Friday, March 4, 2011

Mini Origami Book

Origami paper sometimes comes with the diagrams to make this little book. In 1997, I would have included it in Creating Handmade Books, but photo step-by-step was too expensive, and I wasn't sufficiently up to the task of drawing it. Here, finally, a way to offer it to you in photo format. You will need a square piece of lightweight paper, and scissors and a letter opener or a knife and cutting mat. The sample is made from a sunprint. To make a sunprint with words, try arranging alphabet pasta.

Fold in half.
Fold edges to center fold.

Refold one fold to make an "S."
Fold in half.
Fold edges to center fold.
Fold top center corners diagonally down.

Open and move triangle to the back (2x).
(Back view)

Cut on center fold through all layers.
Slit right and left folds through all layers.

Fold up pages at right angle.



linda said...

Thanks for the tutorial!

Michaela said...


I have Creating handmade books and I appreciate the addition of this fold. I tried folding this book using origami paper, it took me several tries before this cute little book appeared ! thank you for the excellant instructions.


Lynn in Tucson said...

Greetings from Tucson! I've just discovered your blog, having been a long-time admirer of your books. I'm thrilled that you're sharing more of your thoughts on process and content and creativity. Thank you.

KG said...

Help--I'm feeling stupid....but I lose you at the cutting...if I cut all the way up the center fold--then I cut the book in 2---if I only cut half way up, then I can't get the pages to fold. Any help would be much appreciated.

Alisa said...

Yes, you cut halfway up the center. Then, make sure you slit the sides as well. I used a letter opener, but you can use an X-Acto knife to slit the sides. (I think this is the step you are missing.) You should now be able to fold the pages up and over.

Sherry said...

Hi Alisa,

I would love to me this mini book for my niece. But I lose you after making the center and side cuts. I am not sure what you mean by folding the pages at right angle. And I have tried and can't get the pages to face the right direction. Would appreciate any help.

Alisa said...

Hi Sherry,
You've done all the hard work! This is great! Here is another way to think about the next steps. It will likely be difficult to understand the following detailed instructions without actually making the book, so make a book up to the cuts, then continue.
1. Right at that spot after cutting, notice that you can slip your fingers all the way up into that back flap (see the photo with "back view"). See how there is a diagonal fold between that back flap and the rest of the book?
2. Put the book on the table. Using that diagonal fold, bring the pages up at that diagonal. Now the pages are perpendicular to the table.
3. Continue folding over so the pages now cross the entire book (book now looks like upside down L shape).
4. Fold this section back on itself at the center line.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 for the second section.
In summary, you are folding across, then back: a two-step process.
6. Fold the book in half again to close.
I hope this makes it easier!

Nancy said...

I love this structure. I enjoy making folded books! Thanks for the instructions. I, also, had challenges in those last steps. I thought I had cut wrong. Anyway, once I got it, I was chuffed! Thanks again for sharing.