Multi-line cut & fold templates

So I have been trying to work out the best way to provide templates.  I get asked for ones to fit certain book sizes.  People who have had templates back know that isn’t how I roll.  I’ll provide the template, tell you how to count the lines, and leave it up to you to get a book the right size. I suggest that you can fold both the black lines and the white spaces between as IF they were lines, to fatten up the letters – deciding to fold just the black lines or doing both gives you the option to do a thinner version of the word on a smaller book.  But in seeing other samples of templates, one thing I’ve noticed is that some show the image or word quite stretched out.  The net result of that is that the word appears in correct proportion even if only the black lines get folded, because there are more black lines. I do this a bit already but not as much as some I’ve seen.

Let’s put that on hold for the moment.

The OTHER big thing is I get lots of requests for multi-line book folding.  I usually try to discourage it, especially for first time folders.  All those interruptions (vertical lines that contain parts of a letter, or worse, parts of multiple letters) mean on vertical line could equal say 10 pages, so a letter of 20 lines over another a 20 line heart over letter of 20 lines could need 600 pages or 1200 NUMBERED pages.  Insane.  Maybe there is a way to do it that doesn’t need so many pages (cutting the pages into three sections, from top to bottom, and folding each line in a different section is the only thing I can think of)  but I’ve never done it and would be useless to offer advice.  And I hate to send a template that has so little chance of success as to be useless.

So I have been trying to solve both problems.  I may have a sort of solution.

The first element is that for a multi-line template, in a reasonable sized book, the CUT & FOLD method is easier. Why? because the counting is so much simpler.

  • Each vertical line on the template = one page of the book (page as in sheet, so two numbered pages) no matter HOW MANY parts of letters fall along the vertical line
  • The number of lines is doubled to account for the edge-folded pages (because you alternate folded edge page, cut then folded page)
  • That number is doubled to get the PAGE COUNT of the book

So a 100 line template = 100 cut pages + 100 folded pages = 200 and 200 x 2 (numbers, front and back of each page) = 400

So simple.  No laborious counting of interruptions, hoping you got it right.

Keep in mind that you don’t HAVE to fold the cuts to make the image or letter sink into the page!  If you fold the areas that equal NOT THE BLACK LINE, you get the word popping out instead.

Still, I wanted an easier way to count.  I had the idea of creating a template that had red lines, spaced to fit the fill pattern of lines I use to make the templates.  Here is a sample.


You can see I’ve s t r e t c h e d the words only lengthwise, not widthwise.  The red lines fall so there are 10 black lines between.  Count them.  Quick..183 lines. Bam! Now double it = 366 and double it again = 732 numbered pages.  Seconds, that took. And look at the interruptions!

  • a bit of the Y
  • over two bits of the o
  • over three bits of the &
  • over (thankfully) one bit of the M

That is SEVEN interruptions!

OK so perhaps the cut&fold version perhaps isn’t as lovely as a pure folded version (PERHAPS) but I think it looks pretty good.  I folded the surround, leaving sometimes quite thin bits of letters extended, and I think it is terrifically readable:


Now, this was a book I had previously used to test a folding pattern, so the page edges were a bit abused already, and there were already marks on many of them, so it is far from perfect.  It was also too short, only 370 numbered pages, but look at how clearly you can read the small &! The font is Black Chancery – nice, humm? I rubber-banded it closed but if allowed to spread a little it still looks good.  I think you could easily edge the pages you were going to fold with ink  and then the text would be coloured, as you folded back the blank areas.

This, then is my suggestion to those who want a multi-line template! I think it is totally do-able, even for a beginner, and I am adding a template for this. The most requested multi-line templates are Name {heart} Name.  I think You & Me works as a sort of generic version of that.  I’ll play with a few fonts and perhaps come up with a I {heart} You version, maybe a You + Me with a heart around it version too.

I am wondering if creating the folding templates with the red lines is a useful tool for counting – you still have to count the interruptions, so it isn’t as simple but could counting in groups of 10  help?

And perhaps adding both the regular version AND a more stretched version might be helpful for the FOLDED book templates.

What do you think?  Does the cut&fold version appeal as much as a folded version? Does the fact you can do quite complex things using a smaller book balance out the fact it isn’t as polished? I am super curious as to what you think!


Quote calendar – other sizes

Sometimes, it’s just a mystery. A commenter pointed out that in the previous post, the upload was missing the May Friday strip.  Huh.  So it was:


but the really weird thing is it was in the original working file!


and when I re-exported the PDF, it was there too. So that has been sorted, and is surely something I will be on the lookout for. As I had another comment via email, also asking for the half-size (two pairs  to a page)


to go with the full CD calendar size and the 1/4 size from yesterday (4 pairs to a page) I figured I might as well add that too.


