Make Folded Paper Books

Paper books are a fun, practical origami project.

Folded paper books are a very practical origami project. While cranes and flowers are primarily decorative, books can be used in a variety of ways. Make several of them with these simple instructions so you can keep some for yourself and give others as gifts.

How to Make Folded Paper Books

Change the color and texture of the scrapbook paper to give each of your hand-folded books its own unique cover.

Materials Needed

  • 9x12-inch blank sketch pad
  • White glue
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Thumbtack
  • Needle and thread

Instructions

  1. Remove pages: Open up a blank 9-by-12-inch sketch pad. Carefully pull pages out of the pad without tearing them. You will need eight pages total.
  2. Fold Pages: Fold the first page in half widthwise on a flat surface and crease sharply. Fold the paper in half again lengthwise and crease sharply. This piece of paper will make four pages in your book. Repeat with each of the seven remaining pieces of sketch pad paper.
    folded book step two
    Step two
  3. Assemble Pages: Place one of the folded sheets of paper in front of you and adjust it so its long crease is on the left and its shorter crease is on the top. Open the page up like a book and place three of the other folded sheets inside arranged in the same manner with a crease on top and on the left.
    folded paper book

    Step three
  4. Cut Pages: Apply a small bead of glue to the crease on the inside of the first sheet to attach the other sheets to the inside. Fold the first sheet over all the others and press firmly on the fold to set the glue in place. This is your first page group. Repeat this step with the remaining four sheets of sketch paper to make another page group. Place the first page group in front of you and draw a straight line using a ruler and a pencil across the top 1/4 inch from the edge. Repeat along the right side of the group. Use scissors to neatly cut through all the pages along these lines. This will remove the top crease and multiply the pages inside the group. Repeat with the second group of pages.
    paper book

    Step four, attach page groups.
  5. Cut Cover: Select a piece of scrapbooking paper to use as a cover for your book. Cut a piece of the paper to measure about 6x12 inches. Fold the sheet in half widthwise.
  6. Attach Pages: Open the cover up and apply a bead of glue on both sides of the center crease. Place both page groups inside the cover with the folded edge touching the glue. Fold the cover over both page groups and press down firmly. Allow the glue to dry, then cut off any sides of the cover that hang too far over the pages.
  7. Make Holes: Use a thumbtack to make holes on the left side of the book to use for binding. Make each hole through the cover and all the pages. The first hole should be 1/2-inch from the top and 1/2-inch from the side, the bottom should be 1/2-inch from the bottom and 1/2-inch from the side, and the third should be centered between the first two, and 1/2-inch from the side.
  8. Bind the Book: Thread some sewing thread through a needle. Insert the needle through the bottom hole, go through the center hole, then through the top hole. Pull the thread back down and go through the middle hole then back down to where you started at the bottom. Pull the thread tightly, cut off any excess, and tie the two ends together. Your book is now complete and ready to use.
paper book
Finished book cover

Book Making Tips

When learning how to make folded paper books, it's helpful to keep in mind a few basic tips:

  • As always, read all of the instructions before you begin your project. When making folded paper books, each step typically builds on the last. A small mistake in the beginning can easily throw off the whole project.
  • Remember that origami and other paper folding projects work best when you have sharp, crisp folds. Consider using a ruler or a bone folder purchased from your local craft store to go over your creases.
  • You should feel free to experiment with different types of papers to make your books. Origami paper, patterned scrapbook paper, and colored construction paper can all be used for book making projects. For a thrifty book cover, use a paper grocery bag or some wrapping paper saved from a gift you've received. If you're feeling extra creative, try making handmade paper to use in your book project.

Ideas for Using Folded Paper Books

Once you discover how much fun it is to make folded paper books, you may find yourself with a huge pile of books waiting to be enjoyed. Here are just a few project ideas you may wish to consider:

  • Use a folded paper book as a guest book for your next party. Have friends and family write messages or doodle pictures to make a fun keepsake from the event.
  • Make a unique favor for a child's birthday celebration by packaging blank books with a small set of crayons or some stickers.
  • Make a gift for someone by creating a "10 Things I Love About You" list within the pages of a folded book.
  • Create a mini scrapbook featuring photos of your loved ones.
  • Add your folded paper book to a full size 12x12 scrapbook layout to provide a space for extra photos or journaling from a special event.
  • Use a book as a place to store your favorite poems, quotes, or song lyrics.
  • Give a book to a child and have her use it to jot down a special story. Creating a one-of-a-kind book is a fun activity that's guaranteed to promote a love of reading and writing.

Everyone Can Be Creative

Take the time to be creative, it helps to ease tension and relax the mind and the body. Creating a paper book is a fun project for families to do together and provides a chance for self expression and sharing.

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Make Folded Paper Books