A Book Folding Show & Tell

Book folding art!
My craft studio (including my Silhouette!)  is all packed up for the move to the new house. Yes, you can imagine the withdrawal symptoms I’m going through!  It’s been a while since I’ve posted a new project, so I thought I would do a little crafty show & tell to tide you over until I’m all unpacked again.

I’ve long been in love with the art of book folding. Although made from simply folding the pages of a book, the end result has a beautiful sculptural feel to it. And of course, books. So me.

It all started when I wanted to make a grad gift for the Literary Daughterly One. My goal was to fold her initials into the two books she wrote her thesis on. I did that, and then couldn’t stop. Here is a tour through some of the books I folded as gifts for family and friends this year.

[start the musical interlude music in your head]

Simple Hearts

Book folding art!
Once you’ve folded the hearts into the book, a second heart appears on the top:

Book folding art!

Musical Note

Book folding art!
Made for a special friend studying music at university. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a whole bookshelf full of musical notes…perhaps the first few bars of a favorite song?

Initials

Sometimes the design takes up the whole book, like this one:

Book folding art!

and sometimes, I folded the design with pages on either side, like this one.

Book folding art! Book folding art!Book folding art!
Note the ribbon at the bottom of the P and L. These were some of my first projects and I used too many pages, so the book wanted to sproing open, which caused the letters to distort. The ribbon keeps the letter properly shaped.

Book folding art! Book folding art!

Words

Once I’d folded a few initials, it wasn’t too much of a leap to folding entire words.

Book folding art!

Book folding art!
Look how the word pops when you glue contrasting colored papers onto the covers. These are just digital papers I downloaded for free and printed on my home printer.

A peek inside…

Each page has two folds…

Book folding art!

…and the folds add up.

Book folding art!

The move is almost complete, so I’ll be back with new projects soon!

Cheereffs!

–Eff

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4 thoughts on “A Book Folding Show & Tell

  1. This is lovely! I did not read, only admiring the pictures.
    Soon I will read it and become proficient! lol
    Thank you Eff. 💗

    1. Thanks, Jerri! I love the sculptural look of this technique…and I get a kick out of seeing the image develop, one page at a time. ;^)

    1. Thank you! :^)

      The number of pages varies depending on the design and how dense you like the pages to be. Much of it is personal preference…and there is a wide window of what will work for each project. Friends who do this as a business tend to use fewer pages per letter to minimize their time investment. My folded books are gifts for family and friends, and I tend to like a fairly dense design, so I put in the extra time for a denser look.

      For a single letter or simple design such as a heart or musical note, I find a 250- to 300-page book works well (and by pages, I mean numbered pages, so half that many folds…each fold is a physical paper page with an even-numbered page on one side and an odd-numbered page on the other). For example, for the simple ‘P’ (white book above) the book had 452 numbered pages or 226 possible folds. Of that, I folded 150 folds (so 300 numbered pages) and I left 38 unfolded physical pages (76 numbered pages) at the front and the same at the back. The book I used for the ‘S’ had 324 numbered pages (which equals 162 folds…I folded 150 and removed 12 physical pages (24 numbered pages) from the book. The ‘K’ is a more complicated font so I used about 200 folds, but the book was still too long, so I left unfolded pages on either side. The other ‘P’ and ‘L’ have about 200 folds each, but they’re both simple letters so I could have used far less (and not needed ribbon to hold them in place). For two letters together, I double the single letter count. So for ‘JB’ above I used a book with 644 numbered pages, which gave me 322 folds. Then for words, of course, I used longer books. The books for the three ‘Family’ folds, for example, ranged from 775 to 916 numbered pages. I also folded ‘Together’ (not shown…I forgot to photograph it :^) and used a book with 964 numbered pages (thank you, Ken Follett!). When doing a word, I use fewer pages per letter so the book will sit properly and not “sproiiing” open.

      And…hopefully not to confuse things further… By “numbered pages” I mean ALL of the pages in the book—the ones with actual page numbers PLUS the extra pages at the front and back of the book that have roman numerals or no number at all.

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