I love to collect sketchbooks I have tons of them, the creative possibility of a blank book is a siren call to me. When I go on vacation I love to find a local art store and look for a new sketchbook so as you can imagine I have quite a collection.
I also really enjoy making my own books, art journals, and planners! I was thinking it would be fun to do an entire book with neutrals colors and a focus on contrast. This blog post is all about creating an accordion book and then at the end I included a time lapse video of how I used mixed media and layering techniques to fill the pages.
Lets get started!
One sheet 8 x 10 black paper (I used black pastel paper)
Packing board or Matte board – cut down to 4.5” x 6”
Large sheet of white mixed media paper – cut down to 24” x 5.5”
Stencil (I used TCW595)
White gesso or heavy body white paint
Stencil brush (or something to apply paint with)
If you haven’t done this already cut your board down for your covers to 4.5” x 6” and then cut down your large sheet of paper to 24” x 5.5”. Once everything is cut fold your large sheet of mixed media paper back and forth accordion style so that you have 6 even panels this will give you a finished book/page size of 4 x 5.5.
Use Stencil TCW595 and apply white gesso to your sheet of black paper and let this dry completely. (gesso dries pretty fast but you can use a hair drier to help it along.)
Place your cut book board cover on your stenciled black paper and choose how you would like to crop your stenciled sheet to be the cover and back of your book. Make sure you leave room to cover both of the outsides of your covers! Use a pencil or white gel pen to mark .25 out from all 4 sides of your cover board and then use your ruler to cut out your front cover. Repeat this process for your back cover.
Using a pencil mark .25″ in from the edge of your sheet on all 4 sides and use your ruler and the back of your Xacto knife or a scoring tool to score along the edge so the paper will fold around your board more easily. Repeat this process for both front and back cover.
At the 4 corners of each edge of your paper cut off the square paper that is overlapping each score mark. (See picture below) This will allow for the paper to fold correctly at each corner of your cover. Repeat this process for both front and back cover.
Apply glue to the inside of your black paper paying close attention to getting glue on the 4 edges that will fold around the board. Place your board inside the paper and adhere it to the glue. Fold the flaps over and apply pressure with your hands or a large heavy book for 60 seconds. Repeat this process for both front and back cover.
Apply washi tape along the inside edge of each book cover. this will hold everything in place and apply a decorative edge on the inside of your book for when you glue in your accordion pages. I selected a black and white washi tape that I found at my local craft store, to matched the contrast theme of my book. I also trimmed the edges of my tape with my X-Acto knife for a clean look. Repeat this process for both front and back cover.
At this point we are ready to put the accordion pages between the two covers. Make sure you lay your book down and look to make sure you have your covers facing the correct way. I like to slip a tiny piece of tape into the front and back pages and mock up my pages to take a look at how it will work before I glue everything in. Once you have everything the way you like it apply glue to 1 side of your accordion book pages. (I like to slip a piece a Wax paper in-between the page I am gluing and the next page so I can really coat it with glue but also not get it on any other pages) Once your page is covered in glue line it up with the center of your front cover. You should see about .25 inches of washi tape all the way around your pages. Apply pressure for 60 seconds or until dry. Then apply glue to your back page and carefully line it up so the two covers match. Again you should have .25” of wash tape showing all the way around. Apply pressure for 60 seconds and your book is done!
You can now use your new book for lots of things like list making, art journaling, sketching, it also makes a fun vacation journal! For my book I selected a bunch of neutral colored altered paper, magazine pages, book pages etc. from my ephemera stash. I also used the leftover black paper from making my book covers along with stencil TCW600, graphite pencils, markers, my white gel pen, Stabilo 3 in 1 pencils and of course some black and white gesso.
You can see a time lapse video of my process for creating my finished accordion book HERE.
The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. This post also contains affiliate links. The opinions I share are solely my own.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Be sure to share your creations on The Crafter’s Workshop Facebook page or by tagging The Crafter’s Workshop on Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest! Until next time, keep creating! 😉
The Crafter’s Workshop Design Team Member