DIY: Folded Paper Books

by Jenn @ Frugal Upstate on September 22, 2010

I have been fascinated this year with the idea of crafting with old books, magazines & junk mail to make functional or decorative items. There is just something alluring about the idea of making beauty out of  what some would call junk. . . part recycling, part artistry~but completely “one of a kind”.

The first things I tried was book folding, which is, oddly enough, exactly what it sounds like.  You simply fold the pages of books in a repetitive pattern to make them into object d’art.

different types of folded books

Folded books

Aren’t they interesting looking?  The one in the back-the sort of 3d Diamond or double cone-is what I’ll show you in this tutorial.

1. Choose a book to fold. Cheap is good-this cost me $.25 at a yard sale.

2. Rip off the front & back covers, then make your first fold-in this case a triangle

3. Make any additional folds in the page. We fold the top down as well to complete the triangle.

4. Repeat.

5. Repeat again.

6. Repeat yet again.

Completed Folded Book

7. Until all pages are done!

This very simple pattern used the entire novel and took me about 2 hours to fold mindlessly while watching TV.

To make this version:


You simple fold the point of the triangle you formed in toward the spine of the book.  This makes each folded page thicker-so you will either have a tighter book or just cut of the end of the book & use it for something else.

The patterns are only limited by your imagination.  You can fold every other page in a different direction for multiple shapes.  I’ve considered brushing the edges of the book with paint or ink to give it more depth & color as well.

They can be displayed individually on shelves, or in a grouping as a centerpiece.  Have fun with it!

For a much more elaborate folded book-check out this one on Grand Illusions-they even have a video!

So what do you think? Do I have you itching to start folding?

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