How to Make Accordion-Fold Books


An accordion-fold book is a simple book with its inside pages folded back and forth -- much like the bellows of an accordion -- sandwiched between two sturdier covers. Because of its design, the book can stand up on its own to display each page, making it ideal for holding photos or artwork. Choose colors and patterns that coordinate with your decor; add photos for a mini album; or let your kids pick the papers to create their own coloring books. An accordion-fold book can be used in a variety of ways.

Things You'll Need

  • 24-by-12 inch sheets of paper
  • 1 to 2 12-by-12 inch sheets of decorative paper
  • Cardboard or book board
  • Bone folder
  • Xacto knife
  • Scissors
  • PVA glue
  • 24 inches of ribbon

Make the Accordion-Fold Inside Pages

  • Select a size (width and length) for the inside pages of your book. For a 6-by-6 inch book, cut the 24-by-12 inch sheets of paper in half horizontally to create 24-by-6 inch sheets. Fold over one end of your first sheet of paper by 6 inches.

  • Continue to fold the sheet of paper back and forth by alternating the direction of the fold each time, using the first fold as a guide. Fold additional sheets of paper in the same manner until you have your desired number of 6-inch square pages.

  • Apply adhesive to the last page of the first sheet of paper and place it carefully onto the first page of the second sheet of paper with the edges lined up exactly. Make sure the folds are going in opposite directions for the continuity of the accordion-folding. Use a bone folder to smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles and let the glue dry completely.

  • Attach additional sheets of folded paper in the same manner, making sure to alternate the direction of the folds so that you end up with one long strip of accordion-folded paper.

Make the Front and Back Covers

  • Measure two covers from cardboard or book board and add 1/2 inch to the length and width. Cut out the covers using an Xacto knife.

  • Trace the covers onto decorative paper and add 1 inch to each side. Cut out the traced covers.

  • Apply adhesive to the back of the decorative paper and carefully center the covers on the glue. Use the bone folder to smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles.

  • Trim each decorative paper corner diagonally using the corners of the covers as a guide. With the covers facing down, apply glue to the remaining strips of paper on each side and fold them over the back of the covers. Use the bone folder to smooth out the paper, and let the adhesive dry completely.

  • Adhere one of the covers to the front of the folded pages. Center a 24 inch long ribbon horizontally across the back page; then attach the second cover. Tie the ends of the ribbon in a bow over the front cover to hold the book together; trim the ends of the ribbon to the desired length.

Tips & Warnings

  • For a book intended to stand up to display photos or artwork, use a heavyweight paper or card stock for the inside pages.
  • Book cloth is a durable alternative to using decorative paper on the covers. Book cloth is a soft, paper-backed cloth often used in book binding.

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