Thursday, October 6, 2016

Making a little book 1 -- cutting and folding

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about making a little book with what I call "newspaper poetry" -- words clipped from papers or magazines that can be rearranged into poems or other interesting text displays -- and challenged my faithful readers to try their own hand at this art form.  Now at least one of those readers has assembled a pile of clippings and wants to know what to do next.

Fortunately making the little book is probably the easiest part of the task.  I don't mess with any of the myriad fancy ways to assemble and stitch paper together, but I love the simple ways.  One easy approach is to mark or fold a single sheet into eight "pages," then cut 3/4 of the way across the center.

Fold along what's left of that center line, and then fold the two halves back and forth to make an accordion.  Voila, a little book!

I suggest you try the folds first on a scrap piece of paper and keep that as a model for folding your actual nice book.  Paper is forgiving -- to a degree -- about letting you fold in the opposite direction if you make a mistake, but it's better to fold it right the first time.

Or you can make a simple accordion from a single long strip of paper.  Fold to whatever width you want your pages to be, and when you get to the last page, just paste on another strip.  That's how I made the book I wrote about in the first post.

You may want to make a separate cover so the book will have a little more protection.  Cut a heavier paper to size, a little bit bigger so everything fits without being crammed in.  I made two little slits for a ribbon to tie the book shut, but you can use other methods -- or you can make a conventional book, with regular covers that just close of their own volition.

After I made the cover, I pasted the first page of the accordion to the inside of the cover, leaving it free at the spine and at the back.

Tomorrow: how to paste it all together.


  1. Thanks for showing how to make this little book and the cover!

  2. Nice. I thought it might be a lot more difficult. I'm looking forward to organizing the tiny scraps of meaning into something coherent