find it easier to manage if the piece of fabric is a little smaller. So when we're ironing or he didn't want, we don't get any chances for wrinkles and bubbles. Make sure your except a knife is really sharp. Has a sharp blade so we can make our cuts a little bit cleaner and better 4. Making Bookcloth: so he and Bond is a paperback sheet off sounded heat activated. A He's it. There's different kinds off hidden bomb. I'm using the light's version because my fabric is not that thick and you will hold well, you're gonna notice that the atom bomb has a smooth side and they text her side. The texture side is where the Louise the hidden bond will prevent the glue from seeping through to the front of our cover. So I'm just going to lay it on top of our fabric and we're gonna trim it a little bit smaller than the size of were fabric here. I'm making some marks at about 1/4 of a change from the edge. You don't have to be really super precise because we're gonna trim it right before we cut our corners. So this is just a rough cut. Try to use the grade on your cutting mats. I know. I use it all the time. I'm very thankful for that grid. There's still aside. And, um, I'm gonna take away my cutting mat. We don't wanna iron on top of it will ruin it. So he paints a place your fabric with the right side facing down. Then we place our heating bond texture side down, which is the glow side. Place it on top of your fabric, like so your iron in a medium heat sets and try toe iron from the center out. Um, just of what? Wrinkles and in bubbles and things. So it gets pretty hot. So careful. Iron it for a few seconds, I think 6 to 8 seconds. It's plenty if you try to be letting you can't just don't worry, tried and I run it again. Then you start feeling it and should come off very small, just the whole sheet. Now you see those shining sign. It's glue. So we're going to get our tissue paper just like that. You don't have to. You're gonna trim it later, so don't worry about it. Put it there, start iron and from the center out, so you avoid wrinkles. Now that we have or heat and bond on our fabric, we're going to trim the access tissue paper. Use your sharp X Acto knife, be careful with your fingers and trim on around so we can bring our board back and look, you still see the corners that marks you made earlier. So we know where to place our book boards once we put the blue one. So let's get ready to cut our corners. 5. Fabric Covering: So I'm going to measure one INGE from her corner, max out an inch around so we can train more fabric and get ready to cover boards. I'm holding my ruler upside down because my hands get very slippery. But if that's not your case, hold did the right weight matter up in the court site down. Then we can trim all around and get ready to cut her angle corners in rapper boards. I'd like to mark lines so that I can remember to cut straight. Now that you have your fabric with your heating bond and your tissue paper, you may find that cutting. It's a little bit more challenging. So make sure to be patient to have ah, sharp blade and, uh, hold your ruler, um, in a firm, very firm and steady. Do this for the other piece of fabric as well. Okay, thanks are starting to take shape. I need to look at my board with so I get my board and I put it in the corner that I marked . I'm gonna measure about 2 to 3 board with from my corner. So two or three board withs out, then mark diagonal line. Do this in other corners. I don't use a specific angle when I mark my lines, but I found, um, good to try to keep the lines at a 45 degree angle. Those two or three board wits that we leave between are corner marks and on diagonal line will help us when we need to cover aboard. So we don't end up having naked corners. Don't throw away. Those triangles were cutting off right now. Those will help us in case we need to fix our cover. That for any reason, you fabric didn't meet like didn't cover the whole board. Those corners could come in and cover those like you can see in this graphic. So I like to put my board on top of my fabric without any glue, just to get a preview of what it would look like Once the glue is on. As you can see, our covers, our corners will be completely covered. So we're in good shape. It's still this for the other. Board us well, and let's get ready to blow your covers 6. Cover Ready: Welcome back. I have Elmer's glue here. I have also used much, much. They both worked well. I like to put the glue on a container that has a wide mouth or even a paper plate will work fine so that I can immerse my phone brush completely in the blue. I'm going to circle loan from the center out with one hand, Hold your piece of fabric or paper so it doesn't shift while you're applying the glue. I have decided to use foam brushes because they're inexpensive and they're easy to clean up . Also, remember when you choosing scrap paper that is not newspaper. The ink from the newspaper may transfer onto your fabric or your paper. Once we finish coating or fabric or paper with glue, let's remove or scrap paper bringing or boards and center them between the corner marks we made. Then, with our Bone folder elected, run it across against the edge of my board just to make sure that my fabric it's a hearing to that edge. Then run it across and then smooth it in. That's the piece of fabric we're gonna push down and fold in to cover a corner. Then break the flap in Yes, have running on on the border. So do you know that your fabric or your paper it's a hearing to the board and do this with all the corners? Now that the outer part over boards already, we will cover the inside my boards. Measure six by nine. So for me, on 8.5 by 11 piece of card stock works perfect. I just folded in half. And with my mentor ruler gonna trade them now, I like to place them on top just so that I can see before putting glow where, where they will sit. You can make little corner marks so that you can know exactly where you're going to place the paper the same way we did with our fabric before putting our boards in. Get your scrap paper on your surface and then we put are