I’ll go ahead and add all of them to this post, so no matter which one you land on you will find them all.

Full CD size PDF – makes one calendar

1/2 size – makes two calendars

1/4 size – makes four calendars

Did I mention how much I hate upgrading computers?  Why oh why will the software designers insist on losing functionality that was relied upon? And while the new version of Intaglio fixes a few issues from the past version (like I can finally align things to the top) it seems very glitchy. It crashes a lot and I can no longer mock-bold a font, and this missing strip thing.  I have had stuff disappear before, but I could make a case for it being my fault.  That I can live with – I’m a ditz, I make mistakes.  But NOT ME?  DOH!


2016 Quote Circle calendar

Bizarrely, one strip seems to have dropped of of the pdf.  I need to re-upload but can’t do it now.  I’ll re add the link as soon as I remake the PDFs.  See the next post for an explanation.

Well, I have done a ton of 2016 calendars already but I did have a request for a 2015 one that I had NOT updated.  I hate to disappoint so I’ve done it.

The original 2015 set looked like this – a standard CD calendar-size

and the quotes are:

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and
resign yourself to the influences of each.

How do you measure a year? Measure, measure your life in love   Share love, give love, spread love …

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of

Time, by moments, steals away, First the hour, and then the day;
Small the daily loss appears, Yet it soon amounts to years

Live in the present. Do the things that need to be done. Do all the good you can each day. The future will unfold.

The hours pass and the days and the months and the years, and the past time never returns.

We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery

We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not figures on a dial. We should count time by heart throbs. He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes  …  How do you measure, measure a year?

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time…

…today, well lived, makes yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a dream of hope.

I went ahead and made a little project.  Not step-by-steps but the basic idea is to cut the circles


add a border


I made one background and added the month circle with the brad you see at the top.


The background slips into corners on a simple easel.


Humm. Black on Black s hard to see. On the back of the easel there is a sort of pocket to hold the other month circles


At the end, I added a small Post-It note thingie (I cut down a chunk one of a 3 x 3 one) and a pen clipped on the top


Just a quick and easy project, but mostly to show that just because it is a CD calendar, it doesn’t have to be used that way!  And testing out the results of a previous poll, there is a HALF-SIZED set (2 images per page so it will make 2 complete calendars) and a 1/4 size version, to be used for tear-off versions.  You can see how it compares in size to the 3 x 3 Post-it note pad.


The circles also fit a 2″ punch.  You could probably use them as add-ons in a planner!

Full CD size PDF – makes one calendar

1/2 size – makes two calendars

1/4 size – makes four calendars

Have fun.


WOYWW 347 – making time….

Hello deskers!  It has been ages since I even tried to join in. I am so out of practice, the shot of my desk is more a shot of the project I am making.


I get a LOT of requests, 99% are for calendars or book folding templates This project is in response to a commenter who wanted a 2015 calendar updated for 2016.  It turned out to be more work than it should have, because I’ve upgraded my Mac, moved up about 6 versions of the operating system, and have a new version of the software I use to make the calendars. I kinda figured as long as I was going to make it, I might as well make a project, cause I know some people can;t think outside the box, as they say, and if I can show some other way to use the printable, other than just cutting it n popping it in a CD case, well, so much the better! And it gave me the perfect excuse to use the Press-cut gazillion circles dies I bought a year ago!


Honestly, I would have bought these instead of multiple sets of Spellbinders circles and been able to buy the ovals and squares for less than they cost.  I will say the embossed edge isn’t quite as thick or as nice as the Nesties, but 20 dies in a set for some of the sale prices I’ve seen (under £15!) makes them a bargain.

I had to hack up a chunk of a Post-it note pad to get it to fit – I know they sell a variety of sizes but I only ever seem to buy the squares.  It works, but it is a bit wasteful.  Shame on me.

I have to make time to organize the photos that explain what I did, but that may have to wait a day! So I’ll link up to WOYWW and hope I can make the time to return visit at the very least, but start off by popping off to a few old favourites to catch up.  That could take a while, it’s been so long.  So here I go, down the rabbit hole……


While I am waiting….

I seems to be spending a lot of time sitting in waiting rooms, of all kinds, and sitting in the car, on the way to places.  So boring.  I find that those moments are perfectly suited to knitting.  Now the Innocent Smoothie hats are going to be appearing in stores  this month, and any tiny hats I made would be sitting around in a box till the next call, I moved on to socks.

