Book folding! It’s creative, it’s addictive and it’s beautiful. Although it looks difficult, it’s really not however I do have to warn you, it is time consuming. On the good side, it’s a great catching up on TV viewing hobby (as long as you don’t lose your place).
Before anyone gets upset with me for destroying books let me assure you…I never ever use old classics or antiques! The best books for this are old biographies or novels easily found in your local thrift store.
Materials & Supplies needed
- A pencil (I prefer the retractable type)
- A 30 cm ruler (with mm markings)
- A old hardback book at least 21cm tall and with enough pages to fit your pattern*
- Bone folder
- A calculator
*if the book has more pages than the pattern requires that’s totally ok as long as its not too excessive (an extra 1000 pages will make it look odd)
How to Book Fold
Step 1 – Finding your Start point
It is important for your pattern to be centred in the book so that it has an equal amount of extra pages on each side of the word.
This may sound confusing, but it’s important;
A “page” is considered to be both sides of the paper.
A “fold” refers to one side (the front) of the page.
Here’s an example of how I would find my start point:
My book has 10 unnumbered pages (5 at the front & 5 at the back) with 300 numbered pages in between.
300 + 10 = 310
310 / 2 = 155 (the number of folds possible from the book)
My pattern in this example has 130 folds
So …. 155– 130 = 25 folds
25/ 2 = 12 folds
I would have 12 folds left on either side of the finished word and so I would need to count 12 folds in before starting
Step 2 – Getting Ready to Mark & Fold
1. Place your book on your work table book as if you were going to open it to read.
2. Turn it anti clockwise one quarter
3. Open and count in the number of folds that you worked out from step. That piece of paper is now your start point
4. Line your ruler up with zero to the left of the page.
5. Measure in and mark the paper as per your pattern
6. Turn your ruler 90 degrees and line up with the first mark
7.Take the top corner from the left and pull down until it lines up with your first mark and then crease it with your bone folder.
8. Repeat with the right corner of the page for the second fold
Note: Sometimes the page will overlap. This can be trimmed for neatness. Also occasionally the page may rip at the spine area. Again this can be trimmed and will not affect the look of your finished piece.
Continue folding until your pattern is complete.
Tips for a Perfect Folded Book
- Double check your require pages, start page and length. there’s nothing worse than getting to the last letter and running out of space. I had this happen for a custom fold for a client whose name was 8 letters long. (you’ll only make that mistake once I promise)
- Take your Time! I take a break after each letter and usually do this over 3 or 4 nights
- ALWAYS cross out your last fold from the pattern. It stops you from messing up or losing your place.
- If you lose your place, count the folded pages from the beginning.
- If at the end you have a page that doesn’t look right, check your measurements and refold that page. It is likely you have miss marked the measurement. Worst case scenario, fold it to the measurement of the page in front of behind it.
I fold better with wine personally but then its a fine balance, too much and you lose your place.
So that’s the basics of Book folding…now how do you feel about a little pattern to go and practise with?
You can access it here…..
I’d love to see your finished books, feel free to share them with my Facebook page so I can give you a mention: www.facebook.com/relovedlife
If you want something a little more challenging, I have lots of book folding patterns in my Etsy Store and new ones being added all the time.