Easy Bookmaking: How to Make a Mini Accordion-Fold Card

My older daughter is a total book nerd. She loves to read books, write in them ("journals" always make her birthday and Christmas lists), and recently has been learning the bookmaking process at school.

The easiest way to make a book:
a mini accordion-fold version.

She's in college, and while we do text, she also loves to send and get mail (told ya: nerd). So I like to make handmade cards to send her, which she saves. Today I'm making her a card that doubles as a sort of book–an accordion-fold mini-book.

You can make an accordion-fold book out of just about any kind of paper, but if you're going to add wet media, it's best to use something that holds up, like watercolor paper.

Cut the paper. I made mine 4" x 12", based on the watercolor paper I had.

Fold the paper. This is a cinch. To make an accordion fold, just pretend you're making a paper fan. Fold the paper over so that the short edges come together. Crease the fold with a bone folder or the back of a spoon. Fold one half of the paper back toward the fold and crease, then do the other half.

Create backgrounds. I freehand drew "frames" in each page with permanent marker, then applied a wash of fluid acrylics. I sprayed some alcohol inks over the paint and spatter-painted some purple paint here and there. When it was dry, I used a pencil to scribble inside the frames for one more layer of texture.

Add a focal point. Using background papers I'd already made on book pages, I cut out freehand hearts and glued them onto the pages, leaving room at the top for lettering.

Add a message. Inspired by lettering techniques I learned from Joanne Sharpe, I wrote out some words I hope will inspire my daughter. I drew the letters with a beveled Pigma SenseiTM pen, then added doodles with a fine-point Pigma pen.

You can decorate the back, write a message, or leave it blank. I'm going to paint the back, then fold it up and send it to my big girl with some Harry Potter stamps-to commemorate the book lover she is.

For more ideas on how to add creative lettering to handmade books, art journals, handmade cards, and more, be sure to get your copy of Joanne's book, The Art of Whimsical Lettering.

P.S. Do you still send real mail? How do you art it up? Leave your comments below.


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