Monthly Archives: November 2014

Altered Book Triangle Fold Tutorial

Do you  love origami and paper folding?  Then try this altered book technique and you’ll get to fold a whole book!

After watching this altered book video tutorial by Johwey Redington, I decided to try the basic book sculpture: triangle fold.


Altered Book Triangle Fold Tutorial

by Jessica Tremblay


What you’ll need

– a book (hardcover or paperback)

– a bone folder (*optional*) to help you crease the pages



Folding the first half

1. Open the book in the middle.

Tip:To find the middle, take your total page count and divide it by two. 

(My book was 350 pages, so I opened the book to page 175.)


2. Position the book so the bottom is to your LEFT and fold the left corner.  Use a bone folder to crease the fold.)

altered book triangle 1 IMG_4355


3. Fold the right corner to make a triangle. Use a bone folder to crease the fold.

altered book triangle 1b IMG_4356 altered book triangle 2 IMG_4358


4. Continue folding pages until the desired amounts of triangles (some people fold all the pages, other people like to leave some pages).

altered book triangle 3b IMG_4347


5. When you’ve folded enough pages (or all of them), find your middle page and flip the book so the bottom is now to your RIGHT.

altered book triangle 4 IMG_4349 


Folding the second half

*Make sure the bottom of the book is to your RIGHT*

6. Fold the right corner.  Use a bone folder to crease the page.

altered book triangle 4b  IMG_4366 altered book triangle 5 IMG_4367


7. Fold the left corner. Use a bone folder to crease the page.

8. Keep making triangles. (Fold the same amount of pages for each half of the book.)

altered book triangle 6 IMG_4369  altered book triangle 4 IMG_4370


How many pages should I fold?

It’s up to you how many pages you want to fold.  You may want to have a small book structure, or take advantage of a beautiful illustration in your book (left photo) or you can continue folding pages to give your book sculpture more volume (right photo).

Other options: you can also fold ALL the pages. You can also remove the cover.

altered book triangle 7 IMG_4378 altered book triangle 8 IMG_4383


 Display ideas

You can display the altered book in a corner of your bookcase or lay it flat on a table.

Once, at an art show, I saw an artist use this type of altered book to hold her business cards. Although she was not selling altered books (she was a jewellery designer), her book structure was a showstopper. People were drawn to her table: it was a real conversation starter.

altered book triangle 9 IMG_4384 altered book triangle 10 IMG_4386


Enjoy your new book structure!

altered book triangle 12 IMG_4394  altered book triangle 11 IMG_4389


All photos by Jessica Tremblay. All Rights Reserved.

Medieval bookbinding

At the workshop of the CBBAG BC Lower mainland chapter, ten participants learned medieval bookbinding with the guidance of teacher extraordinaire Suzan Lee.

Participants range from library staff to software designers. In four hours, everybody managed to complete one leather book.

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These kind of leather-bound books were used for ledgers. Since the leather cover was supple, it allowed the book to be rolled and transported easily during trips. Another advantage was that leather was waterproof.

f red IMG_3643

When the book was full, they would slice the thread to free the book, and reuse the leather cover for another book. Meanwhile, the finished book was binded into another book of accounts.

Here’s a quick overview of the medieval book making process.


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1-poking holes in the 8 signatures

2- choosing and measuring the leather cover (leaving room for the wraparound enclosure)


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3-using a rig to pierce holes in the spine

4-piercing holes in the spine

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5-preparing to sow the signatures using bookbinding thread.

6-starting to sow signatures (no sowing experience necessary)

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7-sowing the signatures.

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8-sowing the last signature

9-a closeup of the finished spine

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10- adding an enclosure button

11- raggedy edge of the leather can be left as is, for an artistic loo

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12- these types of enclosures (for leather) are called “Button collars”.

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Taking a bookbinding class is like taking a step back in time. The tools have been the same for centuries!

Learn to bind your own books. Join a CBBAG workshop near you.