coptic binding


River Birch Journal by Michelle Skiba

“This rustic journal measures 6 inches by 3 ½ inches and is 2 inches thick. The covers are decorated with the peeling bark of a river birch tree. The inside covers are brown distressed wood. It is bound in a variation of the coptic style so will lay flat when open. It contains 144 pages (front & back) of heavy weight acid free paper perfect for writing or sketching.”

The last batch of the Forgotten Folk books are slowly finding their way into my shop. Here’s one of them, and you can see more images of it here. I started this project as an experiment of giving some sort of new life for all the discarded cabinet cards I saw in the fleamarkets, and it was nice change for the regular bookbinding routine. In fact it was so influential too that I actually saw a plagiarised version of them on Etsy once. Oh the joys of making new designs for others to use! However, I feel it’s time to move onto other things. I still have a little backlog of these but I doubt that I’ll be making any new ones in the near future. Get ‘em while they last.


This is the monster book I made for my bookmaking final.

It has almost 200 folios, hard bound with an extended coptic stitch and featuring a recessed frame in the cover. The pages are all scraps and old proofs from my printmaking classes this year along with saved pages from an anarchist planner, scraps of handmade paper and an old art history slide book. It took probably around 25-30 hours total to bind. It was actually really fun to make and I was kind of sad when I got to the last folio.

It’s really sculptural and fun to play with, like a slinkie in book form.

good morning, tumblr! I’m so glad you liked the binding job I did on The Shoebox Project. FYI here are some of the nitty/gritty/boring details:

  • NOT BORING: The Shoebox Project is my favourite fanfic of all time and omg Lady Jaida and Rave (sashayed.tumblr) OR WHATEVER NAMES YOU GO BY now I just love you, k? Also I shamelessly copied the title artwork from Rave. THANK YOU.

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Revisiting an old friend: Coptic Binding

I realised that it was almost three years ago that I discovered this binding, and it was once my favorite binding technique. For most people starting out in bookbinding, this is a method that is frequently shared and taught on the internet and in books.

I have forgotten how to do this simple and basic binding and I realised I do not fancy it any more, and that I have moved on to other styles and fine binding. However, a student of mine asked that I teach her Coptic Binding so that she can do it for her dissertation, I decided to look for that curved needle and do it once again.

Coptic Binding has its beauty, perhaps one that should not be discounted as a “beginner’s” binding style, but exploring the possible ways to recreate and innovate different coloured threads, types of boards and even the colours of each section. Possibly also bringing a design and weave of threads to create a whole artwork on its own.

For many, this is a great way to start bookbinding, for me, right now, it is revisiting an old friend I have not met for many years, reminiscing the fun past we used to have together. Hello again, Coptic Binding, it was nice meeting you again.