That Book Bind Grind

Coptic. Folio. Signature. That is how the bookbinding first seduces you. With its fancy words and pretty paper.


But then all of a sudden it is a flurry of stitches and measurements [who tricked me into math?] and panic over takes you. Am I really trying to make a book? Didn’t mankind develop all sorts of machinery to get around this? Who am I to buck tradition, the printing press, and the industrial age?

But you keep going. You listen to your bookbinding guru [aka Eva] and see it all start to come together. Some holes may be a little too big, the room seems abnormally warm, and sure, you may have to recut one or all of your boards, but somehow it is still all working.


Eva’s adorable instructions. She taught two workshops through the Salt Lake Lettering Club. The first one was a two night workshop and the second one was one night. Both were at the downtown library. We actually got kicked out of the library before we could finish the coptic stitch book, so we all finished it while siting out on the library lawn.


This is called a signature, btw. These are the things you sew together. As previously mentioned, the holes aren’t usually quite that big, but apparently I have super human strength when handling an awl.


If you ever wanted to see “behind the scenes” of a book, here it is: the text block. Sewed it together myself. The stitches were hard to pick up at first, but once you get the hang of them life gets much easier.

Then at the end of it all, you’ve made a book. A lovely little book you are slightly afraid to write in. And you immediately make plans to do it all again. Well, immediately after a large diet coke and a good night’s sleep [as contradictory as that pairing may appear].



There was a brief moment of intense anxiety when this cover was somehow all glue wrinkles, but it magically smoothed out and turned out really nice.


This is my book I made using the coptic stitch. Basically what this means is it lies flat on the spine. It’s a good technique if you’re going to be doing calligraphy [another art I’d like to learn!] or something like that.


Finished books! Wish I could take credit for all of these beauties, but I only made the striped one. I should note that the fact that the lines are horizontal and in line with the board is pretty much a miracle. I should also note this book would have not been possible without supportive friends who keep you sane and don’t let you breakdown over a crafting crisis, haha.

Seriously though, I want to do it again. It’s an art I never would have sought out [or really knew to be an option], but know that I’ve learned the basics I’d love to get better.

Currently: Rewatching Gilmore Girls after just finishing Stranger Things.


2 thoughts on “That Book Bind Grind

  1. Love this peek into your bookbinding fun! My friend, Lee Steiner, former next-door neighbor on Addison, does book workshops all the time. You should follow her on Instagram.

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