Monday 21 December 2009

Brace yourself...

This is about to be a very long post. As promised... a tutorial for the little book. And if you manage to hang on to the very end... a giveaway too! I should say that I first came across these books on Little Paper Bird and have since found the instructions in "The Penland Book of Handmade Books" so I cannot claim credit for the design.

You will need the following:
  • 14 sheets of postcard sized paper for your pages
  • A roll of decorative paper - the owl paper came from Paperchase.
  • Stiff board for the covers
  • ribbon for ties
  • PVA glue
  • brush, ruler and knife or scissors.
To start you need to measure your postcard pages - the height is the important measurement. Mine is 10cm high. You will then need to cut a long strip of your decorative paper that is eight times the height of your pages by twice the height plus about a cm. This makes my strip of paper 80 cm x 21 cm. Accuracy in cutting and folding is the most important part of making these books.

You then need to fold your long strip of paper into 16 equal size concertina folds. I find the easiest way is to fold it in half and then in half again etc. If you try to start at one end and work along the strip it is very easy to get the folds out of alignment.

Mine folds up into rectangles that measure 5 cm x 21 cm

Next you have to fold the corners of each of the rectangular concertina folds by lining up the corners with the centre crease.

You have to do this top and bottom all the way along the strip.

Until you end up with something that looks like this.

Now open out all the little triangular folds and fold them back in the opposite direction so they move easily in both directions. Open them out again and this time reverse fold the triangles - sort of tuck them in the other way. This is much easier to do than explain but the photo should help.

Once all the little triangles are tucked in, the large triangles that are formed are folded back down into the centre crease. Do this top and bottom

Keep turning over each concertina fold and folding these big triangles to the centre until they are all folded in.

And this is the centre of your book finished.

This is what the reverse should look like.

To make the covers, cut two pieces of stiff board to be slightly bigger all round than your finished book. Insert one of your postcard pages into the folds to find out how big it will need to be.

Cut two pieces of your decorative paper about 5 cm wider and higher than your cover boards. Brush the cover sparingly with PVA glue (always apply glue to the thicker surface where possible) and glue the cover paper to the board.

Mitre in the corners and glue in the edges.

Now you need to attach the ribbon ties. Cut two pieces of ribbon about 20 cm long and glue to the centre of each board as shown. Make sure you glue them to opposite sides.

Almost there.... Cut two more pieces of decorative paper slightly smaller than your cover boards and glue to the inside of the covers.

Now take your folded piece of paper. Slip a piece of scrap paper under the first fold to protect the rest of the folds and brush glue over the first fold as shown.

Stick this down onto one of the covers - at the opposite end to the ribbon tie!

Brush glue onto the folded paper on the other side (remember to protect the other folds) and stick down onto the second cover.

Leave to dry and then insert your blank postcard pages into the folds.

And voila... you have a book! If that all sounds far too garbled and complicated and you really can't be bothered with all that then fear not...

For I am going to give this one away! Despite the snow keeping me in all weekend when I've not finished my shopping... a minor disaster with some indigo dye (a story for another time)... the fact that my washing machine has broken and there seems little chance of it being fixed this week... and a recurring eye infection which has returned to plague me... I'm feeling festive and generous because I got my marks back for my latest module which far exceeded my expectations... and so I'm feeling very happy!
Just leave me a comment between now and Christmas day, all names will be put into a suitable Christmas container and I'll get one of my drunken revellers to pick out a winner!


  1. Please please please can my name go into the draw?
    Thanks for the tutorial . I might try to make one, if I get my homework done!
    Good news about your marks, not that there was any doubt when you produce such beautiful work.
    Hope your eye gets better soon.

  2. Many thanks for the tutorial,I was sure you would get good marks so pleased for you .
    Have a wonderful Christmas

  3. Just a thimbleful...

    A great turorial as usual Gina, what a brilliant teacher you are! There was no doubt about you getting good marks for your last module - there would have been a riot if it had been otherwise. Have a wonderful Christmas.

    P.S. Have you had your eye to any keyholes recently?

  4. congratulations on your marks :) great little book, thanks for the tutorial.

