If you think you’d like to try book folding, but don’t want to damage a good book, then you might want to choose one from the online lists of ‘The Worst Books Ever Written’. The following books seem to be particularly unpopular:
– The ‘Twilight’ series by Stephanie Meyer;
– The ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ series by E.L. James;
– ‘The Eye of Argon’ by Jim Theis;
– anything written by or about Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Pamela Anderson, Sylvester Stallone, etc.
– Valley of the Dolls – Jacqueline Susan
– You’ve Been Warned by James Patterson
– any book with the word ‘Inconvenient’ in the title;
– books with however many Steps to Living a Better Life.
Asking a decent editor to save this book would have been like asking a doctor to help a corpse that had fallen from the top of the Empire State Building.
— The New Statesmen –
I ‘summarized’ this out of date self-help book about boundaries in marriage by folding a heart within a heart. I made a two layer paper quill heart to fill the inner heart.
Can you suggest any other books that would be suitable for craft projects?
How to justify the (sort of) destructive craft of Book Folding:
There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.
– Charles Dickens –
I get most of the books that I fold from the used book section of our recycle depot. A self-congratulatory publication by a former leader of Canada’s Green Party was an excellent find – the paper was high quality… the same can often be said for self-help books.
The book above was a complicated project. It used 98 leaves of the book. The pages had to be measured carefully and folded in a very strict order. The Daisies are the ‘fringe flowers’ that I used in Folding the Letter M.
This book, a spruce tree, was a lot easier!
Dinosaurs didn’t read. Now they are extinct. Coincidence?
– Author Unknown –
This book was supposed to be a wine glass. When it was done it looked more like a pudding bowl. I found instructions for making Roses with book pages, added some leaves that I cut out with finely serrated pinking shears and vois là – I had turned the pudding bowl into a rose bowl.
Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.
― Groucho Marx, The Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Marx –
I have learned that one of the most important rules in politics is poise – which means looking like an owl after you have behaved like a jackass.
– Ronald Reagan –
The wife and I dressed as the iconic Peruvian owls for Halloween.
We were Inca hoots.
– Author Unknown –
A devoutly religious cowboy lost his favorite book of scripture while out mending fences one day.
A few weeks later, an owl walked up to him carrying the scripture book in its beak.
The cowboy couldn’t believe what was happening. He took his precious book from the owl’s beak and raised his eyes to the heavens.
He said, “It’s a miracle!”
“Not really,” said the owl. “Your name is written inside the cover.”
– Author Unknown –
Why is the human skull as dense as it is? Nowadays we can send a message around the world in one-seventh of a second, but it takes years to drive an idea through a quarter-inch of human skull.
– Charles Kettering –
I had choosen the path of the black sheep rather than that of the unicorns and puppies.
– Magenta Periwinkle, Cutting Class –
I turned my bedroom into a bat-cave of band posters, dark curtains, and the occasional skull. I think by now my distraught parents were seeking advice from their pastor. Andy, meanwhile, calmly remarked, “I like how you’ve found a way to use Halloween decorations year-round.”
– Molly Ringle, All the Better Part of Me –
The Daughter loved both books – she is a nurse. If you have a nurse in your family, you know that their interests, stories and sense of humour can sometimes be – different.
If you know a nurse or a doctor or a person who works in a medical facility, be sure to let them know that you appreciate what they do! And when they get to telling you the story about the patient who… well, I won’t go there. So just listen and nod and smile, like they do, when you talk about gardening or other such things that don’t involve body parts and fluids.
The Marvelous letter ‘M’ at work:
My mother makes a mouthwatering mincemeat muffin.
Most monsters make messes.
Many merry maids milked many moody milk cows.
How many ‘M’s can you use in one sentence?
Height of book: 9 inches
Number of pages used: 234 Pages (117 leaves)
First 12 folds: 1.5 inches from bottom Row 1: 24 folds starting at bottom; first fold 1.5 inches from bottom; remaining folds .25 inches from each previous fold Row 2: 23 folds starting at top; first fold .25 inches closer to bottom than last folds in Row 1; remaining folds .25 inches from previous fold Row 3: 23 folds starting at bottom; first fold 1.5 inches from bottom; remaining folds .25 inches from previous fold Row 4: 23 folds starting at top; first fold .25 inches closer to bottom than last fold in Row 1 Last 12 folds: 1.5 inches from bottom
There are quite a few web sites with instructions for fringe flowers. This is one of them: Exotic Fringed Flowers.
We’re at the Bland Beige House in Arizona now. The weather here has been much better than Alberta – where the temperatures turned brutally cold soon after we headed south.
