Thursday, November 26, 2015

Book Folding - An Easy and Inexpensive Craft that Upcycles Books

I've just been to two classes that have taught me how to book fold and now I'm hooked! It's so easy to do (once you know how!), very relaxing and very rewarding when you have the finished product. A further advantage is that it upcycles books that would otherwise be thrown away.

Book folding allows you to transform old, unwanted books into pieces of art. You can make them into animals, such as owls, words, such as "love", "friend" or "teacher", and many other things, such as baby footprints. The folded books are ideal for giving as gifts, either for Christmas, birthdays or to mark as special occasion such as the birth of a baby or an anniversary.

You need very few materials to start book folding. The inexpensive or free materials are:

  • A hardback book that you no longer want. If you don't have any at home, look in charity/thrift stores for inexpensive books.
  • A pencil.
  • A ruler marked with centimeters (cm).
  • An eraser (not essential but might be handy if you make mistakes).
You'll also need a book folding pattern. Many are available on the Internet and cost a few dollars (although some cost more). The only free pattern I've come across so far is for a heart-shaped folded book. The website also includes a handy tutorial which is helpful if you're book folding for the first time.

To start book folding, all you do is measure down from the top of each page to the points indicated on the pattern and mark those points on the page. So, if, for example, the pattern stated 8.2 & 10.9 for the first page, you would measure 8.2cm from the top of the page and make a mark in pencil at that point. You'd then measure 10.9 cm from the top of the page (not from your previous mark) and mark it on the page.

Then fold the page over from the top down to the first mark (at 8.2cm) so that the page reaches a point at your mark. Next fold the bottom of the page up to the second point (at 10.9 cm), again ensuring that the folded page reaches a point at this mark.

You may need to make additional folds to ensure that the page doesn't overlap the spine, but don't worry, these won't be seen when you've finished folding the book.

Once you've finished, you can either display the book just as it is or add some finishing touches, such as a ribbon to hold the book open at the point where the picture is most vivid. You can leave the cover and spine just as it is or you can cover it with three pieces of thick card cut to size and affixed with strong glue.

Here is the folded book I made at the class with the word "Love".

I chose a lovely vintage bird pattern for the spine and cover.

I'm now planning to make more of these books and give them as gifts!

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