How to Bind a Book with an Accordion Fold Spine

You probably know how to make a book using an accordion fold. But do you know how to bind a book using an accordion-fold technique?

how to bind a book with an accordion spine
Keepsake Accordion book by Nikki Smith,
as seen in PAGES 2012.

I saw Nikki Smith use the technique to create handmade books with colorful envelopes as the pages. A narrow version of the accordion fold makes the spine to which the pagesin this case envelopesare attached.

This is a useful bookmaking technique for when you have completed pages that you want to bind, but you don't want to put holes in them.

How to make an accordion spine
(adapted from Nikki Smith's technique in Cloth Paper Scissors PAGES 2012)

Note: These directions are for a 13-page book. If your book has a different number of pages, you will need to adjust the length of the paper and the number of folds accordingly.

1. Cut the cardstock spine. The height should be the same as the length of the pages and should be 11" – 12" long.

2. Fold the cardstock in half so that the 2 short sides meet. Make a good crease with a bone folder and unfold the paper.

accordion fold book binding
The accordion-fold spine with the
flaps pointing up.

3. Measure to the left and right of the center fold in ½" (about 1 cm) increments, and mark with a pencil on the top and bottom. Make 12 evenly spaced marks on either side of the fold. You should have flaps (extra paper) remaining at both ends, approximately 1¼" wide.

4. Line up the ruler against the first set of top and bottom marks. With the point of the bone folder, score a line down the paper. Repeat for the other marks.

5. Fold the paper accordion style and crease the folds with a bone folder. You will now be able to glue your pages in the valleys of the accordion spine.

For information on how to assemble this Keepsake Accordion plus get other creative ideas for handmade books and art journaling, get your copy of PAGES 2012 now.

P.S. What's your favorite bookbinding technique? Do you tend to use the same one or vary it depending on what kind of book you're making? Leave your comment below!

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