The Accordion Fold

We all remember the little paper fans we made to cool off on hot summer days when we were kids . . .

Fast forward many years, and make that same fan, but put it to use in a new way: book making.

The pages in this book (left), made by Alice Harrison for the 2011 issue of Pages, are made from one sheet of paper accordion folded, with covers attached at either end.

In the 2012 issue of Pages, Nikki Smith shows readers how she used an accordion-folded paper to bind her book.

The pages of Nikki's book are envelopes, inserted and glued into the accordion-folded paper.


Gina Kim took the fold a little further in the Summer 2013 issue of Pages. 

Gina created her journal pages separately and then bound them into a book. She used an accordion-folded paper for the binding, stitching her colorful pages into the folds.

Three different artists putting their personal spin on a basic binding technique. 

Do you bind your own journals and books? If so, what's your favorite, simple binding method? Leave us a comment.


Blog, Handmade Books

2 thoughts on “The Accordion Fold

  1. Hi!
    I enjoy making hand-made paper books. This is the easiest and quickest method of making them that I know of.
    I gather the pages together, with with the art-work on them or just left blank. Then put a weight on the stack of pages to keep them aligned and level.
    Using a stiff paintbrush &( PVA )glue I paste the spine edges of the sheets together, squeezing the glue into the edges of the pages with the brush and/or thumbs. It doesn’t matter if the edges get a bit mushy either as this just helps to bind the pages/spine together.
    Leave at least 24 hrs to dry completely.
    For the cover I usually use thick ‘grayboard’ or re-cycled thick card. Front & back pieces I cut just a little bigger than the pages, and spine same height and just over width of the stack of papers. I usually cover the 3 book-cover pieces in a vintage or floral theme fabric. Finally I attach the pages ‘spine’ to the book-cover inner spine using PVA. When dry I use fabric strips (glued on) to reinforce the joints of the cover (either side of spine), then cover the inner book covers & 1st & last pages with a complimentary fabric or paper. Done!
    (‘I’d love to know if anyone has tried this’)
    River x

  2. Hi!
    OOps! This is a method I use for ordinary page books (not accordion), I put it in the wrong place. Although you could still use this method, washi tape or stick up the bottom edge of each folded ‘page’ and use each page as a pocket for photos, tags, etc.


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