My feet are always cold.  One of the side effects of the heart medication, I read.  So it’s practical knitting, selfish knitting.  And I am to the point I can make a pair of socks in my sleep – well, almost.  But I did stumble across some videos for hand-dyeing yarn.  I also stumbled across some superwash wool my MIL had sent me a few years back, destined to become slippers, I think.  As so often happens, Those two things, at the forefront of my brain, became a new obsession.  I had cake decorating colours, and a crockpot, and literally in a few hours, I had completed a few firsts:

  • made a niddy noddy out of PVC piping
  • wound a hank
  • dyed the yarn in the crockpot
  • hanked it again to dry

I find it super difficult to get a good photo of the yarn but maybe this will give you an idea of what it looks like – nicely mottled, firery colours (although I used Creamy Peach, Pink, and Lemon Yellow, I def. got RED, ORANGE and Yellow!


And as it knits:


Then I had to try something I saw on Ravelry, when DS woke me in the middle of the night (he is still very much on a student sleep schedule) playing the guitar. The AABBABAB dyeing sequence produced fab socks for her, less so for me, either because I didn’t measure to estimate the size my socks would be, or because I didn’t leave any of the bare yarn undyed, or because there was too little contrast between the green and the teal.  But it DID give me a nifty two-colour pattern with small pools of colour – not quite stripes but not uniformly mottled like the red/orange/yellow version, where it was all just dumped into the crockpot in areas.  Hard to see, again, but maybe a bit?


You can see it best on the toe.

So THEN I had to take some more PVC piping and make a warping board (is it really warping?  I see WRAPPING as often) sort of like this one, but a bit simpler, so I could try to dye self-striping yarn!


If you click the image you can go see the YouTube video of him wrapping it so you can see how it works.

That worked.  Dyed in the microwave, it took less time than the crockpot.



Now, since I wasn’t too sure it would work, I’ve used superwash, DK weight wool yarn for all these experiments.  The skein fir this last one, because I was so unsure of success, was only a 50 gm skein. Not enough for even a shortie pair of ankle socks.  So I paired it with some plain black, knitting the toe and every other row in the black, with alternating stripes of the hand-dyed yarn.  It’s working – I can clearly see that the yarn IS self-striping! Yippee!


There is a pink, a teal, a purple, a cranberry, and a royal blue (just coming up on the ball) and I should be able to get two socks from the one 50 gm skein if I do the cuff in black too. It looks like I am getting about 6 rows for each striping section so I must have done something right.

I have one other pair I made using yarn dyes with Violet food colouring, which “broke” beautifully into it’s core colours of purple, blue and pinky red, but I think the socks are in the laundry so no photo.  Read about Breaking Black (although it works with Violet and some blues too) to see what THAT is all about.

I do have some skeins of blank sock yarn to try next.  But it is on a very long To Do list. While the knitting I can do a few minutes at a time, the DYEING takes at least a bit of focused time, and a lot of waiting – mixing the colours takes only a moment, heating the water takes ages (unattended), dumping in the dye takes seconds, waiting for the dye to absorb takes ages (unattended), cooling takes ages (unattended), rinsing takes ages (active), drying takes ages (unattended), then comes the knitting.   That is for crockpot dyeing.  The self-striping and the dyed-to-pool AABBABAB dyeing are MUCH more of active processes and can take a few hours.  That kind of time is hard to find at the moment.

Just thought I’d share, lest you think it is all about the book folding.  I have a long list of printables I hope to do but now we are in 2016 and I have made so many 2016 calendars already, it’s hard to imagine doing even MORE and it’s too soon to do 2017 ones….isn’t it?

{the can of worms slowly opens…..}



Cut & Fold book folding – how to

I had my doubts that a complex design would work but I was wrong.  I had been itching to try using the Vainglory logo (DS has been casting a tournament and loves playing the game as well) but it was pretty complex for book FOLDING.

All those interruptions!  My word.  But with the cut&fold method, as each vertical line is a page, and multiple interruptions are dealt with on a single page, I thought it might just work. And by golly it did – OK sort of – I maybe went too deep, and a fatter book might have been better, but still..not bad.


Fiendishly hard to get a decent photo.


I really liked the book I used – wait for it….a primary school dictionary.  It was fairly long (380 or so pages so 700+ leaves) and I loved how the red text shows in the deep cuts


I think with a longer book and either a stretched image (so more lines) or folding both the black AND the white lines, it would have been spectacular. Must try again. But I need to get the perfect book for it.

