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!