Leather Bound Sketchbook With Coptic Long Stitch!

I have of lately found great joy in making miniature books and I plan to write a blog about that as well before too long.
Until then, here’s a peak at three quite tiny books (3 cm tall), all wrapped in deer skin.


Having worked with miniatures for some time I was eager to try to make something bigger, and I had no doubt that bigger when it comes to this must also be easier in several ways. The idea for the first book to try came very easily as my long distance love had just come up with a great logo for his book cover design business.
I wanted to make him the most awesome sketchbook, with nice paper and leather covers for back and front where said logo would be raised up from the cover itself.

It took some time to figure out how to go about this, in my mind, huge project. But paper were folded into signatures, front/back covers measured according to the width and length of signatures, scalpel put to good use and then I could finally get started to work on the logo which looks like this.


I forgot to take pictures of the folded signatures, but here they are in between the cut cardboard, and the design as it looked newly cut from a piece of afore mentioned deer skin and then glued to the front cover board.


I gave the design a few more covers of glue to stiffen it a bit.


As I have recently discovered, it is far easier to make separate back/front covers compared to a hardcover case. But I can hardly wait to make more of both 🙂

The leather was sprayed with water to damped it and make it more pliable to fit over the design. Then a few hours were spent on and off to carefully work around it with an assortment of tools. Here using the end of a silver spoon that did the job surprisingly well 🙂


I let the leather dry in place over night before gluing it on to the cardboard, and after letting the glue dry under pressure for another day I commenced to make a go at dyeing the leather using an antique leather stain and ‘narvsvärta’, a most nerve wrecking thing as I feared I would totally ruin it.


Sadly have no pictures of that since I was too occupied to even think of fetching the camera. Probably all for the best since I have found that ‘narvsvärta’ has a way of ending up on all sorts of surfaces where it’s not intended to be and it’s impossible to remove.

Here the covers has dried and inside edges cut evenly.


Endpapers are in the process of being glued in place.


And here a photo of the signatures stacked together and holes made, all pieces ready to be stitched with brown waxed linen thread.



I found the most wonderful and useful tutorial for this particular kind of Coptic stitch that I really liked and thought would look great on this book here.

So far so good 🙂


Ta-da! Finished! It did however take it’s time and inspired a few curses before the last knot was tied, but I’m pleased with the end result.


Inside back cover.


It then travelled safely with me in my rucksack over the ocean to England, and here it’s photographed in the great outdoors.


I’m happy to say it seems to be doing the job and I can’t wait to see it filled 😉


Self portrait by the artist Dean Harkness! Lots more of his work can be found at his website.


Portrait of Little Deano Bear!


ps IMG_9671e


Before going ahead with this project I made a simpler sketchbook in suede to get a feeling of how it would be to work in a bigger scale. It’s not perfect, but nice things rarely are 🙂


Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed the post and will return another time!

Be well and take care!

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