I’m going to try to explain with photos, but do go back a couple of posts to watch the video of the woman who inspired me to give it a go.

Counting.  Always the critical first step.  Each line of the template is made up of an edge-folded page and a page of cut & folds.  So count the lines of the template, double it to get the number of LEAVES (pages) and double that to get the PAGE COUNT of the book. Remember, a book that has pages numbered 1 to 300 only has about 150 LEAVES as each page has a number on the front and a number on the back.  If you have a template that has 150 lines, it needs 300 leaves, or a book with a page count of at least 600 numbered pages.  I cannot state how critical understanding this is!! If  you encounter a case of two letters that will merge into each other (like the straight lines of the A and the I and the N) add a few pages. You will leave these uncut to provide a “space”.

Start by measuring your book from the spine fold to the edge.  I like to cut an old plastic placement to use as a spacer.  Tuck this into the spine and fold back the edge of EVERY OTHER PAGE in the book. Make a nice sharp crease with your fingernail or a bone folder. I went quite deep, folding back about 3/4 inch, because I wanted the text, black AND red, to show, but you might find it more attractive to fold back just to the text, so when you fold the cut sections, all you will see is the plain paper colour. Try to place the fold guide so the edge is the same on every page.  If it really matters to you to get it perfect, a more laborious choice is to cut a strip the width of the fold and use that along the edge.  It’s harder, takes longer, but produces a fold back that is identical on every page, if you are careful.


Find the middle of your book and the middle of your template. Start there.


Align the edge of the template with the top edge of the book. Align the first line on the template with the first line. Mark all of the black lines.  These are your cutting lines


When you encounter a case of two letters that will merge into each other (like the straight lines of the A and the I and the N) leave a few pages with no lines.  You can see the effect of this in the close up shot.  It gives some definition between the letters. Work out, towards the front or the back, then go back to the middle and complete the marking.

Once all the pages are marked and you know things are all going to work out, start cutting.  I must stress that if yo make a mistake and get to the end of the marking and realize you screwed it up, you can still salvage the book.  But once you make a cut, it’s hard to go back. Your cuts should be deep enough so you can fold back over the edge-folded pages.


Work methodically thru the book, folding every other cut section over the folded edge of the previous page, like so.  Each alternate cut section is a part of the letter


Once you have folded all the cut sections you should be able to see your word.  An alternative is to fold back all the not-black-line sections. That will make the word stand out in relief, rather than sinking into the book. You can see that in the video too, towards the very end. I haven’t done a sample of it yet myself, but I’m sure I will.


You might like to checkout some of the other inverted book folding designs like this online. This site has a series of tutorials that might prove helpful. A sample of her designs:

I love the ones that combine a concave shape with a pop out image, like above.  Check out her Etsy shop if this more complex design appeals to you! And please, if you want to pin her work, do so from her site, not from my blog.


Font choices for book folding

Here are two sheets of the fonts I use most often when making book folding templates.  If you request one, please also pick a font (or two!) This will give you more control over the final template – and don’t forget I am always happy to TRY a font of your choice, not from the list.  It has to be free for me to acquire (or one I already own) and a link to it would be helpful. I can Google with the best of them, but a link saves me time.




Seeing them will give you a good idea of how many interruptions letters are likely to have, so if you are a novice at book folding, pick a simple, straight and upright font like Helvetica or Mondo Cane. If you are just branching out into scripty ones, Habano has to be my top choice. To be honest, I would avoid Brush Script.  Not sure why I have it as a possible, I am not sure I’ve ever sent a template out using it LOL! Some of them, like Grand Hotel, works better if I fatten it up, some work well only for very specific words. I test the names/words requested, and usually send a sheet with one from the scripty list and one from the plain list.  And if nothing works for me I branch out to my whole 5000+ font library….

There will be another post with more interesting content arriving soon.


Book folders – you will love this!

Hi all.  I have an iPad holder on the treadmill and I have been walking on it religiously at least 5 days a week.  It is so BORING, I tend to watch YouTube videos for things like yarn dyeing with Wilton’s food colouring (I’ll add some photos of the three pairs of socks knitted with my hand-dyed yarn at some point) or previous seasons of The Walking Dead.  But the other day I had a book folding on pop up, maybe because I searched for a video to add for a commenter?) and it was a gem.  I had seen inverted book folding or cut and fold books before, but they were all to accompany patterns that were of the buy, measure and make method. THIS video clearly shows that my templates work for this style of book!

