I tend to go through craft phases. For a while it was knitting (I even had a knitting blog), then it was jewelry and soap making. There were some other phases in between, too.
One thing I was really into for a while was bookmaking. No, not gambling! Bookmaking, or bookbinding, is a really fun pastime, especially if you are creative. It’s a great way to use up beautiful papers and other unique craft supplies.
I still like to make books for special occasions, like my husband’s birthday or an anniversary. So I thought it would be fun to make an accordion book for Mother’s Day. Good news: I’m showing you how to make one, too!
Don’t be put off by all the steps, it’s easier than it looks. I went into a lot of detail just to make sure the directions were clear.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- mat board or book board
- craft knife
- decorative paper
- 2 sheets of 8.5 x 11 inch printer paper
- Mod Podge
- scissors (regular and decorative edge)
- foam paint brush
- bone folder
- photos and other memorabilia
- other decorative items, such as washi tape, clip art, punches, brads, stickers, markers, etc.
When I do a project like this, I raid my craft supplies and grab anything I think I might use!
Start with the cover. Measure and cut two 3 x 4 inch rectangles from the mat board. It’s important to have precise measurements, so measure carefully and use the ruler to guide your craft knife when cutting the mat board.
After you’ve cut out the covers, you’ll cover them in decorative paper. I like to use a really flexible paper (like rice paper), since it needs to be folded around the edges of the cover, but any flexible paper will work.
Cut two 4 x 5 inch rectangles from your decorative paper. With your foam brush, apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the back of one of the mat board covers.
Center the cover on one of the 4 x 5 inch rectangles. Flip it over and use your bone folder to smooth out out any bubbles from the paper.
Next, cut a wide “V” from all corners of the decorative paper (see lower left below). Don’t cut right up the the cover; leave about 1/4-inch of decorative paper at the foot of the “V”.
Working with one side at a time, apply a thin coat of glue to one of the flaps. Use the bone folder to fold the paper flap onto the cover. Smooth out any bumps or bubbles with the bone folder, and then fold up the extra 1/4-inch from the base of the “V”. Continue your way around the cover until all the flaps are glued and folded over.
Next, you’ll create the pages for your book. Cut 3 strips of paper measuring 3.75 x 11 inches from the printer paper. Again, make your cuts as straight as possible.
Take one strip of paper and fold it in half the long way (see upper left below). Use your bone folder to smooth the fold. Then, take one of the ends and fold it back toward the middle fold. Smooth it with your bone folder. Flip the paper over and repeat on the other side. Take your time and make the folds as straight and neat as possible.
Repeat with the other two strips of paper.
First, cut two 1-inch wide strips of decorative paper. The length doesn’t matter too much, it just needs to be taller than the height of your pages.
Draw a line down the middle of one of the strips, dividing it in half. Score the line with the tip of your bone folder, using the ruler as a guide (this helps to make a precise fold). Fold the strip in half and then go over the fold with the bone folder. Repeat with the other strip.
If you want, decorate the edges of the strips. I used a scissors with a scallop edge for mine.
Next, lay out your pages end to end (see second row right below). Make sure all the pages are laid out the same way; the ends of each accordion should be facing up.
Apply a thin layer of glue to the inverted side of one of the decorative strips, and then align the edge of one of the pages with the fold (the part that’s sticking up goes face-down into the fold). Press to attach it, and then repeat with the next section.
Flip the pages over and trim the decorative strip so it’s even with the page top. Attach the other strip the same way.
Start by attaching the ribbon to the back cover. Place a line of glue (it should be about as wide as the ribbon) across the middle of the back cover. Center the ribbon on the glue and press in place.
Then, cover the back of the last accordion page with a thin layer of glue. Make sure to put the glue on the side of the accordion without the decorative strip. Center the page on the cover, over the ribbon. Use the bone folder to smooth out any bumps or bubbles. Repeat on the other side of the book.
If you want, you can cover the end pages with decorative paper like I did below (bottom right). Just cut the paper slightly smaller than your cover and glue it on.
You could stop there, but decorating the pages is the really fun part. I’m used a combination of decorative paper, photos, clip art, washi tape, brads (“mom” below), and anything else fun that I could find. Get creative!
I used this Mother’s Day clip art for my cover. If you need inspiration for decorating your pages, just Google “accordian book”. You’ll be amazed at all the ideas!
Are you making anything for your mom this Mother’s Day?
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my Mother’s Day Gift Guide!
I’m linking up with these link parties, as well as Create & Share, Work It Wednesday, Creative Inspirations, Create It Thursday, Pin It Thursday, Link’n Blogs, Flaunt It Friday, Craft Frenzy Friday, Be.You.Tiful, Inspire Me Please, Fridays Unfolded, Frugal Friday, Link Party Palooza, Best of the Weekend, Say G’Day Saturday, Link It or Lump It, The DIY’ers, Much Ado About Monday, Inspire Me Tuesday, The Scoop, Awesome Things Tuesday, and Make Bake Create.
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase something from one of these links, I may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you). I only recommend products that I love, and your purchase helps to support the free content offered on Hello Little Home (thank you so much!).