Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fold Out Books.....Part One: Construction and Hinging

Hello all! Lora here with a special two-part post on making your own awesome fold-out books with one of my favorite things on the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts site...
Arch Top House Silhouettes!
I love this little chipboard piece of joy.

There are so many wonderful things you can make with this. My favorite is, of course, fold-out books.
Yay, fold-out books!
I get a lot of questions about how to make them, so in the first installment of this blog post, I am going to show you how fun and simple the actual construction of the book is and the reasons I build them the way I do.
The Arch Top House Silhouettes come in a set of three, but I generally like making books with five to seven panels, so getting two, three or even four sets is a good idea...you can  make at least a couple different length books and have some options.
Here are a couple of examples......
A three panel:
And a seven panel:
And here is the start of a two panel in progress:
What I am going to demo for you now is a five panel Fairy Fold-Out Book.

I began with five of the Arch Top House Silhouettes panels. (I previously thought I'd do a seven panel book but changed my mind, hence the picture of seven pieces)
I used one of the panels as a template and drew around my chosen papers and cut them out.
A quick note on how I choose papers.....
If you notice in the two completed books above, there is a bit of symmetry going on with the paper choices. I tend to like my books with odd number panels which allows for a central panel that can either be a feature or can blend in with the rest of the book, depending on the subject.
I usually choose to make the center panel a different color the rest of the book. The outside panels are usually the same color (they can be different patterns but they 'read' the same color) and the next two in are usually the same color way as each other and so on. I think this creates a harmonious base or commonality that you can then create a bit of chaos on and everything still feels like it fits together. (More on this as we go further into composing the layout)

After the papers are cut out, I carefully lay out my plain panels on a grid, making sure the bottom edge of each one lines up with the other and that there is a space of about 1/4 inch between panels. This space allows you to fold the book easily and gives you some leeway for layering and stacking components and ephemera. If you are using very thick elements on every panel consider spacing the panels further apart.
 When I am sure everything is lined up, I measure out a piece of linen hinging tape You can get this on Amazon...I use Lineco) slightly shorter than the length of the book and gently lay it on as straight as possible, making sure the tape is centered between the straight edges of each panel. You can correct the alignment at this point because you haven't pressed the tape down yet. Adjust if necessary and press the tape down.
Now turn the book over and do the same thing again, making sure you get the tape to stick to the other piece as it goes between the panels. I sometimes use a little ruler to press it down into the sticky bit of the other tape.
Double hinging tape makes the book strong and keeps the paper you will put on the panels from peeling off the book with rough handling.

After the taping is done, I glue on my papers. I use a scoring tool that I lightly scrape across the top of the panel to evenly distribute the glue and then wipe the excess away with a paper towel. I have used any flat object to get glue to adhere...pencils, ruler edges...just make sure it is smooth or you will tear your paper! A brayer also works really well.
I also tear a paper towel into small squares...less waste and easier to deal with.
I let the panels dry and give everything a quick sanding. You don't have to do this, but I prefer to as I like the way the edges look and it takes away any excess paper from over cutting. Just make sure you don't sand your hinge.
I ink up the edges of my book panels...
 Now that you have the basic construction of your book done, the fun really begins!
NEXT POST: A wee bit on Color, Collage and Composition to make your book pull together.
Stay Tuned!

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