Circular Flags Flag book instructions

OK, I’m going to have a bash at this – I’ll try to be concise but you know I struggle with that  LOL!

For a 5 1/2 square book you will need:

  • 8 6×6 Gelli prints
  • nesting dies – I used the Spellbinders circles and needed the 3 1/4 (the circles), 3 1/2 (the circles mats) and 4 inch (the holes in the frames) ones.  More on how I used them in a bit
  • 2 sheets of A4 or US letter card, or 2 6x 12 cardstock strips.  This needs to be HEAVY WEIGHT card
  • also a score-board, bone folder and adhesive

1. Make your Gelli prints.  The 6 x 6 inch plate is fine, but you can pull 4 prints on the 8 x 10 one and cut them in half. I chose to make all my prints using the SAME texture of pebbles but feel free to use all different ones.




Cut them down to 5 x 5 inches.

2. Make a template.  This is helpful to ensure that the hole in the prints is in exactly the same place for every one.  I simply cut a piece of thin card to 5 x 5. Line up your largest and your smallest circles and tape them in place.  Run them thru the die cut machine then carefully remove the cut outs while leaving the dies taped in place.


3. Using the template, carefully line up the template with the Gelli print and die cut each one.  Save the centre circle and the doughnut (see them there to the right?) – you can use it to decorate the cover as I did or use it on another project.



I chose to shuffle the middles and the surrounds, rather than matching them so the same circle fell within its surround.  But you can match them, sort of.  You’ll see what I mean when you put it all together.

NOTE:  I chose to back each of the surrounds with black card, both the make them sturdier and to make the backs more visually appealing.  I did NOT back them before I cut them. I’m of two minds one this.  Backing them first makes the cutting out of the centre circle a whole lot easier, but you then lose the thinner doughnuts AND you lose the ability to cut the middle-sized circle from the black to use it to mat the printed circles.  BUT planning on backing them AFTER you’ve cut out the centre circle is tricky – if the die slips at all you can’t get a perfect match when cutting out JUST the SAME circle, IYKWIM. Up to you.  Overall, wasting a little bit of card is not the ed of the world.  You could try sticking the black to the back of the Gelli prints just around the edges and plan on sneaking some adhesive like a glue stick between them to fully stick the black card AFTER you cut out the circles, then you will still have the thinner doughnuts AND can use the larger centre circles to cut the mid-size mats if you want but it might be tricky.  Just something to consider!


4. Cut your cardstock down to 5 1/2 inches wide x whatever the long length is.  Whether you are using A4, US letter or 12 x 12, the length doesn’t matter much.


Score one piece at 3 inches then every 1 inch all across the long side.  For my A4 sheet I get 8 scorelines, with the last section being smaller than 1 inch. This is fine.  Score the other piece every inch for 8 inches.  Leave the rest unscored.

5. Accordion fold both pieces, starting with a VALLEY fold at the 3 inch score and ending with a VALLEY fold before the unscored bit of the second piece.


6. Overlap the first fold of piece 2 with the last smaller section of piece 1 and stick them together. What you now have is a 3 inch section, 8 peaks of the accordion, and something between 3 and 4 inches at the end, depending on the size paper you started with.


7. Stick the surrounds leaning one way (in mine they lean left) to each accordion.  Stick the circles leaning the opposite way.  They really need to match up perfectly.   It’s all about the action when you extend the book!  You need the circles to move freely within the surround.



The easiest way to do this is to stick the first one. Once the first one is in place, sort of collapse the accordion with the next sticking point flat.   Add the adhesive to the bottom edge only, and lay  the next surround (or circle) perfectly on top of the first.  Press the next accordion back and down on top of it.  Does that make sense?



That shows attaching a circle.  Hope it’s clear but I think when you start to actually DO IT it will make sense!

8.  Add the text strips. Or not.  I added the longer quote on the surrounds, then the short one across the circles.  That one long word wasn’t as readable across the middle side-to-side so I turned the last two words top to bottom so they were easier to read.


I think it would be cute with photos or stamped images on the circles as an alternative.


Phew.  If you made it this far, now we will deal with the covers and the spine. Let’s begin again …

You will need:

  • 4 Gelli prints – 6 x 6 is fine but they need to be in the middle of a larger sheet.
  • 1 Gelli print and one piece of card, each at least 4 x 6
  • 2 cover boards 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches
  • 1  1 x 4 inch strip of matboard
  • 24 inches of ribbon or twine
  • 4 large eyelets and 2 small ones

1. Cut the Gelli prints for a TURTLE WRAP, 2 for each cover.  Reminder – that means at least 9 1/2 x 5, but it can be . This shot shows the BACK of the prints.  The printed area on the front must fall between the creases you see, that wrap around the covers.


