Wood burned Op Art notebook

I had a lot of fun making these wood burned notebooks! I combined my love of OP Art and woodworking!
This project is time consuming but it’s fairly cheap. I made a ton of notebooks and sketchbooks for Christmas gifts!
I used 1/4 inch sanded plywood. You want to use plywood rather than underlayment so that the top wood layer will be thick enough.
The easiest way to make lined notebooks is to start with a composition book. I bought 5×7 mini composition books for $.67 at walmart.
You want to cut your plywood half an inch bigger than your paper. Since I used a 5″x7″ notebook, I cut my wood at 5.5″x7.5″. Then you want to sand it smooth. I like doing it on top of a piece of scrap wood so the bottom doesn’t get messed up.
I sanded the front and back and rounded the sides. I also used my sanded to wound the corners.
For the design, I search for op art or zentangles on pinterest. A lot of them have tutorials to show you how to draw it. I like to do a rough sketch before starting on the actual woodburning.
I used a cheap $15 woodburning tool from Joanns and used a 50% off coupon. There are definitely more expensive fancier options out there, but this one worked for me. I strongly recommend using a piece of scrap wood the same kind as your covers and practicing woodburning. Get a feel for the different tips and how it works with your wood. My personal preference is the flow point.
Lightly transfer your design to the board using a pencil. You can so whatever design you like. It doesnt have to be geometric patterns.
I like to leave a clear rectangle to add a name or title. My cat likes to supervise.
Begin woodburning. Be careful to hold the tool at a high enough angle that the round part of your tool doesn’t touch the wood and leave unwanted marks.
Here’s my finished design! This took me about an hour.
I stained front and back covers on both sides with Rustoleum Summer Oak. It gives the wood a richer feel while being light enough to not hide the design.
To prepare the paper, take your composition book and carefully remove the cover
Carefully remove the thread
Evenly divide your papers into 5 stacks, with the shortest pages in the middle.
As you can see, the center of the pages has multiple holes. I mark every 3rd hole to know where my thread will go.
Line your paper up with the front cover. Mark every 3rd hole location so you will know where to drill.
Mark holes on the back cover so it will match the front cover.
Carefully drill holes in both covers.
Here’s what you will need to Coptic stitch bind your book.
You will want a long string. In my experience, it needs to be at least 7 times the length of your book. It’s better to have too much string than too little. Start with one stack of papers. Sew through the first hole.
Sew through the front cover. wrap the string around the string between the cover and paper and then thread it back through the front cover and into the same hole in the paper.
Tie a knot when you pull the string back to the middle of the pages and then sew through your next marked hole.
Continue sewing through the marked holes and into the front cover. You can see me wrapping the string around the stitch and then back through the front cover and into the paper.
Once you finish attaching the front cover, rather than going back into the original stack of papers, you need to attach the next stack.
Insert your needle into the next set of pages.
Continue following the same pattern, threading it through the holes. But rather than threading it through the front cover,wrap your string through the existing knot
The inside of the pages should look like this. You will sew through every 3rd hole, wrap it around the existing knot, then back through the same hole in the paper. Then sew through the next 3rd hole up.
As you add each stack of pages, wrap the thread around the last knot.
The back cover is kind of tricky. Finish attaching all 5 sets of paper. Then you are going to thread through the back cover, wrap it around the knot, and then go back into the last stack of pages again. Continue with each hole. When you get to the last hole, tie a knot in the center of the pages. For a better tutorial on binding, search Coptic binding on pinterest.
This is mostly what your spine should look like. As you can see, on one hole I pulled too tight, ripping through a hole.
Coptic stitch binding allows the notebook to lie flat.
And here it is, done!

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