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Life Stuff - A Coptic Journal Project - Lori Vliegen

Life Stuff - A Coptic Journal Project - Lori Vliegen
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I absolutely love a coptic journal! it lays completely flat when you open it, and I adore those fabulous rows of chain stitches that trickle down the spine! but the best part is.....making one is easier than you might think!

For this project, we’ll take a couple of large sheets of watercolor paper, and transform them into a 40-page blank journal by cutting and folding our papers, and then using a
4-needle coptic binding technique to sew them all together!

I’ll also show you how to create some whimsical “life stuff” artwork on the cover (which is also made from our watercolor paper) using your favorite art supplies. i’ll provide the artwork (along with some other goodies to print out!)......all you need are your pens, pencils and paints! Or, if you’d rather create your own artwork on the cover, I’ll share a few tips about that, too!

So, please join me, and we’ll make a journal that’s as special as the masterpieces you’ll be putting on the pages!

  • 2 large sheets (22” x 30”/56cm x 76cm) of your favorite
  • 140 lb. (300g) cold press watercolor paper
  • (i use fabriano artistico natural white, but any will work!)
  • *thread:3-ply or 4-ply waxed linen bookbinding thread (i use a 4-ply thread that i buy from substitution:heavy upholstery thread, or other heavy duty thread;please note: dental floss or regular sewing thread is not recommended because it will stretch over time.
  • a small piece of beeswax (only if your thread isn’t already waxed)
  • bone folder or burnisher
  • 4 bookbinding needles (i use a darner’s needle #1, from
  • substitution:darning needles or crewel needles.make sure the eye is large enough to accommodate your thread, but not so large that it will tear the paper when you’re sewing.
  • book awl or paper piercer (usually found at most art/craft stores)
  • old phone book, or scrap piece of foam board or cardboard
  • cutting blade and large cutting mat
  • a yardstick or long ruler, pencil, etc.
  • adhesive:glue (elmer’s or PVA), or red tape,or very strong double-sided tape
  • materials for the artwork:
  • watercolor or acrylic paints in your favorite colors (i use a koi watercolor field set, along with some of my derwent inktense watercolor pencils,but anything you have will work!)
  • pitt pens, micron pens, or other black waterproof outlining markers
  • a soft graphite pencil ( i used a 5B, but use any soft B pencil you have)
  • a paper stomp or tortillon for shading
  • tracing paper
  • a workable fixative to protect your finished artwork
  • artwork template (this is supplied by me, along with some other goodies that you’ll need to print out)
  • bookbinding supply links:
  • art supply links:


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