2. Now, I didn’t actually take MORE photos of the Turtle wrapping (you can see the instructions here, although the size of the book is different, the idea is the same) but I did have a go at creating a diagram.


Wrap the BACK cover as well.

3.  Slip the 3 inch bit at the beginning of the accordion fold into the front cover. Lay the wrapped cover face down, and slip the accordion into the gap between the print on the inside of the front cover and the board.  Do the same for the end of the accordion and the BACK cover.

4. Set large eyelets.  These will hold the accordion inside the wrapped covers.  Set two eyelets on the front cover and two on the back . They need to fall  no more than 1/2 inch from the edge at the top and bottom as there needs to be 4 1/2 inches between them


5.  Create the removable spine.

Lay the 4 x 1 inch piece of cover board in the middle of the card. Cover with the Gelli print and crease along the board, folding the spine into a flat-bottomed U. Set the two small eyelets  across the middle slightly apart.


The spine will now slip into the two free gaps, one in the front cover and one in the back. Imagine the eyelets – you can see them in the next photo! This is just to check the fit.



Remove the spine. Thread the ribbon thru the eyelets. With the spine in place, these will wrap around the cover to close the book.


The spine will hold the book closed when in place, but can be pulled out from either the front or the back cover to allow the book to expand.



I added beads to the ends of the ribbon and placed the cover decoration over the ribbon.

Mercy Maud!  That is L O N G.  But I hope it’s clear! As ever if you have any questions, comment and I’ll try to answer.  Once I post this I’ll try to convert the post to a PDF and will add that for you if it works.  This is one of those projects where having a working video camera would be nice.  Perhaps I’ll have to experiment with my phone and see how taking video works on it.  Of course then I have to edit it and I have zero experience with that….


Circular Flags Flag book

You know how you see something and it haunts you? Well, I am 98% sure I saw a bare-bones image (not sure it was even a completed project, and it certainly wasn’t a tutorial!) for a flag book that had circular flags.  I have hunted and hunted to no avail. It’s out there somewhere – unless of course it was just in my head, but no combination or permutation of CIRCLE FLAG BOOK can tease it out of Google.  Despite that, I made one.

There are a ton of photos on my memory card that need sorting thru and whittling down so I can share how I did it.  But I suspect many people will just look at it and KNOW. Here it is:


Maybe you can see that I used that sink mat with the pebble design to make the Gelli Prints.  I let the colours do the talking, as I didn’t really want to do layered prints for this particular project.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE layered Gelli prints, but sometimes, less is more.

My projects often look pretty bog-standard from the cover.  Would you ever imagine this is what lurks within?


This is one monstrously long book when extended.  At least 25 inches – give or take, depending on how fully you extend it.

The flags going left are the surrounds (only the 6×6 Gelli plate needed!) and the ones leaning right are the circles cut from the centre, but that isn’t all there is to it. The math bit, and the positioning, isn’t as straightforward as the normal rectangular flag flagbook.


The book has a few quotes – the ones on the pages are extracted from a much longer work (Memories of Myths & Truths by CB Allen) but the entire chapter rambles a bit, comparing people to pebbles, so I took what I wanted to say, with a few alterations, and used just those bits.

Pebbles are…easily moved by winds or streams…like ordinary people mendering through life
Most pebbles are hidden in the flowing stream

Most of us in this life are ordinary people leading ordinary lives surrounded by even more similarly ordinary people…
…[But] examine closely [and] we’ll find something  beyond ordinary in most of us
As humans, we can make some extraordinary things happen.
We all are surrounded by extraordinary times, extraordinary people

then across the round flags: We all are extraordinary pebbles

The one inside the cover is attributed to United Starminds (?) but while the source name smacks of CULT, I did like it and it fit.


The cover is another modified turtle-wrap and the spine either detaches, or can remain in place at the front and lies under the book once it’s extended and on it’s back


or behind it if you want to display it standing up, like the other shot, above.

Just a slight close-up so you can see the variations in the prints.

Clearly there is a lot to say about this.  I’ll be working on a how-to post for it, with luck tomorrow.  Might even have to do one of my slide-show things for YouTube as there are so many photos.  I’ll know better once I determine how many of them are actually required to explain!  But I have to say I simply adore it.


Bear with me – I’ll add the info as soon as I get it organized!