DIY spineless bookbinding class

After making a slightly demented, but still adorable sock monkey, I decided to try my luck this time in bookbinding. I’m obsessed with stationery items, and I like to take notes with a pen and paper. Naturally, I was stoked to attend Leah’s bookbinding class.


The workshop had us creating a spineless A6 notebook using the Coptic bookbinding technique. Here’s a bit of a background copied from Wikipedia:

Coptic binding comprises methods of bookbinding employed by early Christians in Egypt, the Copts, and used from as early as the 2nd century AD to the 11th century. The term is also used to describe modern bindings sewn in the same style.

We made the notebook from scratch and started off by cutting a stack of A3 papers into A5 size.


We folded these 60 sheets of paper into folios, which then became six stacks of signatures. I actually really enjoyed the constant cutting and folding and found it quite therapeutic.


Then came to gluing the Japanese washi paper onto the cardboard covers. It was probably the messiest part as I somehow managed to cover my fingers with the paper glue.

Once we had manually drilled holes into the covers and the paper signatures , it was ready to combine them together with waxed threads. The stitching part was definitely a bit of a challenge for me as I had difficulties figuring out whether the thread went over, or under, and which hole to poke through next.


The end product turned out pretty neat. If you look closely, you can see the mistakes I made, but that just makes the notebook even more special. Well, that’s what I keep telling myself 🙂


If you’re in Berlin and looking to attend this class yourself, you can book Leah’s bookbinding workshops via Gidsy. I definitely recommend this, and you will appreciate handmade stationery a lot more. The small notebook took me nearly five hours to make!


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