I did say I wanted to try it so I did. I wanted to see how the flexagon structure would work for a mini-book. I think it worked, but the inherent problems with it made me think of another use.
Start with creating the flexagon as I mentioned in the post here. I opted to make it as close to 12 x 12, with the idea that the photos wouldn’t be skimpy, even in the fairly small areas.
I made another on using the only large format paper I had on hand, which was vellum/tracing paper. I stuck the circles to create the structure with repositionable adhesive, so I could see where the folds were. My plan was to make templates to use when cutting the actual photos and/or decorative papers to add.
That allowed me to note the various shapes and cut apart the sample to create templates. Once I had folded t, it opened each section and noted the direction of the photo and how many of each section, with what orientation and number I needed.
Problem One: With the best will in the world, and as much attention to detail as you can muster, getting ever fold absolutely precise, the EXACT same size, is impossible if you aren’t a programmed machine. Creasing to the left of a line one time and to the right of it another is going to have the cumulative effect of things being “out” when all those tiny differences are added up. Accept it.
I had the idea to do something I’ve always done when using odd-shaped templates for photos, which is to cut them from black card, scan them, take them and the photos into PSE and use the shapes as a mask – that way I print only the area of a photo I need. I started down that route but had the niggling suspicion that I wasn’t going to be entirely happy with the project in the end, so went instead to a stockpile of old printed photos, with the idea I would make one and see how I felt about it in the end, while not spending a huge amount of time on it.
Where I discovered the cumulative effects of so many folds was when I tried to match the templates to the actual piece.
They fit fairly well, but I noticed that, for example, with the cover, the small shape at the top is actually repeated 4 times, the large shape twice. BUT the top two small shapes were every so slightly smaller than the bottom two. It was the same in every case, where a shape LOOKED the same, but it was slightly different. I just resolved not to worry about it if they were not perfectly matted, but still checked each template according to which photo I was cutting, and adjusted on the fly.
Problem Two: There are a couple of areas that you will see either in two different flips OR thru a gap to another page. Not a PROBLEM, per se, but it’s worth checking to make sure those repeated photos work with both pages.
Problem Three – The photos in some areas are really big. The middle two, top and bottom above, are 5 x 7 prints and they are too short to fill the area. You can work around that by leaving the background on show, like here, OR by covering that area with decorative paper or an embellishment or journaling OR you can cut two photos smaller to fill the page OR cut many smaller photos. MY aim was to have the biggest photos I could for each section. You’ll see how I dealt with it at the end.
And that leads nicely on the PROBLEM FOUR, which is, I think the biggest one (no pun intended) – it’s so darn BIG! a 12 x 12 “mini-book” is no mini! Where would you put it? How would you display it? – especially given there is no way to have a cover that protects it because that would totally interfere with the flip action! and unless you only want there to be two flips, leaving the front AND the back as “covers” of only decorative paper, there will be photos on the back page, the final flip before returning to the front cover, exposed.
Let me show you the un-decorated version – I’ll add some flat decorative items, some journaling blocks, etc, to finish it off – and then talk about how I think it COULD be used.
the first flip – I just added some decorative strips to extend the too small photos:
Note those two side photos – here they are again in flip two!
Also note you can see thru to the last page – I tried to get faces in those areas by careful photo cutting with some success, but it may not matter too much. Just be aware.
And the final flip before returning to the cover – this would be the BACK cover if you left it as decorative paper, which is a waste of good photo space! Note too you can see the green bits from the front cover. You may think they could be the green curves from the previous page, but they aren’t. That may inform your title placement. unless you want sideways words appearing here.
Right. So while I so love the flipping action of this how do I make it more usable or do I give up on it?
1. I DO think it works in this large size as a LAYOUT. The hint was in the title of this blog post LOL! So, decorate the cover, add the journaling, and slip the whole thing into a page protector in your album just as if it were a round layout. Where might it work?
- first or last page of an album
- any memorable moment with lots of photos but I think it would be fab as maybe a Baby’s First Year, where the flipping action could highlight the changes in a baby.
- it might also work for maybe school photos? If you, for example, did the repeating photos as 1st grade and 6th grade (or nursery and year 6) that could be cute.
- any sort of THEN and NOW layout – dating photos, ending with a wedding? documenting a weight loss or makeover or haircuts over the years?
Any of those things COULD work for a layout topic.
2. Make it smaller as a mini-book (I’m thinking 8 inch circles to start) and use photos only in the biggest spaces, saving the smaller ones for journaling. Present it in a large custom box or envelope.
3. Make is smaller still (6 inch circles like the Steins;Gate doodah for DS) and present it with photos only in the middle two flips, leaving the front and back as decorative, and present it more as a CARD, for a really special person on a really special occasion.
So that draws a line under this particular experiment. It was fun, working it out, I’m calling mine a LAYOUT and will put it in an album. The photos are a bit random, but I would call it Out and About, or something like that as all the photos are from days out, or at the very least out in the garden. That works for me.
If you find a use for this that I haven’t thought of, do share. I still think it makes a cute card, but I really like the interactive nature of it with the photos. But I’ve satisfied my curiosity so I can move on….