How to create a notebook using the Coptic binding?
I propose you, here, to create a notebook in A6 format to follow your favorite films and series, using the Coptic binding. It is a quick and easy binding.
I created a printable PDF template on A4 to create this notebook. (Don’t hesitate to tell me if you want another format). It’s on sale at my store : Les Grimoires d’Isobel
You can also use your own templates or use blank pages to make a sketchbook. Consider using thicker pages for drawing. On my model, I use A4 80g sheets but you can use thicker sheets and even if the sheets look transparent on the photos it does not hinder the readability or the use.
The following explanations are based on the model « my movies and TV shows », so they will be much more detailed than for a sketchbook.
Make the booklets:
The first thing to do is to print your template or take blank sheets in A4 format.
For printing, you will have to use the two-sided mode on your printer or if it does not have it, print the even pages, put the printed sheets in the correct order and print the odd pages.
Cut your pack of sheets in half and superimpose them to make a single package in A5 format (the top pages go over the bottom pages)
Bind pages in half per pack of 5 sheets, the last package must have 4 pages. If you want to add pages, make sure to print enough sheets to form booklets of at least 4 sheets. (Always check that the sheets of the booklets are in the right direction)
Open the first booklet, calculate the middle of the fold and make a hole with a thin tip or a pin. Then make a hole by and from this hole at a distance of 2 inches.
Do this for all booklets and put them aside.
Prepare the cover
Take two 4 21/64 x 6 inches (11×15.2cm) pieces of cardboard to create your covers. (If you want to make a larger size, add 5/32 inch (4mm) to the length and width of your booklets to find the size of the cardboard)
Then take decorated paper to cover the boxes. For my part, I chose a 12×12 inches (30x30cm) paper to be able to cut out my cover paper but you can choose the paper of your choice. (Be careful, if you choose glossy paper like mine, it tends to warp a bit when applying liquid glue to it, just think about pressing it, « big book », until the glue dries)
You will need: two pieces of 5 1/8 x 6 49/64 inch (13×17.2cm) (or 25/32 inch/2cm more on the size of the cardboard) for the outside cover (the one you see when you close the notebook) and two pieces of 4 7/32 x 5 55/64 inches (10.7×14.9cm) (or 1/8 inch/3mm less on the size of the cardboard) for inside cover.
As an option, cut two strips of 25/64 x 6 49/64 inch(1×17.2cm) paper to make bookmarks. (See at the end of the tutorial for images)
Glue the cardboard onto the 5 1/8 x 6 49/64 inch (13×17.2cm) decorative paper and cut the corners 13/64 inch (5mm) from the edge of the cardboard.
Fold down the top and bottom edges and stick them together. Remember to fold the corners inwards.
Glue the right and left flaps and then glue the 4 7/32 x 5 55/64 inches (10.7×14.9cm) paper on the inside cover. (= on the face of the cardboard that is still visible)
Make 3 holes on the cover 25/64 inch (1cm) from the edge, the first in the middle and the other two 2 inches (5cm) from the first one.
So you must have two cover and five holed booklets.
Use the Coptic binding:
For the Coptic binding, here is a link to the YouTube video of Books Bind Faye (an American youtubeuse). It is very well done and explicit even if the format is not the same as the one I propose here.
I will nevertheless give you the steps to follow for the creation of your notebook with images here:
You’ll need your covers, booklets, a thread and a needle. The thread can be binding thread or embroidery thread, it just has to be thick and strong enough. (Avoid the sewing thread, you will cut your papers when you pull on it to stretch the threads of your binding)
1- Cut a thread that is a little more than the height of your cover X by the number of booklets in your future notebook. If you have 5 booklets, your thread will be 5 times the size of your cover. Then thread it into the eye of the needle and tie a knot at the end of the thread.
2 – Take the cover and the first booklet, open the booklet and insert the needle into the right hole.
3 – Pass the needle through the right hole of the cover through the outer cover (=cover you see when closing the book).
4 – Tie a knot and pass the needle through the right hole in the booklet.
6 – Run the thread through the middle hole of the booklet and then through the outside of the cover. Finally, tie a knot again before putting the thread again in the booklet.
7 – Run the thread through the left hole of the booklet and then through the outside of the cover. Finally, tie a knot again.
8 – Take the next bookletand run the thread through the left hole and then through the middle hole inside the notebook.
9 – Make a loop by passing your needle under the thread that connects the first booklet to the cover and then back into the middle hole.
10 – Pass through the right hole, tie a knot.
11 – Take the next booklet and pass the needle through the right hole and then through the middle hole. Make a loop by passing the needle under the thread connecting the two previous booklet and go through the middle hole again.
12 – Go through the left hole and tie a knot before resuming the whole procedure from 8 to 12
13 – After connecting all your booklets, take your remaining cover and run the thread through the left hole through the outside of the cover.
14 – Tie a knot and run the thread through the hole in the previous booklet. Then run through the middle hole.
15 – Tie a knot and run the thread through the hole in the previous booklet. Then run through the right hole.
16 – Pass the thread through the right hole of the cover through the outside and then tie a knot.
17 – Run the thread through the hole in the previous booklet and then tie a knot by running the thread under the binding thread inside the booklet.
18 – Cut the threads and your notebook is finished!
19 – Optionally, to make bookmarks on the title pages you can use masking tape or the paper strips cut at the beginning. Simply fold them in half and glue them on the edge of the title page.
There you go! All you have to do is offer it or fill it yourself.
As always, if you need help, I’d be happy to help.