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 folded book patterns.

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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Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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