Book Folding – Literary Origami – Heart and Cat

Do you fold down a corner of a book page (dog-ear) to mark you place? I can’t bring myself to do that – maybe because I have so many cool book marks! Or maybe it is just a lifelong habit – I suppose a hold over from a time when books were less available and more valuable – handed down for the next generation to read and enjoy.

You can imagine, then, my initial horror at seeing a whole book of folded pages!

But the result was so wonderful! I saw this folded book this past August at the Hospice where my dad spent his last days. “Peace” – it was an appropriate sentiment in that caring environment.

The Craft of Book Folding has been around for quite a few years, even if it was brand new to me. I soon realized, too, that the number of books that end up in land fills makes Book Folding a very desirable way of recycling books. I made several trips to our local recycling center and selected a book for my first project – a Heart. When that heart went home with a friend, I made another Heart!

After the two Hearts, I moved on the a more difficult pattern – “Cat” (C Pawprint t.)


Other than the book itself, Book Folding equipment is quite simple – a ruler, a pencil, a bone folder tool, a few pieces of cardstock, and some big clips. The most challenging aspect were the patterns. (There are some free patterns on the internet.) I chose to make my own patterns, using a template that I made in Microsoft Excel.

There are many excellent YouTube videos and websites that give detailed instructions. I waded through a few of them until I understood the basics and found some techniques that worked best for me.

The pattern I’m working on now is a Wine Glass. I’m not really pleased with it so far, but it might look much better when it is done…

Goodreads conducted a poll on how people keep track of their place in a book. Thousands and thousands of people responded. The most popular choice was a  scrap of paper or some sort of bookmark. Almost 9% dog-ear the page. How do you mark your place?



  1. Very nice! And a lot of work. I remember in grade school folding old Reader’s Digest magazines into a Christmas Tree shape. You have taken this to the next level!
    I have dog-eared a book when no bookmarks were handy (I hang my head in shame). but mostly use bookmarks or post it notes.


    • That would be a good use for old magazines and it would have been a craft that was quite easy for a kid to do!
      I’m working on a Christmas tree shape right now, but it will be an Angel. I will have to try and get it done before Christmas! The body shape is straight forward, but I still have to figure out the wings. I’m not going to incorporate a head shape from the book leaves – I’m going to plop a styrofoam ball on top.


  2. What a wonderful craft! I must try it (I’m wondering if drinking a glass of wine while folding a book into a glass of wine might help get the job done :)) I have a huge collection of bookmarks but invariably can’t find one when I need one. I have little stacks of post-it notes all over the house, so can usually find one to use as an alternative. In a pinch, I’ve been known to use a bit of string, a pipe cleaner (my cat has dozens of them all over the house), or a dead leaf (when I’m reading outside). I never dog ear a book (well, almost never :))


    • There is a certain amount of tedium to the process, that is for sure. Wine would probably help! I turn on my favourite music.

      Just about anything can be a quick book mark – including just turning the open book page-side down!


      • I was always taught NOT to turn an open book upside down, for fear of “cracking the spine”. I still do it occasionally, of course (don’t we all)? but usually end up losing my spot when I pick it back up.


        • One of the first things you do in book folding is ‘crack the spine’ a bit in a few places so that it stays open easier. In reality, the spine doesn’t seem to crack all that much, and it doesn’t seem to damage it. That might be quite different in older books, of course.


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