At last, the concertina book (or accordion book) tutorial folks have been asking for! Keep in mind there are much more intensive and exacting ways to make these little books (for example, with acid free materials and reinforced corners); This is meant to be a quick, fun and inexpensive little project.
Cut the sheet as shown in the diagram, then fold each half into three panels. Once folded, they’ll end up about 4″ x 4 1/2″ in size.
Take your two folded pieces and glue them together. You can do this with as many sheets as you like, depending on how many pages you want in your book.
To glue the pieces together, apply the tacky glue and spread it to prevent lumps. Make sure you get glue to the corners and edges (I’m going to say that a lot).
Glue the panels together as shown. You can add as many pages as you want this way. In the photo below right, I’m burnishing the pages by gently scraping my ruler over the stack. This helps keep things flat.
Now you’re ready to make your front and back covers. Start by cutting out your cardboard and fabric.
For cardboard, I use old sketchpad backings—the thicker ones. It should be pretty sturdy so your covers won’t flop or curl. If you’re concerned about durability, ask at the art supply store for acid free card stock.
The card should be 1/8″ bigger than the pages on each side, so for this project cut it to 4 1/4″ x 4 3/4″.
For the fabric, you need an extra 1/2″ on each side, so cut it to 5 1/4″ x 5 3/4″. This part isn’t rocket science; You don’t need to be super precise, but make sure you have at least 1/2″ of extra fabric.
Pour the glue on the card and spread it as shown. The corners and edges are the most important.
Place the card sticky side down on the back of the fabric. Always glue flat items from the edge first. This gives you a fairly good idea of position before you’ve got the whole thing stuck down. Then gently burnish away any lumps or bubbles.
Cut away the corners of the fabric. Cut at a slight angle so your flaps are tapered as in the photo below right.
Add glue to one edge of the card, and spread it toward the corners and edge.
Gently pulling the fabric to take up all slack, pull the flap over the edge of the card and press it down.
Once all the edges are down, your cover is done! Repeat these steps for the second cover. Then you are ready to attach the pages.
Apply and spread the glue to the front page (that’s called the end page in bookbinding lingo).
Attach the glued end page to the ugly side of your covered cardboard. Again, start by placing down only the edge. Once it’s down, give it a burnishing.
Repeat with the second cover, and you are done!
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