Making Accordion Books for your Altered Books


Accordion books are a good addition to an altered book. They allow you to add additional content.

accordion book
This simple accordion book is set in a niche.
accordion book
This booklet is held open to reveal three photographs.

The picture to the right shows the simplest of foldings. The book is simply a rectangular piece of card stock that is folded into thirds. The thirds on the left and right fold inward, covering the middle third. The back of the middle third is glued in the niche.

Before we go further, there are two terms you must know:

Two Types of Folds

Mountain Folds
You fold away from you. You are looking at the mountain peak.

Valley Folds
You fold inward, towards you. You are looking at a valley.

In the accordion book described above, I have used two valley folds. For a different type of booklet, I could have folded the left third with a valley fold, and the right fold with a mountain fold. In that case, I would have attached the back of the right third to my altered book, instead of the back of the center as I did in the two-valley fold pattern.

To make more panels, I could have used two or more rectangles of card stock, attaching them to a side panel.

A More Elaborate Accordion Book

The book above is simple to make and simple to use. This version is more complex. I'm using a number of pictures, as this is too complex to describe in words alone.
accordion book
This accordion book is set in a niche, and decorated on top with iris folding.
accordion book
The booklet is opened up to show the photos and embellishments.
accordion book
Step 1: Cut a square of card stock. I used an 8¨ square.
accordion book
Step 2: Fold A to B in a valley fold. Open.
accordion book
Step 3: Fold C to D in a valley fold. Open.
accordion book
Step 3: Fold a kitty corner diagonal, in a mountain fold. Open.
accordion book
Step 4: Fold as shown.
accordion book
Step 4: Top of booklet.
accordion book
To make your accordion book larger, you can make two or more booklets like the one described above, and glue them together. This picture uses three booklets.

Just a caution, but the more the booklets you fasten together, the more difficult it becomes to refold this book once it has been opened. I used two booklets joined together, and I find some viewers have difficulty re-assembling it once they have examined the contents.

Altered Books 103: Little Books, Decos, CDs & More! (#5215)

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Return to Altered Book Home Page when finished reading about accordion books.