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!


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.


Harry Potter book folding alphabets

Another request that I suspect might appeal.  These two full alphabets will be great for any HP fan.

Hocus Pocus:


Download Upper Case and numbers

Download Lower Case and ! ? & and a lightning bolt

And Lumos:


Download Upper Case and numbers

Download Lower Case and ! ? & and numbers

I think I would say these are challenging at best, some letters more so that others.  All those thin serifs, and wonkiness, resulting in many alternating folds.  I think doing a very long name might be tricky and counting carefully is critical.  But if you fancy a challenge, this might just be it!


Now, about 2017… {wink} Anyone who is doing calendars and wants multiple years, this would be a good time to comment and say so.  I really need to look at the ones I have done and sort out the top Calendar Making menu so people can see them all at a glance.  I have over 1400 files within my All Calendars folder – it may take some time, as life keeps throwing out curve balls.  I have a lot on my plate and I want to make my blogging time as productive and useful as I can!


Still with the NEW theme book folding

Another thank you for Em!  I made a couple of templates for a New Home gift she requested, and again, they are well worth sharing.  I will always share those things that I think are of more universal appeal! I’ve had some super-specific, unlikely to be needed by many templates requested, and lots and lots of names, that I don’t share, but things like this, I know will appeal.

She wanted HOME with a heart replacing the O.  I did a version then stretched it a bit, so it was TALLER but not longer (taller doesn’t mean more pages and I felt it might need quite a hefty book to begin with!) and they look like this:

Home2 HoME

I like them both (in one PDF here).  I like the boxy, upright font because it minimizes the number of double/alternating folds required.  I thought I might have time to add in a scripty version, but I haven’t yet.

I did do something that I always tell people I won’t do – I counted out the lines, using the method here, just to see how many it might be.  I came up with 346 pages (or 173 leaves if you prefer) adding five folded-back pages for a space between the letters. But as usual I would advise against taking my word for it.  Count them for yourself to be sure.  The Management Accepts No Responsibility  if you take my word for it and it’s wrong.  You have been warned!


I did get a request for two full alphabets, on a Harry Potter theme, but that will take a bit of time to do.  I will be sure to share them when I’m finished, because  that does definitely sound like something worth sharing!


Housekeeping – book folds and a calendar

I’m just adding a couple of things from requests.

First, a calendar.  I’d made this one in 2015, then updated it as a Spanish language one for 2016. When I got a request for an English version, I couldn’t find that I had made one.  So I sorted that out.  I asked if the original requestor wanted the Sunday to Saturday version or the Monday to Sunday version like the Spanish one.  No reply yet, so I just did Sunday to Saturday.


The PDF with all the months is here.

Next, I had a request for a ! book folding template.  The request was for a specific font, Habano ST, but that one was pretty slanted and I just wasn’t sure.  So I made a few others, as well as a Habano that was straightened


I figured with those choices there would be ONE that worked.  Having made the 3-page PDF I might as well share it.You can download it here.

So as far as I know all request have been dealt with.  Phew.  Busy day for me, so I’m off….


Peace templates for book folding

Thank Ashley for this one.  Although I was already working on JOY when she asked for it, I hadn’t even considered PEACE.  So here you go – a companion set. Not all the same fonts, because certain fonts work best with certain words.

I discovered a lot of new stuff working on these templates.  The first is the counting.  While the method I originally mentioned worked really well for simple shapes and words where there were small, very distinct areas where counting double folds was important, for complex  and especially slanted words it was hard.  I discovered if you count, and keep track of, every starting point (so the top of every line) you will have a very accurate number for the total sheets/pages you need.


As this font needs spaces between the letters, I’ve added 5 pages between the J and O and the O and Y.  I would just fold those back so there is nothing showing at the edge.

Another thing I learned is that I have very little accurate recollection of the fonts I use, when I do big groups.  They all seem to muddle up in my head.  One good thing about upgrading to el Capitan from Snow Leopard is some added tools in Preview.  So this snapshot of all the options has the font names listed too.  Nice, eh?


And the multipage PDF is here.  Have fun with them, and if you do, say a thank you to Ashley!


JOYful gifts! Book folding templates

Serendipity is a wonderful thing.  I had been working on some book folding templates that would be quick (relatively speaking) to make as gifts.  The serendipity comes in when I saw a request for a JOY template from a reader.  She asked for blocky and plain, but I had a few made so I sent them all.  Seems better to have choices.

I compiled the ones I have into a single PDF. Grab it here.   just print the page you need.


I have a very busy day, but I hope I can take the time to grab a book at the charity shop and maybe give one a go myself! If so, I’ll be sure to share.  I think one of these could be accomplished in a few hours.  A book that is at least 8 inches tall would be prefect, and as to page count, I haven’t worked it out myself yet!  All the Os and Ys will be double-folds for sure, but no 4 or 5-fold areas that I can identify from a quick look.  The 2nd one maybe has a triple fold, but I think that is the worst of it.

Let me know how you get on…and photos are ALWAYS welcome!


Another book folding alphabet – and a new idea!

Note:  The lower case e was missing but it’s now there!

So I got a request for an alphabet the other day.  Easy enough to sort out.  It’s called Black Chancery and is available from DaFont.

I made a PDF of all the characters (a-z, upper and lower case) plus the numbers and some groupings, like st, nd, rd, and th.  I also added a & and a heart.  You should be able to use it to create your own words, by cutting and pasting, either digitally  or with actual scissors and glue. You can grab that here.


