I wanted to show you how to make a Folded Book Angel – but there are a few things you might want to know before you try this:
1. There are no hard and fast rules for Book Folding! It is kind of a free-form craft. There are a few techniques, however, that make it easier!
2. If you have never folded a book before, then start with a sacrificial book that you can test on!
3. A few book terms – so that we are all on the same page, as it were. Book pages are printed two to a book leaf. The words ‘page’ and ‘leaf’ can mostly be used interchangeably, but remember – if the pattern you choose says you need 200 leaves, you need to use a book with at least 400 pages…
Also, you might want a book with cleanly cut page edges, not rough cut ones – though there might be patterns, like the Angel, that would look good with rough edges.
4. Equipment: Besides the book, you will need
– a ruler;
– a pencil;
– a strip of cardstock;
– a couple of clothespegs to hold the book open when it would prefer to be closed;
– a crease folding tool to make the folds crisper than your fingernail can make them. People who do a lot of book folding buy a tool called a bone folder. You could also use the rounded back of a spoon. I use a pointy stick that is slightly convex from side to side. (A remnant from pottery making days.)
5. Book folding is simply a matter of making at least two folds on each leaf. Most folds begin (or end if you prefer) from a mark on the top of the page (or bottom of the page) to a mark on the side of the page.
Getting started – Making the fold marks on the top and bottom of the pages. One way is to Measure, Mark and score a line on the top and bottom of the book.
You’ll need a pencil and exacto knife for this step:
With the book partly closed, stand it on its top covers. You are going to create a scored line across all the pages. Measure about 3/4 inch (2 cm) from the spine and draw a line like you see in the photo. Using the ruler and an exacto knife, score the line so that you can see the score on each page when the book is flat and open. (It is very difficult to do a nice fold if that top mark is too close to the spine!)
You will do this to both the top and the bottom of the book.
If you don’t want do this step, then you can devise some other way to line up your folds so that they are consistent across the top and bottom of the book. You can see the reason for this in the photo of the top of the Angel Book.
6. Turn the book so that the top is on your right and the spine is on the top of your work surface. You should be able to faintly see the marks you made on the top and bottom of the book. You’ll make another mark on the side of the page. In this case, I made a mark 1.25 inches (3 cm) from the bottom of the book.
7. A cardstock strip is a handy tool for making straight folds. Align the cardstock so it touches the top of the page mark and the side of the page mark.
8. Hold the cardstock securely in place with one hand and use the other hand to fold the page along the cardstock. Press with your finger. This fold made a nice triangle, but it caused the page to overlap the previous page.
9. To fix the overlapping page situation, make another small fold. Now you have a ‘broken’ triangle…
10. Your next fold goes from the bottom page mark to the side of the page mark.
11. When you are done, use your crease folding tool to make everything crisp.
12. For some projects, you will have two marks on the side of the page.
13. When you are finished folding for two side page marks, your page leaf will look like the photo above.
14. When you aren’t working on your book, close it and store it under a stack of two or three heavy books. That will help to compress the folded pages.
That’s the basics. My next post will show you how I made the Book Fold Angel.