If you're feeling crafty this holiday season, handmade books are a great gift to give. You can fill them with photographs, collages, poems, or leave them blank for others to fill in. There are many variations to making accordion books, but here is one of our favorites that we learned from Purgatory Pie Press. Most of these supplies can be found at Artist & Craftsman Supply located downtown on Calhoun Street.
• One 8½" by 11" sheet of paper
• Illustration board or cardboard
• Bone folder (or tongue depressor)
1. Start by folding the paper in half crosswise, then folding it in half again, burnishing your folds with the bone folder each time. Repeat this two more times and unfold the paper. You should end up with 16 squares.
2. Next, you will cut the paper in the form of a "W," following the dotted red lines on the diagram. Cut from the left side, stopping at the first right fold. Then cut from the right side, stopping at the first left fold, and then from the left side through the middle, stopping at the last fold.
3. Fold the paper (reversing folds as necessary) until the interior of the book is complete.
4. For the cover, cut two square pieces of cardboard 1/4" inch larger than your book.
5. Glue the cardboard to the exterior pages of the book to create your cover. Tip: You may also cover your cardboard with decorative paper beforehand.
6. Once the book is assembled, place it underneath something heavy (like a large book) for an hour or so to press the book together and allow the glue to dry.
7. Now that your book is completed, you may gift it as-is or decorate it to your liking. Accordions are great to fill with collages, small photos, stamps, drawings, or flat found objects. You can also make larger accordion books by using larger sheets of paper. The possibilities are limitless.
8. Check off some names on your Christmas list — feels good, right?
Surcee Press is a Charleston-based independent publishing company created by Savannah Rusher and Anna Kate Lister. Specializing in hand-bound books and journals, Surcee is a collaborative effort to preserve the art of tangible publication, as well as to publish original, locally sourced literature and artwork. Surcee Press also offers custom letterpress printing and screen printing.