I want to share with you a technique I stumbled upon a year or so ago for a quick, easy, and very versatile accordion book. I had made a few attempts at creating an accordion book prior to this and was always put off by the fussy paper folding and gluing. And then when complete, the finished product was always a little bit lopsided or flimsy. That all changed when I decided to use pre-cut cards for the book. With those inexpensive beauties in hand, the project came together quickly and with stellar results.
For this project you will need the following:
- Pre-cut and scored cards
- Double-sided tape or roll-on adhesive
- Paper cutter
- 1 piece of patterned paper
- 1 piece of coordinating card stock
1. The first thing you need to do is to carefully fold your cards. Don’t mess around with this step. The whole point of using the professionally cut and scored cards is that they are perfectly cut. I don’t know about you, but I can’t cut or score a perfectly straight line with my paper cutter, and in this project the less than perfect lines will yield a lopsided finished product.
So take your time and make sure the edges of the cards match up perfectly before you crease the fold.
The number of cards you use is totally up to you. You can use as many or as few as you’d like. I chose to use six cards which yields 12 pages. With 12 pages I can make a calendar, a photo album documenting the first year of my son’s life, a good sized mini-album; you name it and you can make it. I suggest having a plan for your book and mapping out how many pages you will need, then choosing your number of cards accordingly.
I’m using cards bought at Michael’s made by Recollections. They come in two sizes in either white, cream, or black. The only problem is that they are packaged with the envelopes, so you will have an excess of envelopes around, but if you make your own cards they will get used. I also recommend using a weekly coupon (often up to 40% off). In fact, you should never shop at Michael’s without one. If you have a smart phone, they have a buggy but handy app which allows you to pull up your coupon to be scanned at the register. Paper should be used to make beautiful things, not wasted on printing coupons!
2. Next you will want to adhere your cards to one another to create an accordion shape. Each page of the accordion, except the two outer pages, will be comprised of two cards stuck together, this makes for a very sturdy book. I like to put a piece of double-sided tape at each corner of the page and one in the middle. I find that without using too much tape, I still get a very good bond.
3. Once the accordion is done you will need to make your covers. You want to cut two pieces from each of your papers to the same size, just a quarter inch wider than the size of your cards and an eighth of an inch taller when your cards are standing vertically. I’m using 5 x 6.5 inch cards so I will cut my cover pieces to be 5.25 x6.625. This is where the ruler on the paper cutter comes in handy.
I’m using a fun camera patterned paper made by Echo Park from the This and That collection by Lori Whitlock and a sage card stock made by Paper Source. I’m hoping to use this album to house some Instagram pics I’ve recently taken so I was very excited to find this paper!
4. Tape the cover pieces together. A patterned piece should be paired with a plain piece of cardstock. Using two pieces of cardstock for each cover makes the book sturdier and keeps the potentially mismatched backside of the patterned paper from being seen.
5. Now you will want to tape each of the covers to the end pages of the accordion. Make sure the patterned side of the cover is facing out. Also be sure to line-up the bottom of the accordion with the bottom of the covers. You will probably want to display your accordion book by standing it up on your desk or mantle, lining up the bottoms of all the pages and covers allows you to do this easily.
6. Voila! You are done! Well, as you can see you are actually far from done, but you have a great base for a wonderful project be it a calendar, a mini-scrapbook, a photo album, or simply a pocket journal.
Using this technique, I made Christmas photo albums for the grannies, documenting each month of the Bub’s first year. It was a fun project, a great gift, and meant so much more than anything store-bought. I packaged the albums in inexpensive boxes which I stamped and tied with bows. Not only were they wrapped beautifully, but Grammy and Golly can keep their keepsake album in it’s box for years to come, when it’s not being displayed on the mantel, of course.
Thank you for stopping by. Keep pressing on,