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.
Love it… thanks so much for the videos… The only thing I didn’t get is do u fold the Black line and than the White (space between 2 black lines) and than Black again or do you only do the Black lines?
Black and white. You can see the tick marks on all the stripes if you look closely.
Hello! I am so excited to try this. I was looking for the perfect idea for an anniversary gift for my husband. And as the 1st Anniversary is paper… this is perfect! However I don’t have access to Photoshop and as I just had back surgery I’m not able to go many places. I was hoping if you have the time if you could make a template for our anniversary date. 04·18·14
I plan to pick up my books from the thrift store as I’m on disability and don’t have much money. So I can find any size book. I would like it to be very defined so I plan on finding a book with many pages. I can even pick up the books first if you need to know the size.
I thank you for your time and understand if you are unable to help. Thank you! Again, I love these!
She has some pre made backgrounds for different sized books on her site
Hope it’s not too late 🙂
Tem que achar a bandeirinha brasileira no fim (baixo) da pagina.
I have a book with 1030 pages and I wanna do the words with 7 letter. So which mean I need to make 1030 stripes for that right. Please advice cos this is my first time trying this. Thank you.
1030 numbered pages means you have 515 foldable pages, so you’ll need a template with 515 stripes (counting both black and white).
Just had my first attempt at a folded book with my daughter’s name. Bit off with the spacing before and after due to the number of pages not quite tallying with your templates but proper chuffed with the result! Thanks for the tutorials. Just gotta practice now. Any advice about numbers of pages and centring the design with “spare” pages spaced evenly at each end? Many thanks
I’d love to see a picture. That may help me guide you. My main question is, did you remove the spaces between the letters when you made the template? Make sure you use all the stripes in the template for the word (although I like to use less than the total number so I do have a few pages left at the beginning and end). Cheers.
I really liked your idea and decided to try it myself. i don’t have photoshop but i printed the 600 page background and added ‘16.08.14’ with Word Art. It seemed fine at first but as I finished the number ‘1’ it didn’t look like it at all.
I tried to see what i did wrong and follow your instructions but that didn’t help neither. I wasted 4 books already just after I finish the number ‘1’ because of the same mistake.
do you by any chance make these and send them through mail? I’ll pay you through paypal.
Are you doing all of the following:
1. folding the top of the page back and using that to “hook” the pattern to the top of the book with each fold?
2. folding on both the black and the white stripe?
3. leaving no empty pages between numbers/letters?
I think so. I followed every step from your videos. I’ll try to do one book with a simple letter and ill see what happens. Do you fold both edges of the black or white strip ? Meaning you fold first at the top on a black stripe (the left side of it) then at the bottom on the black strip again, and than at the top you use the same black stripe again but on the right side of it?
You only need count each stripe once. Fold one top and bottom for black, move to the next white stripe and fold top and bottom, then move to the next black, etc. Just be sure you are hooking the top of the page to the top of the book or it won’t look like anything. Let me know how it goes!
I was wondering if at all possible if you have a pattern for a kangaroo or if you can explain to me how to change a silhouette of a kangaroo into a pin stripe pattern to print out to follow to do a book fold as I would like to do a few designs that I cant find a template for online anywhere. ive tried to change a picture that I have into pin stripes using photoshop elements but I cant manage it. if you could help it would make me a very happy person