No-Sew Books: Folded-Over Accordion

This is one of the simplest books to make, and requires little more than some folding and cutting. It’s so easy, in fact, that you may have made them as a project in elementary school. I can remember some coloring-book version that I put together as a five-or-six-year-old.

You can start off with any size of paper and fold into pretty much whatever fractions you’d like. For simplicity’s sake, however, I’ll explain eighths. Also, I’ll be using scrap paper, because I’m eco-friendly (cheap?) and recycle and stuff.

Basically, fold your paper in half, and then in half again. This will make fourths. Then fold it in half once more for eighths. Yay, we can calculate exponential numbers!

I prefer to make each fold on its own, as that means that each fold will be more precise and your chances of ending up wonkified are decreased.

Making a folded accordion book by hand.

Folding with uber accuracy!

1) After I make the first fold in half (lengthwise), I will unfold it.

2) Then I will fold each side in on itself to meet in the middle crease I just made, and crease those folds as well.

3) Then I unfold it and fold it half the other direction (widthwise).

After you have your paper in eighths, you’ll want to lay it flat. Now comes the hard part, ok? So pay extra attention and be super careful.

Alright, now you cut up the middle crease, lengthwise, three quarters of the way. So, essentially, it will look like the general shape of a pair of pants. See below.

Making an accordion book by hand.

Make and fold your paper pants.

I know. Very difficult.

Then you just fold it over, alternating which direction you fold in, and leaving the middle part folded over, annnnd voila! You have yourself a no-sew accordion book.

Make an accordion book by hand.

The final product. Fancy, huh?

To make an accordion with a paper you’ve folded more, just follow the same instructions. But, cut down one crease, then move down to the next crease and start on the other side and cut in (see below).

I don’t make many accordions, but they are a lot of fun for some types of projects, especially those that benefit from a run-on sort of feeling. The nice thing about these is that you can unfold them and see all the pages at once.

An excellent project might be a timeline of a vacation or international trip. They make super cute gift photo albums—just make some strategically-placed notches in your pages and slip the corners of the photo in. I’ve also seen them used as catalogues, for collections of stamps or leaves. As I mentioned, they also make great projects for kids—they’ll love it.

Happy bookmaking!

5 thoughts on “No-Sew Books: Folded-Over Accordion

  1. I love the website and the name! I’m so glad you’re doing something you love. And, thank you for starting with a project my children and I can easily do! Can’t wait to see what else you post here!

  2. Pingback: Making books with Children, Bookbinding for kids: Simple Notebook | Handmade Library

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