Meandering Books

I've always loved accordion style books that open up and surprise the viewer. There are endless ways to fold and cut paper to end up with a delightful little book. I was inspired before Christmas by a book made by my friend Nicole for our Bookies Christmas party gift exchange. It was filled with beautiful garden photos from British Columbia (sorry I don't have a photo of this book). It was so much fun to open each page!

This week I had the pleasure of demonstrating a few ways to make meandering books to my local Calligraphers' Guild. The books we made were all cut and folded from a single sheet of paper. In the photos below you'll see that recycled papers work great for these books. On the left, the paper is an index page from an old atlas with rubber stamped letters on one side. The left and middle books use old calendar pages for the covers, while the one on the right uses an old map.

Depending on the size of your paper, how many folds you make and the pattern of your cuts, you will end up with a different book each time! When someone opens the book they are continually surprised by the what they will find next.

A great reference book for these is Shereen LaPlantz's Cover to Cover. She notes "The cuts cause the pages to develop unusual formations that are sometimes complex, similar to mazes. There are spaces for stories within stories, digressions and asides." She also notes that there are always several possibilities for outcomes, and whichever you choose is correct! There are no mistakes. I like that!

If you are looking for inspiration or further tutorials online, try using the terms "meandering book", "wandering book" or "maze book". You will find tutorials from both scrapbookers and bookbinders, who often overlap. Here is one tutorial I found for you.


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