This week was my husband’s birthday and so while he was out, I decided to burn off some creative energy and make him a special birthday book. Now when I say book, it was more of a fancy card but nevertheless, I was really pleased with the finished result and so, of course, my brain immediately started whirring all things wedding! The little books would make beautiful thank you gifts, table features, favours or even invitations if you were feeling especially adventurous.
Below is a guide of how to make these star shaped beauties. Please note the most time consuming part is the designing of your page content and layout. Once you’re past this part it should take you no more than half an hour of cutting, folding and sticking.
Cutting board complete with centimeter markings
4 A4 pieces of card
6 A4 pieces of paper (in at least two contrasting colours)
Paper glue (Pritt stick)
50cm length of ribbon
1) First you’ll need to design the content and layout of your book. This needs to fit into 5 double page spreads with each spread measuring 13 x 10cm. (I used Adobe InDesign to set a custom page size but this could be done just as easily in Microsoft Word.) For my husband’s book, I wrote a silly little story about the two of us, printed out a couple of pictures and hand wrote a birthday note to him. Sometimes I split each spread into two separate pages and other times I just wrote right across the spread.
2) Print your double page spreads onto coloured paper. Using a craft knife, cutting board and metal ruler, cut the double page spreads into rectangles measuring 13 x 10cm.
3) Take three pieces of card and cut five rectangles, each measuring 16 x 10cm. (This is made much easier by using a cutting board with centimeter markings as you needn’t measure each rectangle out)
4) Take the remaining coloured paper and in the same way, cut five rectangles each measuring 14 x 10 cm.
5) Next, take all of the rectangles (you should have 15 in total; 5 printed, 5 card and 5 plain) and using a pencil, mark the midpoint at the top and bottom of the longest edge i.e. at 8cm for the card rectangles, 7cm for the plain and 6.5cm for the printed.
6) Now, take your creasing board and align the midpoint marks on one of the rectangles with a groove in the creasing board. Firmly run the creasing tool along the groove, creating a crease down the rectangle’s midline. Fold down along the crease, making the rectangle look like a miniature greetings card. Repeat this with all 15 rectangles.
7) Take the cardboard rectangles, open them out flat and place on your work surface so that the central crease folds out towards you. Apply a 1cm wide line of glue along the left and right edges of 3 of the rectangles. Now, stick the three rectangles together to create a concertina style chain (please see picture).
8) Take the remaining two rectangles and apply a 1 cm wide line of glue to the right edge of one and to the left edge of the other. Attach these rectangles to the concertina to create a chain of five folded rectangles.
9) Next, take the 5 plain paper rectangles and as before, open them out flat so that the central crease folds out towards you. In the same way as before, apply a 1cm wide line of glue to the left and right edges of each rectangle. Stick one paper rectangle inside each of the cardboard rectangles, being careful to neatly align the edges.
10) Repeat this process using your printed spreads.
11) Now, take the ribbon and cut it into two equal lengths. Using super glue, stick one length to the front of the concertina and one length to the back.
12) Next, take the remaining A4 piece of cardboard and cut a cover rectangle measuring 17 x 10 cm. Just as before, mark and crease down the 8.5cm central line. Once again, open out the cover rectangle and place so that the central crease folds towards you. Then using the same method as before, mark and crease two lines 0.5cm either side of the central crease.
13) Finally, open the cover out flat and with the central crease folding out towards you, apply glue everywhere except between the three creases. Now, take the concertina of rectangles and stick them inside the cover, ensuring that the book will open the right way round.
14) Close the book and tie the lengths of ribbon together in a bow.