Handmade coptic stitch hard-cover journals January 26, 2016 16:43

It's been awhile since I last blogged! It's been a great 2016 so far--I've set up a new workstation, moving from the dining area to the living room, which means I've lost the garden view that I used to have, but it's a lot more spacious now. I've also started making sturdier hardcover journals, something which I'm so proud of and which I'd love to share with you!

There's a lot involved in the process of making each journal. I used these same steps to make my own 2016 organizer and it turned out beautifully. You will need to make the text block first. You start off printing out all the pages you need in the journal, and for this, you can have practically any design you like--lined pages, dot pages, or even pages with specific patterns or templates. I used a template provided by Sea Lemon on Youtube, which has a weekly organizer format, but it has been left blank so you can personalize it by filling in the dates yourself.

After the pages have been printed out, you would need to group them into signatures of 3 or 4 (making sure you have arranged the pages in the right order), and then pierce holes through each signature. After that, the sewing begins!  I use the coptic stitch for these journals and they hold up amazingly well. 

Once you've bound the text block, you then spread two layers of glue on the spine, and then glue on a ribbon if you'd like to use it as a page marker. When it's all dry, glue on folded cardstock to each end, followed by an additional strip of cardstock for reinforcement. Let it dry between weights and you've got your text block, as seen below!

After that comes the more difficult part of making and attaching the cover. You will need to use cardboard (I used recycled pieces) and cut it into 3 pieces for the front cover, the back and the spine. Glue them onto the pretty paper that you have chosen for the cover--for mine, I used designer Italian paper that I purchased from another Etsy seller. Beautiful, isn't it? =) 

The difficult part is ensuring that the pretty paper doesn't warp due to the glue. You will need to glue on the pieces very carefully and ensure you run a bone folder across the surfaces immediately to remove any air bubbles. After you let it dry between weights, the final step would be to attach the cover to the end pages ie the black cardstock on the front and back of the text block. That's also a little bit tricky because you have to ensure that the text block is positioned just right so that the journal opens smoothly. For the last time, let it dry between weights, and then voila! You have your own handmade hardcover journal! 

I was so delighted with the end product I couldn't wait to fill it up! I love to personalize my yearly organizer with stickers and stamps and pens of different colours--I can spend a whole day working on it! 

Ever since I put up these photos of my organizer on Facebook, I've gotten lots of customised orders for them, which is amazing. Do browse through my catalogue if you would like one too!