I haven’t been feeling at my best for a few months – interesting how life can throw you a medical curve ball and recovery takes more time and effort just because you are older!
The up side of feeling down is it gives you more ‘down time’. I spent some of it folding this book, which is the easiest book fold project I’ve done so far. I call it Easy Angles.
I ‘spruced it up’ by adding a black paper background on the two end pages, and some curls (See ‘How to make curly hair’ at Book Fold Angel.)
1. My book was 9 inches high. (22.8 cm) I used 176 pages, which is 88 book leaves.
2. The design consists of 4 ‘rows’. Each row takes 22 leaves.
3.The first fold (bottom fold) in each row is 1.75 inches (4.5 cm) from the bottom of the page.
4. The second fold in each row is 2 inches from the bottom of the page. (If you prefer to work in metric, pick a nice round number for each dimension.)
5. The third fold in each row is 2.25 inches from the bottom of the page.
6. Continue in .25 inch increments for the 22 folds.
7. When you have completed the 22 folds of the first row, start the second row… then the third, and then the last row.
8. If you want more rows than 4, then you either need a book with more pages or…
you could make fewer than 22 folds per row.
9. If your book is less than 9 inches high, you can either make fewer folds per row or…
you could make make each fold less than .25 inches from the previous fold.
Easy Peasy, right!
Do you know where ‘Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy’ comes from? In a 1970’s British TV commercial for Lemon Squeezy detergent, a little girl and an adult use Lemon Squeezy detergent to clean a stack of dishes quickly. At the end of the commercial the girl says “Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy”.
The following is my attempt to further explain Book Folding. I say attempt, because writing instructions is actually quite difficult. I have a new found appreciation for people who write manuals…
The Basics of Book Folding are covered in this post: Book Folding 101. Here is a video that will help you visualize what I explained in that post and what I am explaining below: DIY Marta. Though Marta isn’t the greatest at making videos, she is a big help in understanding what the process is. (I don’t do everything just like she does – but close enough.)
Moving on. In Book Folding 202, I’ll tell you how you use a printed Paw Print design. (If you have never folded a book before, use a practice book to test to see if you are on the right track…
1. Here is the pattern for the the Paw Print. If you right click on the image you can download it. Save it as a .jpg file and print it full size on an 8.5X11 sheet of paper. This should give you a paw print that is about 4 inches high.
2. If you use the pattern as printed, you will need a book that is about 8 inches high and has at least 200 numbered pages, which gives you 100 leaves of paper. (1 sheet or leaf of paper has two numbered pages.)
3. Each line on the pattern represents one leaf of the book (two numbered pages) – but only where there is one element, like the left and right toes where there isn’t a second element (the foot pad) below it.
4. Where there are two elements (the toe and the foot pad), you will use two leaves per line on the pattern.
So, although this paw print pattern looks like it only needs 60 leaves, you are actually going to need a book with at least 99 leaves (200 pages). The top element is always folded on one leaf, the bottom element is folded on the next leaf.
5. Once you decide how the paw print will be positioned on the page (lets say the top of the paw is 2 inches down from the top of the book), then you will fold the paper pattern on a fold line that is 2 inches above the top of the paw print (see ‘Fold Line’ above). You will align this fold line with the top of each leaf of the book.
In the photo below, you can see how the pattern was folded on the fold line. The folded over piece of the pattern creates a ledge that makes it easy to align the pattern on every page.
6. The photo above shows the pattern if you were at about the half way point of folding. You can see that the toe and the foot pad are both shown on a single line of the pattern.
7. The toe element will be made with two folds on one leaf – from points #1 and #2. The foot pad will be folded on the next leaf from points #3 and #4. (The top element is always folded first.)
8. You can either make the folds directly from the pattern, or you can make pencil marks on each leaf, remove the pattern, then fold. Either method works. Put a tick mark on the pattern to show what you have finished folding or marking.
9. Folding always starts at the front of the book, but there will probably be some unfolded pages at the beginning and end of the book. So, to find the first leaf you will need to:
a. find the middle of the book.
b. take the number of leaves that you need (99), divided by 2 which gives you 50 leaves. Count back 50 leaves from the middle of the book to the front of the book. That will give you your starting point.
The Book Fold Angel is finished. I added curly paper hair, a halo, and a ribbon around the neck.
How to Make the Curly Hair
I used two book pages to make the hair. I trimmed the margins off of the top, bottom and one side of the page, and left a small margin on the other side (for gluing.)