and papers there and we applied blew the same way with it with the covers. Once that's done in our end papers have you place them in, uh, inside on the inside of our boards or within your corner marks. Then you get your bone folder and from the center out small small with it up from the center, so the outer corners come into the edges in repeat for the other book cover. Now that our covers air ready, we need to put them underneath something heavy so they can dry overnight and they can dry completely flat. 7. Waxing your thread and making signatures: while our boards air drying. Let's talk a little bit about threat. Wax makes thread more manageable in less likely to tangle. It also holds the notes more tightly. You can purchase the waxing and threw it ready to use. Or you can make your own to make my own. I prefer use in natural fibres. Um, I also use to Klein in burglary, thread or craft threat. You can easily find those that you're our supply stores. Now let's talk about signatures. What a signature is. It's a small group off papers for that. Together, they can be 2 to 4 pages, depending on how steak you want your book to be for this sketchbook. I have decided to make groupings of four pages for each signature, and I have made seven signatures in tow. It's time to make sure our threat before I a wax my craft thread. I'm gonna measure it, so I couldn't know how much you need to use. So what I do is I grab it and I measure the length of the spine times the amount of signatures. I also add one more for the cover and one more for the back cover So since I have seven signatures, I measure seven spine lengths less, one for the front cover and one for the back cover will make nine spine lengths. Since I'm going to use double, uh, thread, I get this amount and then I doubled it up. Once we have our desired length, trim it and let's get ready to wax it. So grab your beeswax block and whole one end off the single thread one finger over it and firmly pull it through. You can see my wax has a lot of indentations there from previous threads that I works just running through one time, um, the on that side and then turned around, threw it on the other side. Make sure you get all the way to the edge, so it's easier to thread your needle. You see it gets easier as a sassy eagle, so no, go back. It's really quite easy and just straightforward these running through and you start feeling that your thread gets a little bit stiffer because it every time you pulling it through, it's picking up a little bit of the wax, and that's all we need. We don't need much, which is need a little bit too. Strengthen or threat and help are not state put tightly in a vote tangles because we have. We have ah, lung piece of thread, so it's very useful. Once you finish works in your thread, let's get our signatures and our covers ready to mark and puncture holes so we can start so in your sketchbook. 8. Marking and punching the holes on the signature: I have my needle threaded already. You can see it's a double threat. And at the end, I made a no overhand knot like like this. I am going to make a template for the holes on the spine. So I get a piece of scrap paper that measures the same height. Asked my pages. I fold that in half. Um, with wise in lengthwise, make sure you're really pressed down those creases. You could use your bone folder if you if you wish. Um, now, we fought that in half again. Now that you open it up, you can see that you've made floor evenly distributed marks on your paper. You can use those, or if you desire to have more holes on the spine of your sketchbook, you could pull that and half again. So grab your pencil and mark where they meet in the middle on this one. It turned out to be seven holes. Um, I will only be using for I think, our book sizes. It's not that big. So forth is plenty. So I first mark the top. Just put it on top with temple on top of your off one of your signatures and start marking the holes. I start with the top and move my way down to the bottom. So now our signature Harris, before holes mark there with pencil. Now it's time to market on the other ones. So what I do is I gather them all up. I put the signature that has the marks on top. I lined them as a straight as I can. Then I grabbed a ruler, and I'm gonna hold it perpendicular early against the spine so that I can use the top signature as the template for the other signatures. So I marked the first, the one on the top. So from the bottom up, drag your pencil that marks the other signatures automatically, then the middle ones, and then the bottom one. And then when you just grab them all and you can see they all have marks so we can start punching more holes. Each signature individually, grab one of your signatures, open it up and lay completely flat on your cutting mats. I'm using my owl to punch the holes through. Remember, once you're done punching the holes to keep your signatures stacked in the same order in what you had them when you mark them, This will ensure that the holes in line once with star. So in her sketchbook, continue the same process for each of the signatures, remember, keep them organized in your stack. 9. Marking and punching the holes on the covers: Welcome back to class. Now we're gonna mark the holes for our clubber. So I grab a signature. I put it in the center off my board, Then I moved back. I'm going to mark the holes, Khalfan inch in from the edge of her board. So with my ruler and just gonna make sure it's happening. And I'm gonna use the markings on the signature as my guide. Once you have your signature in place, grab your pencil and start marking where the holes will go. Now that we have our holes marked on the recover, I'm going to grab my binder clip and clip my two covers together to keep him in the same place. Since I will be used in my hand drill for to drill the holes and the cover I need to take into consideration how thick my threat will be. I need to make sure that the drill bit I choose. It's a little bit sicker than my needle in my thread. I'm going to load it in my, um Handra. Oh, once I hear the click, it's in place and secure, and I'm gonna start during the holes. Try to hold your hand drill perpendicular early straight and keep it steady. I like drilling back to release the drill bit from the covers. So I am. I don't damage the fabric or the boards. I like to use a No, just to make sure that it goes all the way through that the holes align and that also hopes to push down the fibers from the cardboard and from the fabric. They look very nice. So our sketch book is taking shape. It's time to trim our signatures in Star Someone of Sketchbook. 