Worktable Wednesday

I started today gluing covers for some coptic journals. I used marbled papers by Nancy Morains that I picked up at last year’s Paper and Book Intensive.

Marbled paper and bookboard

Gluing bookboard covers for handmade book

I’ve been thinking a lot about why I glue in a way that’s against tradition – I put glue on the board and not on the paper. I tried brushing glue on the paper today and it was really difficult to control. I find that gluing the board gives me greater control.

It’s weird – my brain tells me this is wrong but my hands tell me it’s right.

Gluing bookboard covers for handmade book

I also sewed a couple of my space travel journals with a double needle coptic stitch. Each journal requires four needles to complete the sewing.

Coptic stitch sewing in progress

Coptic stitch sewing in progress

Handmade coptic journal

I love how the black and red threads look together. Three space travel journals down, nine more in the edition to go!

8 Responses to “Worktable Wednesday”

By Kris - 27 February 2014 Reply

Hey, I glue the boards, too. Otherwise I end up with glue EVERYWHERE!

By Elissa - 27 February 2014 Reply

Kris –

You’re making me feel better. 🙂


By Karen - 27 February 2014 Reply

OK, I will no longer feel as if I go against conventional wisdom when I glue the boards. I have always done it! It’s neat and efficient, and I have not had problems with warping boards.

By Elissa - 28 February 2014 Reply

Karen –

I don’t have problems with warping boards either. I agree that it’s a much neater way of doing things.

By Carol - 28 February 2014 Reply

Well, traditionally glueing the boards is wrong(ish) but it works well for you so I wouldn’t worry too much. Your covered boards look fine in Nancy’s gorgeous marbling. I like your combination of the black and red threads.

By Elissa - 28 February 2014 Reply

Carol –

The funny thing is that I had more problems with wrinkling when I tried gluing out Nancy’s paper…I was able to control the wrinkling better when I glued the boards.


By Laura - 28 February 2014 Reply

I sometimes glue the boards too, depending what papers I’m using. I think it might be easier to control because some of the glue soaks into the board right away. I don’t know.

Love your stitching! I need to figure out how to do the double thread through the covers. Any reference you would recommend for that?

By Elissa - 1 March 2014 Reply

Laura –

Glad to have someone else join me in the glue-the-bookboard camp.

As for the double thread through the covers, I learned it at a workshop at the Focus on Book Arts conference, so I don’t really have a reference. I use a 1/16″ drill bit with my Dremel to get the hole large enough to accommodate the threads. Maybe that helps?


So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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