Then I cut between the lines, leaving the gluing tab uncut until I got to the third line. Then I cut through the gluing tab too. This gave me strips with three lines of print to each strip.
I used scissors to curl each line, just like you do with curling ribbon. This gave me three curls per strip.
I folded the gluing tab so it was at a 90 degree angle to the curly bits. Then I glued the tabs to the head of the angel (used a glue gun).
The halo was a plastic ring that I wrapped in ribbon. I glued a toothpick to the ring, then stuck the toothpick into the head after the hair was finished.
If you want the hair to match the colour of the Angel, use pages from the Angel book. I didn’t do that, unfortunately. I used a different book. My first batch of hair was much whiter in colour – and I didn’t really appreciate the effect that had until after I had glued some of the hair on. For the second batch of hair, I used a page from a book that had slightly yellower pages. When I mixed that hair in with the white hair, it all kind of evened out. Sort of… Over time, I expect the whiter hair will turn yellow too.
I’ve learned that mistakes can often be as good a teacher as success.
– Jack Welch –
This is one of the easiest Book Fold Projects I’ve found so far. If you would like to try it, the instructions are below. (Be sure to read the Book Folding 101 post first if you have never folded a book.)
1. The book – mine was almost 180 pages long (90 leaves). If your book has more leaves you will get a ‘denser’ body.
2. I used six page leaves for each wing. All the rest of the page leaves were for the body. You can see that the folds on the left wing were made on the other side of the leaf than all the folds for the body and the right wing.
3. This is how the book looked when I was working on it. The top of the book was on my right. I used a dark piece of cardstock to help make straight folds. I used the stick to make the folds crisper.
4. Side Page Marks for the left wing (front of the book). Measurements are in inches. You may want to vary these to achieve a different look. If you want to work in metric, .5 inches is equal to 1.27 cm – so you will probably want to do some rounding…
First page: .5 inches from the top of the book.
Second page: 1 inch from the top of the book.
Third page: 1.5 inch from the top of the book.
Fourth page: 2 inches from the top of the book.
Fifth page: 2.5 inches from the top of the book.
Sixth page: 3 inches from the top of the book.
5. The Angel body. My side page mark was 1.25 inches from the bottom of every page.
6. When I had only six pages left in the book, I did the right wing. The marks on these pages were done in the reverse order of the front wing – so I started with the mark that was 3 inches from the top of the page and ended with the mark that was .5 inches from the top.
7. The head – I stuck a styrofoam ball onto a thin wood skewer. The skewer was off centre.
– I carefully cut one of the ‘body pages’ out of the book with an exacto knife and tore it into suitable size pieces.
– I dipped each torn piece into white glue mixed with water (about 4 parts water to one part glue – and you don’t need very much of it!)
– Then I molded each paper piece onto the ball. When it was dry, I did a second layer where needed.
– When everything was dry, I slid the skewer down the spine of the book.
8. Decorating the Angel – I haven’t done that yet!
Before I show you how to make a Folded Book Angel – there are a few things you need to know first:
1. Book Folding is kind of a free-form craft. There are a few techniques, however, that make it easier! If you have never folded a book before, then start with a sacrificial book that you can test on!
2. 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’ are NOT interchangeable – if the pattern you choose says you need 200 leaves, you need to use a book with at least 400 pages…
Also, choose a hard cover book so that the book will stand up on its own. You might want a book with cleanly cut page edges, not rough cut ones – though there might be patterns that would look good with rough edges.
3. Equipment: Besides the book, you will need
– a ruler;
– a pencil;
– a strip of cardstock that is about 2 inches by 10 inches (5cm by 25 cm),
– a couple of clothespegs to hold the book open when it would prefer to be closed. I use some ‘toaster tongs’ that my father-in-law made with two clothespegs (side by side) sandwiched by two strips of wood.)
– a creaser 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.)
4. The Dangerous Part – Marking the fold marks on the top and bottom of the pages. You do this so that all your folds begin at the same place on the top or bottom of the book. I do this by Measuring, Marking and scoring. You’ll need a pencil and exacto knife or a regular knife to do this. (Knives – the dangerous bit)
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 or a regular 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.
5. Turn the book so that the top of the book is on your right and the spine is at 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, for the angel, I made a mark 1.25 inches (3 cm) from the bottom of the book.
6. 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. 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 page mark.
7. 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. A second small fold corrects the overlapping situation.
8. Your last fold goes from the bottom page mark to the side page mark.
9. When you are done, use your crease folding tool to make everything crisp.
10. For some projects, you will have two marks on the side of the page.
11. 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.