Left to right: my first model with soft Cave Paper covers only and ribbon tie;
Parched with narrow hardcovers; Aura with wider hardcovers
This is a rather small sixteen-panel accordion that needs to have the folds parallel to the grain. To work from a piece of 22 x 30 printmaking paper such as Stonehenge or Lenox (which are usually grained long), a strip that is 6" x 22" works well. You can paint each side a different color, as I did for this tutorial, or leave blank and add tiny pictures before you glue it together, which is what I did with the books in the photo, above.
The only other materials I recommend are two pieces of museum board cut to 1 1/4" x 6" (grained long) OR two pieces 2 1/2" x 6" for the version that closes completely flat and protected. You first may want to cover these wider boards with two pieces of decorative paper, 4" x 7 1/2" (grained long).
Tools: bone folder; pencil; 30" metal ruler; X-Acto knife and large cutting mat; circle cutter or large rectangular or 1" square punch (optional); PVA or heavy gel medium; brush or piece of scrap cardboard for gluing; magazines for waste sheets
Paper is face up.
Fold in half, the short way.
Fold ends in to center fold.
Match fold to fold so you have eight, even segments, all valley folds.
Close the first panel along its fold, and then match that fold to the second fold to begin the accordion. A mountain fold is between them.
Continue to align the sections as you fold the mountains.
At this point you must decide which kind of book you want.
You can leave it like this if you want to make it with wider covers.
Or you can make it with narrower covers.
I like how it looks displayed with the narrower covers, so I will proceed by folding those last panels as well. Note that this accordion now begins with mountain folds.
Measure and mark down along the first and last valley folds at two-inch intervals.
Align the ruler with the marks and make two long horizontal slits.
Choose a circle cutter or a punch, or you can cut out shapes freehand for the next part.
The holes need to be one inch or less in diameter.
I made a template so I could align the circles in the panels.
It has a drawing of the outline of the circle cutter itself for placement.
Cut out at panels 4 - 8 - 12
top and bottom rows
Cut out at panels 5 - 9 - 13
for the center row
Fold up top and bottom rows so they face right with the background showing behind them.
This means that for top and bottom, you fold back the panels that are after the holes.
For the center, you fold back the panels that are before the holes.
You could glue little pictures under the windows here.
With heavy gel medium or PVA, glue down the edges of the windows to the backgrounds.
Center row faces left. (Like a flag book.)
Getting ready to glue the cover boards into place.
Turn the book over. I've put heavy gel medium on the two end panels on the back.
The gel medium works well as an adhesive when the paper has been painted; the ink/paint makes the paper less absorbent and less likely to accept the PVA.
Pinch together the paper around the board for a few minutes, or put the ends under a heavy book or weight until it is dry.
As you can see, when it is closed, this version looks a little awkward as a book.
But it is proportioned nicely for a sculpture.