My library isn’t very extensive but every book in it is a friend.” – Anne of Green Gables
You may have seen folded book art online or in real life. It looks amazing and almost magical. How do they do that??
I knew I wanted to do a book craft for this issue and, since I still had some boxes of books to donate sitting in my entryway (thanks, Marie Kondo!), I had a book on hand to try to make my own folded book art.
I tried it two different ways. One way I found online is to print out a pattern of the shape you want to fold and hold the pattern next to the page, folding each page. I tried to make my own pattern, but ended up doing the math wrong on counting pages. I couldn’t believe that folding a simple shape of a heart was beyond me, so I tried again and got the math wrong again. The third time was the charm, though. Even though I had finally figured out what I was doing wrong with the math, I wanted to be safer, rather than sorry, so I followed the method from the Instructables website, which advises you to mark the all pages with a pencil BEFORE you fold them. This method worked for me and I found it less fiddly than using the pattern.
To make this folded book art heart you will need:
- A hardback book with at least 40 pages
- Ruler that measures in centimeters
- A pencil
- The Instructables pattern in link above
Go to the end of your book and see how many pages are in it. Divide the page number by 2 to find the page number of the middle of the book. Circle the number on that page. That should be the middle of your heart.
From the middle of the book, count twenty pages (actual pieces of paper, not page numbers, as there are two page numbers, front and back, on each piece of paper) towards the beginning. Circle the number on that page. That is the left side/start of your heart.
From the middle of the book, count twenty pages towards the end. Circle that number on the page. That is the right side/end of your heart.
For example, if the book you are using has 100 pages and the middle is page 50, your starting page will be page 10. We will be folding 20 pages on the left side of the heart and 20 pages on the right. And 20 pages = 40 page numbers.
Hold the book in your hands, like you are reading it. Now turn it counterclockwise and lay the book down. The beginning of the book should be closer to you, and the end of the book farther away.
Go to the starting page of your heart.
Using your centimeter ruler and a pencil, make the marks indicated in the tutorial in the link. Make all the marks before you fold anything. (You can listen to music, an audio book, or a podcast while you are making your marks.)
Once you have made all the marks give it a “smell test”– does it seem to line up, with the beginning, center, and ending landing on the right pages? Hopefully it is close enough.
Now, starting back at your first page, with your book back in position with the start of your book close to your chest and the end of the book farther away, start folding the pages.
Try to make each fold at a 90 degrees angle. Like this:
You can use your fingernail or ruler or some other implement to really press the paper flat, so the fold is nice and crisp. Go through each of the forty pages, making folds on the left and right that line up with the marks you made. (I watched an episode of Miss Marple while I did this.)
When you are done, smush the book flat for a bit, putting your weight on it. Then open it and see your heart design!
Once I figured it out, I really liked this craft and I want to try more complex designs next time. Despite my rough start, this heart is actually really simple to make, and the end product looks pretty awesome.
“I am simply a ‘book drunkard.’ Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” – L.M. Montgomery