New One-Sheet Book Instructions: Wrapped Accordion

I taught my Winged Book* in a workshop last Friday for the Miniature Book Society's Conclave. Peter Thomas, another book artist, was in attendance, and he commented how much he liked the way the cover was formed. Inspired by his interest, I wondered if that mechanism of folding and tucking could be used with a different book structure. After folding up my junk mail and figuring out what could work, I painted a piece of paper and am offering up the results of my exploration to you.

What's nice about this structure, which I am calling Wrapped Accordion, is that it can be made from one piece of rectangular paper and printed or painted only on one side. It has no sewing or glue. It has hard covers. You fold an eight-panel accordion, but it ends up with six panels. At the covers there may be a slightly uneven edge, due to the various thicknesses of board and paper, but perhaps you can't have everything.

Small size: 8.5 x 11 (or A4) paper, makes a book 1.5 x 3.5 inches 
Medium size: 22" x 14" paper, makes a book 2.75 x 6 inches 

Strathmore drawing paper is what I used for the example. The paper needs to be lightweight because of the folding involved. To create a different sized book, decide the size, double it for height, and add one to four inches (for the pockets that will hold the boards). For width, multiply your ideal book size width by eight.

Cut boards the size of the desired book and subtract 2 board thicknesses on the short side, then on the long side. My boards turned out to be 2.5 x 5.75, but I would recommend a thinner board than the book board I used.

Tools: pencil; metal ruler longer than your paper; X-Acto knife and cutting mat or scissors; bone folder

Inspired by the abutilon flower, I painted the paper.

When it was dry, I turned it over and measured and marked up along the short sides.
The height of the desired size book (6") minus 1/8"= 5 7/8".
Then the height of the book: 6".
Then there remainder: 2 1/8" (this could have been simply 2").

Line up the marks and score with the bone folder.
You'll ignore those marks for a moment.

Begin the folding for the eight panels.
First: fold in half to make the paper shorter and squatter.

Open it up, then fold each cut edge to the center fold you created.

Fold the edges back like window shutters.

Then complete the fan fold by matching folds to folds.

Now, turn so the tabbed edge is at the bottom.
Fold up along the score.

Fold down along the second score you made.

Open completely, and with a knife against a ruler
or using a scissors, make horizontal slits from the first
folded intersections to the edges.

You have four horizontal slits.

Fold the bottom tabs in toward each other.

Fold the center tabs in toward each other

Fold the bottom panel up. It will partially cover the center panel.

Slip the boards in the pockets made by the bottom tabs.

Fold the top panel down.

Tuck the edges around and behind the boards to anchor them into place.

Refold your fan.

And there is the Wrapped Accordion.

Thanks to Peter Thomas, for unintentionally inspiring this!
Here's a link to his and his wife's blog. 
They travel the country in their tiny home / art caravan.

*Winged Book is on p. 69 in Making Handmade Books, a.k.a. Check Book, in Expressive Handmade Books, p. 110.

Article about the conference in the San Francisco Chronicle here.


Carmel Montoya said…
Helli Alisa. I found you online to actually tell you thst for msny years now you have been an inredible inspiration. I use your books al the yime fornew ideas and I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this gift.
Alisa said…
Thank you, Carmel! It's readers like you who keep this blog going!