Here’s a book I finished recently – notable is the zig-zag Coptic stitch spine. I marked out the zig-zag first, then pierced each signature, keeping them in order, with my Japanese hole punch, using a 1mm bit. This tool (also called a screw punch or book drill) drills a perfectly circular hole through your paper, just by pushing down on it. It was a little pricey at $55, but well worth it, to make crisp holes for Coptic binding.
the spine arcs nicely on a book sewn with a coptic stitch
The blue paper is a lovely handmade cotton paper from India, Lana from PistolesPress, who owns one of my favorite Etsy shops, generously sent it to me when I commented that I loved the paper that she wrote the notes on that she included in my packages!
Here’s the front cover decorated with Indian handmade paper(blue) thin mullberry paper (purple) and Japanese Kozo paper (patterned)
The gorgeous purple paper is a very thin Japanese Kozo paper, which lends itself well to collage – there’s actually two strips pasted together since I didn’t have one wide enough. The purple paper is mulberry paper, and where it overlays with the blue it gets that lovely purple color.
One of the great things about Coptic stitch journals is that they lay completely flat so that you can write in them more easily. The trade-off is that they aren’t quite as sturdy as a hardcover book – you can see here where there is some space between signatures, which on one hand enable it to lie open and on the other make the binding more “wobbly”. Also I want to point out the lined pages here – I made them in Adobe Illustrator (using the underscore key _____________ like so) and printed them in as soft grey.
Inside the covers, the endpapers are made from Indian handmade cotton paper – here you can see my signature stamp as well. For the endpapers, more handmade paper – you can’t really see from this far away in the photo, but there are all kinds of little sparkly inclusions in the paper, which give it a very festive look.
Here’s a closeup of the spine; you can see how nicely the stitches lock together on a Coptic bound journal. Here’s a great view of all of the colors of the book coming together – the red waxed Irish Linen thread, and the blues, purples and creams of the paper and covers. Also here you can see what a nice job a Japanese hole punch does on the covers.