Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Folded Book Tips from Stephanie Pounds

As promised in my previous post about the altered Peace book by Stephanie Pounds of Etsy shop Reading with Scissors, today she answers questions about book folding.

A bit of background information... it was less than a year ago when Stephanie began eying books in a new way after being inspired by projects she saw in A Repurposed Library.

Folded Book Flower Bouquet

What were some of your earliest projects?

Initially I made vases made out of books and filled them with flowers I created from the cut pages. The first time I saw a folded book, I was doing a search for book origami and ran across the work of Isaac Salazar. I dropped my eye teeth... I didn't know it was possible to do that to a book! I started looking for tutorials and found some written by Heather Eddy. Good stuff and she has been a great mentor to me.

Folded Book Flower Arrangement
This bouquet was made of illustrated pages torn from Reader's Digest Condensed Books, favorites of Stephanie because of their gilded edges. 

You're able to do both block and cursive word folded books. Is it more difficult to fold scripted words?

Folded Books - Boomer Sooner
Oklahoma school spirit

After I learned the basics, I decided to see if I could build my own patterns. I'm a program manager in the training department of a Fortune 10 company and I spend a lot of time in spreadsheets. I realized I could use Excel to build my templates and patterns and use pretty much any font I wanted - cursive, block, and otherwise, as long as the word would fit within the number of pages available in the book. 

Folded Book - Read

That's the most time consuming part of it... counting pages, both in the book and pattern, resizing the font, and counting again until it fits. To be honest, I'm still experimenting with fonts to see which ones look best when folded, but the Peace font is a particular favorite. Most of the words I have folded with that font have big looping capitals, like R, P, and B, that really display well.

Folded Book Jane Austen Silhouette

I noticed on your blog that you've been trying your hand at silhouettes too!

Yes, I realized that using Excel to build patterns meant that I could fold pictures. You'll see in one of my Halloween posts where I folded a spider and I've also done several silhouettes like the one in my blog header. That's one area I'd like to explore more in the new year.

Folded Book Silhouette
Stephanie's husband, aka Captain America on her blog

A silhouette is different than folding words because when you're done, it still needs to look like the person. Words can expand or squish and usually you can still read them, but when silhouettes do that it doesn't look like the subject at all. It becomes more of an art (i.e. experiment - ha!) to get it right.

Folded Book Woman in Chair
Woman Reading in Chair

So as you can see, Stephanie has lots of good ideas. You might enjoy reading about the ways she incorporated books into the sweets table at her son's recent wedding on her often humorous blog Reading with Scissors.

Folded Book Couple Silhoutette
Dualsil - Stephanie's first silhouette project

Here are several links if you'd like to pursue book folding further:

Heather Eddy shares folding patterns on her blog and sells detailed tutorials in her shop Rhymes with Magic.

Sophia of the blog Whimsy Willow shows how to make a folded book wall hanging.

Dorisse of Paper Statement offers a pdf for making folded ornaments.

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iHanna said...

Wow! Such cool book sculpture, amazing work!

Angel Tousignant said...

Super,c'est magnifique et original. J'aime beaucoup.

Maureen said...

Very talented! Her creations are wonderful to see.

SUGANTHI said...

When her folded letters are amazing , her silhouettes are unbelievable. woman in a chair looks amazing and I really enjoyed her spider post.

Isabelle said...

Wow! Really amazing! Happy Christmas (slightly belated).

beatriz said...

Fantastic, amazing, 350% creative!

Karin Rowe said...

holy goodness, my super sooner husband wants me to buy those books... are they for sale?!

Ann Martin said...

Hi Karin, yes they are! Stephanie has several Oklahoma University motifs to choose from:

Eileen Ng said...

Fantastic selections! You are always showcasing so much talent and inspiration--many thanks! Have a warm and happy new year!

CraftyRichela said...

I LOVE these book sculptures and repurposing of the text pages into art.

Anonymous said...

Can you please explain how to use a spreadsheet to create patterns? Or write an ebook? I would buy it!

Tonja Bolding said...

I am also interested in purchasing instructions to make names and words. Please contact me at: if you decide to sell them.

Faitmain-Faitcoeur said...

Don't purchase !
You can find a free tuto on my website, and now it's also in english !
Enjoy !

Anonymous said...

Hi there I was wondering if you could send me a template for all the letters please? I'm wanting to do some bookart for my Grandchilds room. Her name is Sophia. Thank you Kind Regards Jo

Ann Martin said...

Hi Jo, I'm not aware of any letter template sets available for free online, but Heather Eddy sells instant download patterns in her Etsy shop:

Anonymous said...

Hi I was also wondering if you could email the templet for the letters "B&S" I have a wedding coming up, and I think this is the CUTEST idea ever!
Thank you so much! =)

Anonymous said...

Hey can you please email me the following template for my 1st anniversary date: 15.10.13
my email:
thank you very much

Matthew Davies said...

try thousands of completely free patterns there.

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