10. Trimming the signatures: All right, let's trim the signatures. So let's grab them and put him on over your cutting. Met. Make sure, um, they're aligned. So I like to keep my signatures like, um, quarter orphanage. Smarter than the cover. So I took one of my signatures. I put it inside the cover in name I measured happening to him. So that's the mark I'm using to get myself with. So let's start cutting them. I leave this edge the last trim, because since the signatures are one paper and sat another paper, they're gonna be different lengths, and I want to make sure that my covers already and done so that I can not the exact size off the pages inside my sketchbook. Great. Now that our signatures are all cut in stacked, I'm gonna put him and say my sketchbook just to see how it would look. And I'm excited. Our book is taking shape and we're gonna get ready to start sewing our pages in our covers together 11. Sewing: Let's start sewing. So grab your first signature. Find a the first hole. Start sewing from the inside out. Try to look at the inside of your signature once you're done with a step just in case there's knocks or maybe pieces of thread that get tangled so you can fix it before you continue sewing. He wants your needle, a set of the first hole you're going to grab your front cover and you got so from the inside of your cover up. Like what? How I'm doing it. Well, your thread carefully make sure there's no knots or tangles. Now we're gonna so back into the same hole. Adjust it if you need to. Sometimes with the wax, it can get a little bit stuck and make it, uh, tight. But NAC protect. Then we're gonna go back into the or second hole. Bring the needle out so out. So back in the cover from the inside up. Is this a perfect opportunity to show you why you need a check every time you ugo stitch so you don't end up with loops and tango threat at the end? So again, from the inside of the cover so it back out here. I moved the camera so you can see a little bit better how the stitching is going. So go back in the same hole and out the third hole. Once we finish, getting all the threat out of the third hole will continue. So in the cover from the inside, like we did with the prior stitches back out in through the same hole and out through the last one that we So from the inside of work over out and then back in once we're inside our signature, we're gonna make an overhand knot like what I'm showing. Do not cut the threat, Pull the thread so it can be nice and tight. Then we're gonna get our needle, and we're gonna so back out that same hole. We're going to gather our second signature once we have our second signature in place. We will then so through from the outside in then out through the second hole. Here's the chain part. Take your NATO under the stitch between the board and the first signature. Don't try to go through the look. Go under both ends off the look, then go in the hole in out the third stage. Repeat this pattern out of a hole. Look back into the same hole or adding a signature I find useful to stick my fingers between the board and the signatures to push up the needle and, um, make it easier for me. So So I can past the threat through the look. Try to keep the resistance consistent. Not too tight, not too lose. Go out the last hole, Loop it under between the board and the first signature. And instead of going back into the same hole, you're gonna grab your third signature, and you're gonna go in through the first home of your third signature. Now, you're pretty much repeating the same pattern. You go out. But now, instead of going under the first signature in the cover, you will go under the signature above. So you're gonna loop it around the second signature like I'm showing you here. Use your fingers to push up the needle in case you don't have a current, you know, like like me. It's looking really beautiful. Now go back in through that second hole, then go out this third signature hole and repeat the pattern. Go over this the second signature third stitch in Loop it Around. Please be patient. It takes time. Let's continue the pattern off, looping through the signature above and adding more signatures. We're almost at the end. 12. Back cover: We're in the last video over class, attaching the back cover. So come out of the last hole from the last signature. Loop it over the previous signature like we've been doing before. No, from the outside of the cover. So in at just your threat, So it's a little bit tighter. Then we're going to go back in the same last hole. You may find that you struggle a little bit more put in your needle through, since there's a lot of threat already in there. But be patient and be gentle as you pull your thread. Go back in that last hole and you're gonna come out from the second home from the outside of the Kovar in, Well, the thread making it did a bit tighter. Then we're gonna go back in the same home, and we will repeat the same steps for the third in fourth hole. - It's time to secure our book. So you're going to make 1/2 hitch knot like this, connecting the end of the threat to the stitch inside. I like to measure the length of one stitch so that I can talk it on there like I'm doing with my needle Right now you will notice that the last section has one not and double stitches. Inside in the first section has two knots and single stitches. Our spine looks beautiful. Congratulations. You finish your Coptic stitch sketchbook. Thank you for taking this class. And I hope that it inspired you to continue learning about bookmaking.