  5. Well done gal, always knew it would come out the right way! And glad to hear that you are keeping up the Christmas tradition of failing white goods...

  6. WEll done on your excellent marks for your module. Many thanks for a great tutorial to find some paper! best wishes for a great Christmas to you all. Lesley

  7. Great tutorial! Thanks for taking the time to share it with us.

  8. What a fabulous tutorial Gina - these little books always seem beyond my skills but now I can have a go - thankyou so much!

    Congratulations on your marks - so well deserved. Hurray!

    We're off up North now until Boxing day. Have a wonderful Christmas, love, Emma xxxx

  9. LOVE this tutorial - will have to try it someday after the holidays.

  10. Great tutorial Gina, I shall bookmark it and hopefully make one in the New Year (if time allows) Jane x

  11. Please pop my name into the draw, I won't have time to make one of my own and I desperately need one of yours. Many congrats on good marks on your course, you worked so hard you certainly deserved them. Have a good Christmas and a very crafty New Year. Hugs X

  12. Congratulations on your module results, you can now approach Christmas with a warm fuzzy glow. Thank you for the tutorial, I love making books so will try this one out.

  13. Thanks for the tutorial, I shall have a go. Enjoy your Christmas.

  14. Well done on the results , thanks for tutorial, may try it after xmas
    Hope the eye gets better soon.
    Have a peaceful uneventful Christmas
    But would still like to be elegible
    for draw! Enjoyed xmas get together -thank you.

  15. WELL DONE YOU!!!! (Twice, once for the marks you got and the second time for taking the time to publish the tutorial). Please enter my name, I would love to win one. Hope your eye gets better.

  16. Yay for your results - am I allowed to say I'm not surprised you did so well? And thank you for a fabdiddlytastic tutorial. I can see some of these turning up as stocking stuffers on Friday (oh, who am I trying to kid?!)

    If it would help, you're more than welcome to nip over for a sneaky mince pie and stick your washing in my machine ...

  17. Thank you for your tutorial! I'm off to have a go...

  18. Sorry to hear your eye is bad again - but congrats on the great marks because your really deserve it. The work you have been producing lately looks amazing!

  19. This is just beautiful and a lovely clever idea. I would love to be included in the draw :)

  20. Never have I wanted to be picked so much by a drunken reveller!!

    Thanks for sharing, I might just try it when I find some time (not soon then!) from somewhere!

    Well done for impressing your tutor :-)

    Happy Christmas Gina xxx

  21. Love that book -- and what a great gift to you cyber friends. i think i'll give it a go.

    Good going on your marks -- congrats in order too.

    I just became a subscriber of Workshop on the Web and was so delighted to see you and your talent in the December issue. Good for me.

    Merry merry christmas to you and your family.

  22. Wonderful tutorial. I just got a book from the library about book making which had a book similar to this but didn't have the triangular folds on the accordian. But I like this method better. I'll have to try it. Merry Christmas!

  23. How generous you are - I would love my name to be put into the draw for that lovely little book. Your instructions are very clear but I am hopeless at measuring and folding accurately and would never get such a crisp finish. Do hope your eye will soon be better - have a lovely Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

  24. I'd really like to have a go at one of those little books, but will need to revisit the instructions when I'm not quite so full of festive 'cheer'! xx

  25. I would love to own the little book,but since I never seem to win give aways thank you so much for the instructions, Merry Christmas,

  26. Many congratulations on your marks! I'm sure there should never have been any doubt. :)

    I thought you were making boats at one point ;o) The tutorial is excellent but as I'm far too lazy, I mean, busy, I would love to be included in the dunken . Have a really lovely Christmas and I hope your eye feels better soon.

  27. Having struggled my way through posting a tutorial I am SO impressed with yours, it must have taken ages. I must have a go when I get home but for now I'm off to Rouen and grandsons for a few days, see you soon and have a wonderful Christmas! Please put me in your draw, Penny x(Planet Penny)

  28. I tried Miss, honest. I read every piece of the instructions, all the way through and everything but when I got to the bit about fold the upper left quadrant to the middle vector my eyes kind of crossed over in the middle and began to spin.

