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Susan Elijas: Handmade accordian book - 14 May

This folding book is really simple to construct - it zig-zags like an accordion so can stand on its own or fold neatly into its detachable cover. This book is perfect for use as a photo album or memento of a special occasion, especially as you can create 'pockets' in which to slip treasures.

You will need
Cutting board
Metal ruler 
Craft knife 
Glue stick
Light card or black album paper
Two heavy pieces of card for cover 
Paper to cover the cover
Embellishments as desired: photos, memorabilia etc

1. Decide on the size you would like your book to be: if displaying photos, then make your measurements about 1cm wider and longer than the photo. Square books look great too!

2. Cut a long strip of card at the height you want your book to be. If you want pockets, add the extra height to your measurement before you cut. Then score and fold the bottom part up.

3. Fold the strip into zigzags according to your desired width. (Folding is easier if you score the card lightly with the wrong side of your craft knife first.)

4. If you want more pages in your book, cut another long strip and place the two pieces beside each other. Apply glue to a thin strip of card or paper and place this underneath the join. Fold the edges over to strengthen the join. When dry, score this piece lightly so that it folds easily.

5. You will probably have a shorter 'fold' left over at one end: don't worry - the first and last folds will slide away into the cover.


1. Cut two pieces of heavy card the same height and width as your pages.

2. To cover each piece of the cover, cut two pieces of paper:
- One will be the same width as your cover, but add 5 cm to the top and bottom measurements
- One will be the same height as your cover but add 5 cm to each side.

3. Take the tall piece of paper.  Fold it over the piece of cardboard and attach with tape at the top and bottom. 

4. With the wide piece of paper, fold it around the cardboard on the other side, and slide the folds into the gap.

5. Do the same with the other cover board.

6. Make a spine by cutting a piece of cardboard the same height as your cover. Allow about 1cm width for the spine (more if your book is thicker) and add 5cm to either side. Score and fold into a 'U' shape.

7. Slide the spine into the front and back cover.

8. Slide the first fold of your 'pages' into the front cover and the last fold into the back cover. If you have an extra fold the book may open the wrong way: either add one more fold or cut one off.

9. Embellish your front cover: use paper, fabric, buttons, quotes, beads, let your imagination go wild!

Use this idea to create: 
a photo album
a farewell card with lots of room for signing
a gift book with vouchers in each pocket
a signing book at a special occasion, with pages tagged for photos to be added later

If you get stuck, feel free to email Susan at , or send me a photo - I'd love to see how you get on!

Have fun,