If you’ve ever seen books with the pages folded into the shape of words and wondered how the heck it’s done, here is one method. I’ve seen methods that use precise mathematical calculations for each page and the use of a ruler for each fold.
Thanks to my laziness, I came up with this simpler method for folded book art.
The first video shows my method of making a pattern in Photoshop before I discovered how to make stripes automatically in Photoshop. Tedious, but still faster than the “correct” method. The second video explains an even better shortcut to making a word pattern in Photoshop. And by the way, you can make a pattern for any design (well, almost any). It doesn’t have to be a word. The third video shows in detail how I use the patterns to actually fold a book.
How to Make a Folded Book Pattern
Simpler way to Make Stripes in Photoshop
After making the video above, I got a ton of questions. So I made another video to answer those questions:
Detailed Book Folding Tutorial
One of the most frequent questions I get is “how many pages per letter do I need?”
The answer is at least 35 folds per lower case letter, which means 70 page numbers per letter. Caps will use more folds, and “i” and “l” will use fewer. But that’s a general guide. I prefer to have 40 folds per letter as that gives you a cleaner image.
If you don’t have Photoshop, you can still make a pattern–even by hand–using my striped backgrounds. Below are links to several striped backgrounds for books with 352, 462, 550, 616 and 792 pages. Just print a word or draw a design on the pattern that most closely matches the book you have, and then follow the folding instructions in my first video. The links to the backgrounds are here: 352 Pages, 462 Pages, 550 Pages, 616 Pages, 792 Pages.
How do you put in the amount of pages into photoshop to get the right layout for the letters? Thanks so much
There is no way to do that. You need to count the letters, know how many folds the whole word will take (35 to 50 folds per letter, depending on how detailed YOU want it to be) and then fiddle with the stripes to get the total number of stripes that you need.
I am so excited to try this! I have already made one by folding the pages into triangles and I can’t wait to try it this way! If you could though, can you please make a template for READ, I can’t figure out how to. (The book is 318 pages if that matters) Thanks! 🙂 I understand if you can’t.
Thank you, that did help. I used your numbers above and there are about 20 lines per letter. What is the trick to change this based on your book size? Thanks again for your helpful advice.