How to Make an Accordion-Style Book
Try your hand at a hand-bound accordion book, embellished with metal and ribbon.
Materials and Tools:
2 pieces of 6" x 6" book board or thick cardboard
6" x 24" watercolor paper
2, 8" x 8" handmade paper
12" length of ribbon
3" x 3" thin cardboard
3-1/2" x 3-1/2" watercolor paper
4" x 4" sheet of 30-gauge embossing aluminum, silver*
24 black photo-mounting corners
guillotine paper cutter
metal straight edge
*Do not use foil for the embossing aluminum.
Inside pages (the accordion fold)
- Fold a piece of watercolor paper in half, creasing it with a bone folder.
- Fold the top piece back toward the centerfold and crease with a bone folder. Turn the paper over and fold the edge toward the centerfold, creasing with the bone folder. You will have three creases in the paper in a zigzag or accordion fold. Note: As an alternative, fold the entire sheet of watercolor paper, then cut to size using a guillotine paper cutter or cut the paper before folding.
Assemble book covers
- Apply glue to one piece of the book board with a glue stick. Glue it to the center of the wrong side of one piece of handmade paper.
- Miter the corners of the paper and glue them to the inside of the book board with a glue stick.
- Fold the edges of paper over the book board and glue down with a glue stick.
- Repeat the process for the back cover.
- Apply glue to one side of the selected ribbon.
- Place the ribbon on the front cover.
- Wrap the ribbon around to the inside of the cover.
- Repeat the process on the back cover.
Add inside pages
- Apply glue to the inside front page of the accordion and glue it to the front cover, smoothing with a bone folder.
- Glue the back page of the accordion to the back cover.
- Fold a paper towel into quarters. Place the aluminum sheet on top of folded paper towel. This makes a cushion for embossing the metal.
- Reversing the design, place a paper template of the letter of the alphabet in the center of the aluminum sheet. With a pencil, trace around the design on the sheet of aluminum. Fill in around the embossed letter by freehand drawing leaves and flowers using a ballpoint pen.
- Fold the aluminum sheet around the thin piece of cardboard, mitering the corners and folding the excess to the back of the cardboard.
- Smooth out any rough edges with a bone folder.
- Glue the aluminum piece on top using hot glue.
- Attach photos to the inside pages using photo mounting corners.
Karen Hendrickson-Santospago, Boston