i decided to try making an open-spine notebook, using coptic stitch. since this was just an exercise and i wasn't planning on using the book, i used the cheapest, most accessible materials i could find. for the pages inside, i took some discarded printed paper from the recycling bin. for the cover, i cut the cardboard from a box of coke cans. all the signatures are stitched together using ordinary white sewing thread.
i followed the coptic stich tutorial here:
i'm quite pleased with the way it turned out. the book doesn't close entirely flat, but that's because i used some flimsy cardboard as cover, which is not heavy enough.
this was easy to make. i think i should start collecting nice paper to make notebooks with.