Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Upcycled BookFolding

I love trying new art projects! After seeing some fantastic book folding online, I decided to give it a shot. I did a lot of research hoping to design my own pattern, but for a beginner like me, it's really best to just get a good pattern and start there. There are lots of great places to find patterns, some you pay for and some you don't. Since this was my first attempt, free and not too challenging was precisely what I was looking for! Some patterns are better than others, and for me, I found the patterns from All in the Folds to be the easiest to start with. They also have a fantastic Facebook Group that I highly recommend joining as it is a great place to get advice, try new patterns and get inspiration! For this project, I used the beginner heart pattern.

When it comes to book folding, you don't need to invest in a lot of tools but some things really just make life simpler! For starters, if you don't have a 12" T Square you are gonna want one! Another thing you'll need is an old book. I hit up my local goodwill and bought a couple of hardback books (with at least 300 pages) that were in good condition. The subject doesn't matter! My first attempt did not turn out like I'd hoped (I did a "beautiful" folded... blob) so definitely have an extra book or two for just in case!


  • Hardback Book (at least 300 pages)
  • Pattern
  • T-Square (needs to have metric measurements)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Folding Bone (optional)
  • Old buttons (4)
  • Twine
  • Drill
  • Hot Glue
  • Paper Towels
  • Water
  • Spray Bottle for water

Decoart Americana Paints:

  • Sand Grey

Decoart Media Fluid Acrylics:

  • Quinacridone Red
  • Raw Umber
  • Ultramarine Blue

Other Decoart Supplies:

  • Decopauge Glue


I didn't want to get a book someone might still want to read (it just seems wrong to destroy a book!), so when I found this 25-year-old Property Valuation book (in mint condition no less) I knew it would be perfect! At my goodwill, this was only $2!

When starting this project, a good tip is to visit a page start calculator so you can get the design centered in the book! For the pattern (and a great video on how to start), please click this link: https://www.allinthefolds.co.uk/freeheart.html

Once the folds were done, I was ready to decorate the book! I used the Sand Grey and painted the entire cover. I know, it feels wrong! But remind yourself that you are just giving an old book new life!

For this next step, make a wash using Quinacridone Red and water. Using a wet brush, I rapidly applied the wash and used a paper towel to wipe away the color in some areas. To give the look of wear, you don't want to do full coverage on this.

Next, I dug around in my scrapbook paper and cut out these designs. Using the Decopauge Glue, attach these to outside of the front and back covers. 

To help the heart stand out, I made another wash this time using Raw Umber and water and lightly brushed along the edges of the pages and the outer edges of the heart (not the actual heart!) To hold the book open and help display the heart I had my husband help me drill two holes on each side to feed the twine through. I secured the knits with hot glue and covered the holes with old buttons.

At this point, I felt the outside of the book needed to be toned down a bit and needed more distressing. For this, paint the Ultramarine Blue directly onto the book. Allow to almost dry and then spray with water. Let that sit until it's dried somewhat (but not entirely) and lay a paper towel onto the book and pull it up. This will leave the print of the paper towel behind and add some character!

Tag me on instagram @Red.Chandelier if you do this! I'd love to see your designs!

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