{6.16.14} Rochester Yelp Elite’s Get Schooled on Bookbinding!

Last week I had the pleasure of taking part in a Yelp Elite event at the Rochester Brainery. Yelp Rochester holds once monthly private events for their “Elite” users in the area – users who are active in the community, online and offline. These events give people a chance to get out to the city, discover new local businesses, and be social with one another.

June’s event was at the Rochester Brainery, an amazing space for all sorts of events. Usually they hold classes of their own, on a variety of topics, for a reasonable price. They also however rent out their spaces for private events. About 20 enthusiastic locals and I gathered in their space and I taught them some beginner non-adhesive bookbinding techniques.

Yelp Elite binding books at the Rochester Brainery

Pre-printed Yelp notebook covers and crisp white sheets were bound together using the simple pamphlet stitch. I love teaching this stitch for a few reasons.

1. It’s so easy!

It’s so much fun to see people understanding the idea of binding pages. Just three holes and a few passes through with your needle and thread, and you have the most basic of bound journals.

2. It’s rewarding!

Seeing loose pages come together to something more tangible is rewarding! It gives you that exciting “I made this!” feeling.

3. It’s quick!

It’s super quick to whip these journals up from scratch, and gives beginners a great introduction to bookbinding. The basic of forms allows for so much variation and it’s inspiring to see the alternate versions and endless possibilities.

Once we were all feeling confident about our newly acquired skills, we moved on the coptic stitch. Another great non-adhesive binding, the coptic stitch is a bit more complicated but also has some great results. Coptic journals lie flat, have an exposed stitched spine and are great for journaling, drawing, or scrapbooking.

They do require a bit more patience however. The chances of getting a knot in your thread, or getting confused as to what hole of what signature you need to pass through next, or even just selecting what color paper or thread to use – there are lots of considerations with this type of stitch. We used some medium weight chip board for our covers and wrapped each signature in colorful card stock to give the spines of our journals some added flair.

We took it step by step, stitch by stitch, and we ended up with some awesome results! I heard some Yelper’s say they were going to be giving these as gifts, or using them for work meetings, or using them for pasting in photos. Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun – it’s always neat to learn a new skill and potentially find a new hobby.

Two completed notebooks (pamphlet stitch on top, coptic on bottom)

I like to think that if I’ve inspired one more person to find a love for bookmaking, then I’ve succeeded!

Want to try your hand at these beginner bookbinding stitches? I’m holding another class at the Rochester Brainery July 30th. Check out the details here.

Don’t have time to sign up for a class but want more info about pamphlet and coptic stitches? Download the PDF  I used for the class – it has lots of inspirational photos of some of the types of things you can create with these stitches, as well as a list of tutorials for your at-home adventures in bookbinding!

And check back soon (or follow Just Terrific on facebook) for more photos of the event!

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