How to Fold Book Pages into Letters – Recycled Book Art Ideas

journals and art books

How to Fold Book Pages into Letters and other recycled book art ideas. Fancy giving this as a wedding gift? A ‘You & Me’ or ‘Mr and Mrs’ …Happily Ever After- sign folded from a vintage book. These will look good on bookshelves or fill-out a bedroom mantel.

How to Fold Book pages into Letters -  Recycled Book Art Ideas -

Book Art as Gifts

Vintage books can also easily be transformed into a graduation gift, when it reads a meaningful word for that occasion. Like .. Dream. Or, recycle your own favourite children books and create this bunny which would make an adorable piece of bedroom decoration.

How to fold a book in letters -
Photo credits: – Photos of book art @ Brighton Open Market, June 2015

How to Fold Books into Letters

Folding books into letters is easy! At first, it’s time consuming. Yes. The first one takes hours… but the next book takes half that time, and the one after that even less and so on and so forth. I can explain to you how it’s done with a simple 1,2, 3 step by step set of instructions. Then, I think it’s best to review the video tutorial below which shows you in detail how to fold book into letters.

Book Folding Terminology

Let’s start with common book folding terms. There are a few things you need to know when it comes to book folding, as most patterns refer to this:

  • What is MMF in book folding? MMF – This stands for measure, mark and fold.
  • There’s a few abbreviations you need to know before you start book folding. These terms you’ll see in most book folding patterns and they’re much simpler than they look.
  • What is an 180 Fold? To make a 180 fold, you fold every page towards the spine before marking and cutting. It’s an extra step, not all book folding tutorials refer to it.
  • What is a Combi Fold in book folding? Easy. After measuring and marking, fold your first and last page to 45 degree angle instead of straight.
  • And Shadow Folding? That is to create a shadow on your design and you do this by, leaving every other page unmarked.

How to Fold Books into Letters – Step-by-step Tutorial

Step 1. Choose a book with 6-700 pages for a complete folded set of letters such as Mrs and Mr, or a 200 page book to make a large monogram. Print out the letters that you wish to fold, go at least 200 dpi in your print. Print landscape for long words and portrait for small words or monograms. Ensure that the letters of your work are exactly the size you would like them to be in the book.

Prep your book by giving a pencil or exacto knife tick-mark on the top and the bottom of the pages at the 1”  or 1.25” mark from the spine of the book. Do not fold all the way back to the spine or the book will not stay open nicely.

Step 2. Create a little ledge on your page with your printed word on it, and hang that page off the second page off the book, at the first little portion of the letter. Pay attention to detail at the beginning as everything will follow from that first fold.

Step 3. Fold the top point till the top point of your first letter, and the bottom corner of the page till the bottom of that first bit of the first letter. When done, add a tick mark on your computer printout template to mark that you have folded that section and go on to the next. However, don’t worry about the top and the bottom of the book page, only on the top and the bottom of the letter. Repeat till all letters are done.

Tips on How to fold a Book into Letters

1. This video shows clearly how to do letters like E, with three horizontal sections in the letter: do the top, middle and bottom part sequentially.

2. you don’t need to leave extra pages to indicate the spacing between the letters. Instead, just continue doing letter after letter.

3. If you have a long word you may wish to cut off the first few letters of your template so as to make it easier to manage.

4. If you start with a soft cover book, put pieces of cardboard on the  inside of the front and the back cover of the book. Then, you can add nice contrast colored paper… say, red!…to have your letters stand out more.

5. You should also embellish your book art project with a bit of decoration of the outside cover, Keep it to  a minimum however and ensure that it supports the theme of the folded letters.

6. If you have pages left over and your word is finished. Not to worry. Simply cut off the outer part of the pages (1/2 of all extra pages) and glue these pages on the front of the letter, so that it is balance. Trust me, that will look fabulous.

All easy to accomplish, and good to know.

Video Tutorial on How to Fold a Book into Letters

How to fold Books into Shapes, such as A Bunny and other Animals

Actually, folding book pages into a bunny is perhaps even simpler than into a word with many letters. What you need is a template. To get you going, I am giving you a freebie today: my bunny shape – book folding template. Use it to create a bunny book.

Vintage book pages folding art - bunny template by FineCraftGuild.comVintage book art bunny template

How to make a Bunny Book

What you want to do is, with a software like Photoshop, or even in Word, is create X lines over your entire shape. With X being the number of pages of the book you wish to fold.

Line up and secure the template on the top of your book, fold the pages, one by one, using the shape as a guide. Tick-mark each line on your template when you have made that particular fold. That way you can easily keep track of where you are.

The more pages you have, the more detailed your work can be. Start of with a small and easy project. This is not a quicky.

How to use a Book Folding Template

Receive your free downloadable bunny template for book page folding as part of your automatically welcome-package when you sign up for our (very infrequent!) newsletter. Sign up on the top right of this page. After submitting your signup request, you’ll get an automatic confirmation email. Click the link in that email and you’ll immediately receive a great overview with lots of free patterns and templates in your mail box. Look in your promotion or update mailboxes if you can’t find it in your inbox.

Don’t forget to PIN this article to your Pinterest boards, so you don’t lose it!

How do you make a cut and fold book pattern?

Obviously you can make your own pattern. I particularly heard people ask ‘How do I make a book folding pattern in Word?’ I’ll answer that in the following sections.

How Many Pages do you Need for Book Folding?

How many pages do you need for book folding?” – well that depends on the number of letters you need. So, how many book pages do you need per letter? A good rule of thumb is 35 pages, or more if you want more detail. Some say you need at least 400 pages for a 4 letter word. Remember that a book with 400 pages, gives you only 200 foldable sheets.

I’d look for books that have 300+ pages, and you’ll probably have the flexibility you need. It’s easy to remove some excess pages from the front/back of your book if you have too many. But you can’t really work with books that don’t have enough pages! So, go for more pages, rather than less.

Digital Set up for Book Page Folding

Another question I get a lot: I don’t have Photoshop. What can I use instead? You can use MS Word also. Not perfect, but do-able:

Step 1: Set up your page in Landscape.

Step 2: Write the word you wish to fold.

Step 3: Choose ‘Format word art’ > Fill > fill effects > Apply a picture.

Use a striped picture.

Have fun folding!


Free Book Folding Tree Pattern

These are just so lovely.

For those new in the world of book folding. They teach you all the basics including how to an alternative for counting pages, adding a ribbon, multi-line folding, and much more. They have a whole blog post full of templates including the tutorial for these tree book folding pattern.

Book Folding Pattern for Decorative Ornaments

By  Jen from Frugal State

3D Book folding patterns for Decorative Ornaments. For a holiday display, spray paint the edges of your shapes in warm gold and other colours to match your seasonal decor.

More Recycled Book Art Ideas

Love paper art? We have loads more recycled book art ideas for you here at FineCraftGuild.

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