I took one of my templates and used it to fold this heart – well, half a heart, anyway.


close up


I was so excited to try it, that I didn’t take photos.  But I will do a proper post that explains it.  I think some people will be able to get all they need from the video, but I also know lots of people like things all laid out simply, with examples.  I have to dash off to the Dr.s today, and I am out of books I am willing to sacrifice, so I’ll need to acquire a few more.

What I like about this method is that you need only count the lines, no matter how many interruptions there are, and the alternating folded pages give the design a more defined look.  I wonder if the alternating folds might be brought to standard book folding?  Something to play with.

Sorry if this feels like a tease.  I was just SO EXCITED to see the video and make it work, and that my designs work with this method too, I just had to share it.  So someone out there will probably read this, go back and grab a design, and give it a go. If you do PLEASE please please share it with me!!

Have fun!


Book folding lines

Once again, book folding fans have a commenter, Diane, to thank! In the post here I talk about a way to enable people to make their own templates by printing a solid black word over a sheet of lines.  It’s all explained there, but a post with no pictures is boring, so….





Diane was very kind in her comments, but did mention she wished the lines printed a bit darker.  To be honest I tend to have photo quality printing as a default, so it might be that I overestimated how easy the lines are to see.  Looking at the above photo I can see they are fairly dark.  BUT, printing as Fast Printing on Plain Paper, I can see they are pretty light and there is clearly a difference between the OLD lined sheet and this new one I am adding for you.


I can’t see that the thicker lines will make the page count any different but it will likely make the page counting a lot easier!

Have a go.  It really does work, and you can them make your own words easily.  I was offline for a while (bad internet) right at the same time my mail server went down.  The geek boys who maintain it have duplicates of all the essential bits running concurrently…except the motherboard.  There can be only one.  What failed?  Yep. The motherboard.  So people waited and waited and waited.  It took ages for them to source the parts, build the board, install it and get the mail flowing again.  I could MAKE the templates but not mail them or upload them.  DOH!  So print a sheet or five – then next time you can try your own if I am seemingly AWOL.  Just a thought….



Book folding – why I won’t count them out.

I get a lot of book folding requests.  I have 100s of PDFs in the folder (that I seriously need to delete cause I have only ever had the same name requested maybe once – I think it was Emma) and for many of them people ask What size book do I need? My standard answer is that I refuse to tell you what size book you need – YOU have to count it out so if there is any mistake, it isn’t ME responsible for ruining your project.  That seems fair – if I were charging people to do templates I would feel like I’d have to count it out for them, and that just isn’t for me.  BUT I had a really cool request, from Tanya, for the word ALWAYS and the symbol for the Deathly Hallows.  I used the HP font and ended up with this:


I played around with a few things (capital A, size of the symbol, position of the symbol) and came up with four slightly different versions.  They are all in a PDF here. But the point is, I was curious myself what the page count might be – she planned to use the HP and The Deathly Hallows book for the project and said it was 750 pages.  I knew the symbol would have many multi-fold areas (as would the letters for that matter!) so I decided to count it out myself, just out of curiosity. The first one looked like this:


All well and good.  But then I noticed I had missed out the bottom serif of the A. DOH!  That took the count up by 7 – not a lot it might seem, but that makes a difference in 14 numbered pages/7 leaves.  As I had used the count to quickly tot up a couple of the variations, I had to then adjust:


See?  THAT is exactly why I refuse to tell you how many pages you need in your book!  And why the COUNT TWICE warning is a valid one.  Also, I sometimes omit what seems to be a line.  Like at the bottom of the symbol, where the circle and the inside of the triangle meet?  The closest line to the meeting point will likely look the same as a single, rather than interrupted, line.  Why waste a page (or 4 if you omit every intersection, for a page numbering count of 8!) if it makes a difference in being able to use a book or not?  MY calculations would SEEM to indicate that a book with a page count over 700 will work.  But there are a lot of interruptions.  I just have no idea what the final book will end up like!  I do think that the symbol on its own, using both the black lines AND the white spaces between, for a really nice fat image, could be a much easier way to go.  And that could take up 600 – 700 pages, the slightly smaller (by my count 150 black lines image) or the slightly larger (by my count 174 black line image) version.

I am glad I can finally SHOW why I won’t give you a page count.  I am far too ditzy, I let my attention wander, my eyes ain’t great,and I omit lines if I think they won’t make a difference.  So really, I am doing you a service.  Really.


So get counting!