As I was doing this, I thought again about how to enable people to make their own templates.  I had played around with creating a sheet of just lines back in May, when I first started playing with this, thinking people could use it to “fill” a font shape, or convert it to a fill pattern for PSE or somehow make use of it. In the end, it just seems too hard to explain, especially given all the different programs people might have access to.  As I was working on these, it occurred to me that you really didn’t need to fill the font.  You just needed the lines.  So I went a different way.  I created a sheet of lines with the idea that you could print your word, in black, OVER the lines and use the black part to determine the folds!

All you need to do is create the word you want to use.  Determine the HEIGHT of it and don’t mess with that – if you have an 8 inch book, a four-inch to five-inch high word is what you need.  Then, however you do it in your program, s t r e t c h  it widthwise so each letter will cross more lines. In my sample widthhwise in top to bottom, cause I oriented it as the paper goes in the printer.


The sheet of lines has just over 160 lines. Print it – it’s A4 size but should be OK on US letter for many words. Grab it here.

The gaps you see are actually red lines – I added them every 10th line to help with the counting.

Print your font on the sheet of lines.  printsmile

Basically, you are going to slip the template into the book, exactly as you would as explained in the original post. Line up the lines with the edge of the page.  You will then use the black of the font to determine the fold lines.  I’ve marked all three fold-points on one sheet – obviously you don’t do that, but I just want you to be able to see what I mean.


You can either mark the line on the template after you’ve folded it, or if you need to step away, note the page of the book the line corresponds to, so it’s easier when you come back to it.

If you have a super complicated word, with lots of multi-folds (like the S above, which has 3 areas that must be folded one per book-page, in sequence, top, middle, bottom) then you could print across multiple sheets, a couple of letters on each sheet.  The sample font is not actually a very good one for this sort of thing.  Pick your font wisely!

MAKE SURE you read the post that explains the basic steps, and especially calculating the number of pages by sheet (not by number printed on the book!) so you don’t waste your time.  But I think it will work,  I just haven’t had a lot of time (or an appropriate book) to test it out.  I might need to pack the lines closer together, so the word doesn’t need to be stretched, but I fear that may make them harder to focus on.  Anyone want to give it a go and let me know?






Book folding templates, by request

I have a huge folder full of templates that I have made for people, various names, images, etc.  What I can see is people, when given a choice, tend to pick the font that I think looks the nicest.  I thought I would also just go ahead and add some of the other templates I have sent out, that I think might be of general appeal. Some are cropped, some are single, some are pages full of images.  If any appeal to you, feel free to grab them and give it a go.  There is also now a menu up at the top that collects all the book folding posts in one place.

IMPORTANT: DO NOT use the .jpg image you see here.  The quality and size are not good enough and the lines indistinct.  Download the PDF and use that.

funky flower






I {heart} you




Love (click the image to download the PDF)

loveheart lovelove2

Mr & Mrs (click the image to download the PDF) – just slightly different spacings

MrMrs_spaced MrMrs mrandmrs2 mrandmrs

paw print


Read (click the image to download the PDF)

Read_plain Read

elaborate heart


shapes (hearts, stars, &)


more & options


Hopefully that will keep you busy for a while, as I continue to sort out my move to a new Mac….


Old idea revisited

A while back I was looking thru some of my saved links for iPhone stands – DH gave away the one from his desk and needed a new one. I was looking at this post but it was the overall photo that caught my eye more than the stands. It looked like wall art to me, so I made it as such. Original links is gone, but this idea is similar enough.

I used some 12 x 12 scrapbooking papers and some 6 x 6 pieces.  I started with double-sided sheets because I wanted to use the tutorial for making a two-colour/pattern unit, but in the end I liked them better one pattern.  But using the double-sided papers helps make the scoring and folding clearer.

1. Score in half (whatever the size of your paper) – so

at 6 inches on a 12 x 12 sheet
at 3 inches for a 6 x 6 sheet.


Fold and crease.  open up.


2. Flip over and score in fourths.

12 x 12 – at 3 inches, at 6 inches, and at 9 inches
6 x 6 – at 1 1/2 inches, at 3 inches, and at 4 1/2 inches


The pattern on the finished piece will follow these score lines – so the leaves on the paper will be seen up and down on the finished piece.

Fold  the sides in to meet in the middle.


3. Reinforce the middle fold, keeping the opening on the outside.


4. Fold the two sides in, on the diagonal, first one way


then the other, creating an X


5. This part is hard to show in still photos.  Basically you are going to rotate the piece so it is lengthwise.


and fold the V so the sides are together at the back.  Opening up the top layer on one side, push the other three layers inside.

11foldedpaperartDo the same on the other end. Not proper origami technique, but feel free to add a bit of adhesive inside to keep it all stuck together.


I think there is a video linked in the original post.  That might be more clear if you need to see the action. The point is, you will end up with the above, and when you flip it, this!


Now, I laid it all out on a spare piece of mat board, and once I liked the arrangement, I stuck the units down by running a bead of hot glue along the centre bar in the back and putting a blob in the tip and the tail.


Bet you are dying to know what it looks like….



The crisper your folds the sharper it will look! I put it in the frame, left off the glass, and it’s already hanging over the mantle.  Matched the new curtains and rug perfectly.

Off to the PO today, finally, to mail off some more baby beanies and my ATCs. Had to stay in awaiting deliveries for DH, so didn’t manage it yesterday like I hoped.  DS and his GF are due on Sunday and I STILL haven’t finished my WOYWW visits.  I suck, I know.  But I will get to them.  Promise!