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A book project

One of my favourite books is Making Handmade Books by Alisa Golden. There is this double accordion that I have always admired and planned to make, but it uses a really large sheet of very specific paper and I wanted to use something I had. I’ve tried makig it with cobbled together pieces but it never really worked out like I wanted it to. FINALLY, over a very fractured few days where there was just too much going on to spend long hours at my desk, I think I cracked it so I can make a version using A3 paper. OK so it is thin, yes, and maybe not as precise, but it works. I’ll try to step you thru it.

Beginning with an A3 sheet of paper, accordion fold it into eight pages by fokding in half, then folding ach half in half, then folding each quarter in half. As my A3 cardstock is heavy, scoring and folding was not giving me even enough pages. This divide-and-conquer method works very well. Just make sure you use your bone folder to get a sharp crease.

Next, skipping the first and last pages, which will become the covers, mark a “window” in each page two thru six. You have some flexibility here – mine started 2″ from the top and 3″ from the bottom, and 1/2″ in from each fold. I only marked out page two – using my pokey tool I collapsed all the inner pages (folding the covers out of the way) and poked thru to mark the corners of the windows. This made sure they were placed properly, exactly in line.

The other advantage is that the hole works a bit like a stop for your blade when you cut the windows. You are NOT cutting all the windows out. You will fully cut the windows on pages three , five and seven but on pages two, four and six you will cut ONLY the top, bottom and right sides. The left side must stay intact! Like so:

Rather than cutting the left edge, score and crease it.

You will cut two small triangles, top and bottom, from these pieces

These will act as a support for the decorative second accordion. I trimmed mine to 1/2″ as well, where the book says leave them full size. With the pages this thin they need to be thin as well. Fold them to the back (and sorry this photo is upside down – it looks too weird when I rotate it, but this angle shows the folded back flaps

I was really loving the look of the catch-the-overspray from my Bull’s head gloss spray coverage

so I decided to use that as the colourful accordion. Here is where the trouble began. The original uses two pieces, at very precise measurements, both scored evenly. My sizes were not like the original and the reason it worked was more about proportions than measurements – i.e. one size in relation to the the other not just smaller. So I had to work out the proper scoring of the second piece to fit the first – math has NEVER been my strong suit. Thus began far too much trial and error to get the same score lines and folds to work. Yeah. Na.

In the end I worked it out but the scores are different and there is a slight fiddle with the last placement.

I won’t make you read my scribbly notes LOL!

Cut a sheet of decorative paper, not heavy weight, to 13 1/2 inches x 6 inches. Score it along the long side at 1″, 3″, 5″, 7″ 9″, 11″ and 12 1/2″. Accordion fold this piece starting with a valley fold at the 1″ scoreline. Weave this thru the windows like so

Going back to both my scribbly notes and the photo above it, stick the first fold to the first wing, the third fold to the second wing and the seventh fold to the third wing. I found the small paper clips helped with this, clipping all the points in place then removing the clips and sticking them one by one.

I used strong 1/2inch double sided tape for this. This leaves the smaller 1″ page at the beginning loose. You now need th stick the last page to the inside of the back cover. This is the fiddle. The photos don’t help really, it’s all a sea of confusing lines and angles. First add your strip of double sided tape to the last edge of the centre accordion. Do NOT peel off the backing yet.

CAREFULLY collapse the book. Fold each page as it lies. Pinch it in one hand, leaving the back cover free. Peel off the backing and close the book, letting the tape stick the last page where it needs to be. Visually this is more or less centered in the middle of the back cover, but doing it this way will account for any slightly wonky folds.


So the decorating is complex – maybe not complex, just a lot of stamping and cutting and sticking, and working out the placement for the quote. That will consume my Bank Holiday day. I’ll hope to share the finished book tomorrow. Then a tidy up for WOYWW!

But here is my 100 Days page, lest you think I am slacking off on that with the finish line in sight!

Another one I am quite fond of, not sure why!