Coptic Journal

5-Day Challenge

Make this sweet coptic journal in just 5 days

Nov 28 - Dec 2! 


What Is the Coptic Journal Challenge?

The Coptic Journal 5-Day Challenge will guide you through the process of making a handmade book. I, Ali Manning, am your teacher, and we'll put together a new part of your book on each day of the challenge.

You don't have to be a bookbinding pro to take part!

Crafters of all types—mixed media artists, painters, quilters, bookbinders—are welcome to join the challenge community! The prerecorded video instructions are easy to follow, and you'll have lots of support from me and the community during the challenge.

The coptic stitch is a classic bookbinding method that allows your book to lie flat when open. This makes coptic journals great for writing and artwork.

When you purchase the challenge, here's what you get:

Instructional Videos

On each day of the challenge, you'll get new instructional videos that guide you through making the next part of your book.

You get lifetime access to these videos.

Daily Zoom Calls

I want your 5-Day Challenge to be a success, so every day I'll hold two live Zoom calls. I'll answer your questions, give away gift cards, and provide helpful tips!

The calls are recorded if you can't make it.

Challenge Facebook Group

5-Day Challenges are better with friends!

You'll have access to the challenge Facebook group, where you can share your progress, ask questions, and get to know the challenge community. 

How It Works

  1. Before signing up, you can view the supply list below!
  2. When you sign up for the challenge, you immediately get access to a welcome video and additional resources.
  3. While you wait for the challenge to begin on November 28th, you can gather your supplies and join the 5-Day Challenge Facebook group.
  4. Every day of the challenge, you get access to that day's prerecorded instructional video. You can also join the optional daily Zoom calls at 12 PM and 7 PM EST to ask questions and participate in Etsy gift card giveaways!
  5. Once you finish your book, you can submit a photograph to be included in our 5-Day Challenge wrap-up movie.
  6. On the Monday after the challenge (December 5th), you can participate in the 5-Day Challenge wrap-up party to share your work and celebrate completing the challenge!

If you have any questions, check out the FAQ at the bottom of the page.


Tool & Supply List

Here's everything you'll need for the Coptic Journal 5-Day Challenge!


  • 27 sheets of 8.5" x 11” (or A4) high-quality 32 lb copier/printer paper
  • 2 pieces of 5.75" x 4.75" (155mm x 117mm) book board or heavy chipboard, grained long
  • Piece of recycled file folder or old cereal box
  • Waxed linen thread or embroidery floss/pearl cotton and beeswax
  • PVA or other white glue
  • Matte medium, soft gel medium, or Mod Podge
  • Scrap paper for gluing
  • Double stick tape (optional)
  • 1-2 decorative paper napkins
  • Recycled text paper, such as vintage dictionary pages, decorative paper, or book cloth of your choice


  • Bone folder
  • Sharp craft knife
  • Ruler
  • Triangle or quilting ruler (optional)
  • Pencil & eraser
  • Bookbinding awl
  • Needle
  • Glue brush
  • Scissors
  • Punching cradle, old phone book, or piece of foam/cardboard to punch sewing holes 

We're partnering with A Work of Heart again to provide a kit for the challenge—more information is available after signing up!









Challenge Days Sneak Peek

On each day of the challenge, you'll get a new video that teaches you how to make the next part of your book. Below is a sneak peek of what we'll be doing each day!

Day 1: Create Pages

On the first day, we'll create the pages that make up the bulk of your book.

Day 2: Prepare Cover Material

On day 2, we'll put together your cover using your chosen decorative napkins and other cover materials. 

Day 3: Glue Cover

On day 3, we'll glue the cover material you created on day 2 to the book board.

Day 4: Create Sewing Holes

On day 4, we'll punch the sewing holes in both your signatures and your cover.

Day 5: Sew Book

On the final day, we'll put the book together by sewing!


Meet Ali

Years ago I learned about handmade books, and ever since then I’ve been hooked. I love creating new designs, learning about different techniques and expanding my collection of paper. But what I love most about bookmaking is the community.

Through Vintage Page Designs and the Handmade Book Club, I’ve met thousands of other passionate bookmakers, mixed media artists and crafters. We all share a love of book arts and crafting just for the joy of it.

I believe that bookbinding and book arts are for everyone, regardless of skill level or equipment. All you need is a little creativity and, of course, paper!

"[The Challenge] was excellently organized and filmed, and the enthusiasm, friendliness, and helpfulness were exceptional. I really appreciate that I can come back to the class later."


"As a former teacher I am SO impressed with how much work you and your crew has put into this class...It is clearly apparent your ethos is to have absolutely everyone succeed, have fun and thrive."


"[The Challenge] was so well prepared, filmed and executed, and far exceeded my expectations!...Bravo for providing such fun, helpful resources. Everything is brilliantly organized and presented!!!"


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