    I think I may handball this one across to Princess C-W and my assistant to do the clever fiddly bits.

    Hope your eye heals soonest.

  29. Thank you for the tutorial, what a lovely book! I shall be making more of your mince pies tomorrow, as the few that I had left are being taken to work by husband to share out!

  30. Congratulations... on the marks and for completing the tutorial with a poorly eye too!!
    Think i might have a go next week
    Hope you have a super duper Christmas
    Take care

  31. Congratulations on your good marks - of course you did! Thanks for the little book instructions - I think this would be a good snowed-in project for me!
    (Sorry about your eye and the washing machine ...)

  32. Hooray! I bought the paper, now I can make the book...well, after Christmas!
    Thank you so much, Gina, and brilliant news about your results.
    Have a wonderful Christmas with your drunken revellers!
    T x

  33. Good to know the degree is going so well. Sorry to hear that the eye infection is back again, not nice at Christmas! Will you have to get out the patch again? I'm going to give the book a go, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to win the prize. Have a good Christmas.

  34. What a brilliant tutorial Gina! I just love that paper so much! Well done on getting great marks - I'm not surprised at all! And I really hope your eye infection clears quickly.

    Have a really wonderful Christmas!!!

    Lots of love Lucy xxx

  35. Congratulations on your results - well done. Forget the washing have do something more interesting and what food you haven't got they cannot eat. The book is wonderful and I bet if I tried to make one it wouldn't look quite right so plse plse put me in the draw. Happy Christmas to all your family.

  36. A lovely project for me to try over the holiday. Many thanks.
    Please enter me in your draw.
    I'll pop you on my blog list on my blog as well.

  37. What a lovely little book - please put me in the draw. So sorry to hear about your domestic disasters! Hope all is sorted before Christmas. BY the way if there are any of those ultra tasty looking mince pies left you could mail me one!! I am the only person in my household who likes them and therefore we never have any!! I could not be so indulgent to make only me some!!

  38. Well done on the marks, its a great feeling isn't it! Thank you for the tutorial, lovely, lovely book!

  39. Thanks for the tutorial, it's really cute!

  40. Hi Gina! You poor thing! What with your eyes and my ears ... don't suppose the doc gave you ear drops? If so, we could do a swap!! Hope they are better soon. xxx

  41. Wishing your eye a swift return to health, ditto for your washing machine (I remember how the malfunctioning of mine threatened my sanity this summer!), a couple more weeks of heat from your boiler and a warm and joyful festive time with your loved ones and a very creative new year! (Will you manage to grab the new boiler scrappage scheme to help your household budget? Silver cloud? Hope so!)

  42. Thanks for the tutorial, and maybe after I finish some pressing things, I'll try it out...

    In the meantime, Me, Me, Pick ME!

  43. What a wonderful tutorial Gina, you're very generous with your time. I'd love to be entered in your draw to win your book as I can't see me making anything like such a good job of it as you have!
    Merry Christmas and I sincerely hope the boiler sees you through - I know from experience what it's like when these things go wrong, always at the wrong time!

  44. Thank you for a super tutorial.
    With very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year. Sheila

  45. Great little book! Thanks for the tutorial!

  46. Thanks for the tutorial, just in time for my C & G module.

  47. Gina been having a go at this tonight, did you have double sided paper? I have done mine and the insides are all white? am I right in saying I need paper with print on both sides?

  48. I got it !!!! Took me ages but I have a finished book :)

  49. Thankyou for posting this Gina. I'd love to have a go - would make nice presents for next Christmas!!!

  50. What a great idea! Thanks for finding and sharing the details. I'm always on the look out for new binding ideas, especially those that allow for flexibility in changing out the content.

  51. What a great tutorial. Will try to give it a go.

  52. A great tutorial. I'm going to try to make this and maybe use some as gifts for Christmas 2015.

  53. Yikes! I'm doing this with you at Cambourne tomorrow and now wish I hadn't looked at the tute first. 'Accuracy in cutting and folding' not my strong point, but really looking forward to it anyway! :-)


  55. great tutorial, love this idea, thanks


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