Friday, November 25, 2011

Tutorial: Handmade Book with Accordion Fold Binding

Happy Black Friday!  In the US it's the official kick off to the holiday shopping season, although the stores seem to want us to plunk down our dollars sooner and sooner every year.  If you'd like to relax instead of getting up at 4 AM to stand in line at stores, I thought I'd show you a quick little gift you can make instead of fighing the crowds.

It's been a little while since I shared a handmade book.  Here is one I love to whip up when I need a quick gift. Nonscrapper receipients love them as they are ready to add standard sized photos too. Here is one I made before Thanksgiving so it would be ready to add a few pictures to right after.  Here is a quick how-to:

For Binding:

Cut paper to 12X6.75 and score every 1 inch for the 12 inches of length.  You will end up with 11 score marks.  Fold at every fold and set aside.

For Pages:

Cut 7 sheets of paper to 6X6.75 with the longer length as the vertical measurement.

Tip: I suggest using thick double sided papers for you pages.  This is a good project to use your fancy embossed, flocked or glittered papers with as people will really get to feel and see the textures.  As opposed to when you use them on scrapbook layouts that will be kept inside of plastic page protectors.

To Assemble:

Lay your binding strip up starting and ending with a valley fold, meaning one that makes a V shape when you look at it from the side.  Glue one of your 6X6.75 pieces on top of the end flap, as shown above.
Continue adding sheets of 6X6.75 as shown above, here are what it should look like with two glued on.
Keep adding your 6X6.75 sheets until six have been glued to the binding pleats.  You will have one open flap left.  DO NOT glue down.
Use your seventh and last 6X6.75 sheet of paper for the cover.  Take open flap and fold over, shown above.  Add glue to just the top of the flap (the paper with the basket, trees, and leaves) and then attached your cover 6X6.75 sheet. 
Here is a view of the completed inside of the book, before we add the binding, which is necessary so the folded pleats will stay closed and the project will appear more book like.

These are the compled pages and what you will stick inside the binding after the next steps.

To Bind:

Cut a sheet of 3X6.75 paper.  Score at one and two inches.  Fold as shown above.  Then cut a piece of chipboard, i.e. extra thin cardboard, to slightly smaller than 1X6.75.  Glue in the "valley" between the folds.  This will provide your book binding with extra stability and ensure you can enjoy it for a long time.

Add glue to the sides of the inside of the binding strip, but NOT where the chipboard is.  Slide your pages inside and press down to glue together.

Note: I decided to add a little punched green leaf border to my cover before pressing down the binding to the front and back.  See example at top of post.

Tip: Chipboard is often the extra packing material in scrapbook supplies. You can also use a piece of an empty cereal box or the like.

All Finished!

Enjoy your quick and simple little handmade book.  The dimensions are perfect for adding all your standard 4X6 prints with no or minimal trimming required.
Here is another view of the book from the side so you can see the completed binding.  See the chipboard reinforcing the binding?

The possibilities are endless when you have the basic steps down as you can change the dimensions to whatever suits your needs.  I usually keep the inside pages simple with just a photo and maybe a little writing to keep the book from becoming too bulky.  Let me know if you have any questions.
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