Thursday, December 01, 2011

Christmas Card Flag Book

I do love getting cards at the holidays. I make a special display with handmade ones and and hang the rest from ribbons. But there is always the question at the end of the season—what to do with the cards? Here's one solution. If you save cards, you can make this now. If not, it will be a great after the holidays project.

This style of book is called a Flag Book and was developed by Hedi Kyle. The Guild of Bookworkers describes it as "the single most influential structure in the world of contemporary bookmaking." The accordion is the spine or frame of the book and the flags act like pages.

I've made mine very simple with no covers. I used two cards the same size (you can also cut them to match if you don't have two the same size) to make the accordion and the front of five cards for the flags. I exhausted my supply of saved cards so the directions use half of the front panel of a grocery bag for the accordion and pieces cut from the side panel of a cracker box for the flags.

Make an 8 page accordion:

1. Fold the paper in half. If your paper has writing on one side and you don't want it to show (the grocery bag here), the writing should be on the inside when you fold it. If you want the writing to show (the Christmas card book), it should be on the outside.

2. Open the paper, fold the right edge in to meet the middle, and crease.

3. Fold the left edge in to meet the middle and crease.

4. Open the paper and turn it over. You now have an accordion with four pages. You will be folding each of these in half again to make eight.

5. Fold the right edge to meet the fold and crease.

6. Tuck the folded section under the rest of the book.

7. Fold the right edge to meet the fold and crease.

8. Tuck the folded section under.

9. You can finish the folding in one of two ways: One, continue folding from right to left. Two, start at the left side and fold to the middle. I think this way is a little neater but either is fine.

Attach the flags:
The accordion has three mountains in the center. This is where you will be gluing the flags. I used five on each mountain but you can use more or less depending on the width of the flags. I plan the layout on the first mountain and then glue that before I go on the next one. Each mountain will have the same pattern of flags.

1. Place the flags on one mountain. Note that they are on alternate sides of the mountain.

2. To make sure you put the glue in the correct place, draw a pencil line on the back of each flag the width of the accordion. This is optional. You can also just do it by eye.

3. Cover that section of the back of the flag with glue.

4. Place the flag on the mountain and smooth to adhere. Continue until all the flags are glued onto the mountains.

Make a longer accordion:
If you want to make a longer accordion, the easiest way is to make two and then attach them together. This is what I did for the Christmas card accordion.

1. Turn one accordion over and place it on a piece of scrap paper. Use glue stick to completely cover the back side of the first two accordion pages on the right side.

2. Place the back of the two glued accordion pages on top of the two far right pages of the other accordion. Be careful to line up the pages and the fold. Smooth to help the glue adhere.

If you enjoy this, don't stop at holiday cards. It would be a great after birthday project.


Unknown said...

that is wonderful! thank you.

Samantha Marshall said...

That's fantastic!!!

Anonymous said...

I am definitely a visual learner...thanks for showing me how it's done!

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