Four Flaps, Three Ways

Since people seem to be enjoying my posts about packaging —the interlocked band, the 3D envelope and pop-up CD case, the wrapped cover— and since I don’t have any new work to write about (still finishing up editions), today’s post is about closing things with flaps. The examples I have made are all envelopes, but the flaps could be used on boxes as well. If you want to try making the envelopes there is a printable file here, or you can just draw your own. When cutting out the printed file, please cut just inside the solid line.(Please note: people printing on A4 paper will need to shrink the file slightly to fit.)

Here is a standard method for closing something with four flaps.

The corners tend to stick up and are inclined to catch on things. The first variation merely rounds the corners. I used a corner rounding punch, but you could use other methods.

The corners still stick up a bit. This would be less of a problem on a box. You can also make them flatter by a) trimming the sides of the flaps a tiny bit and/or b) double scoring the folds so that they are slightly deeper to allow more room for the flaps.

You can take the rounding idea even further.

Each flap is a semi-circle with a diameter the width of the envelope. I used semi-circular flaps on the case for my accordion book, Datura.

The third variation is a two-part tab. I was inspired by something I found on Pinterest. Unfortunately, only the image remains as the original webpage no longer exists.

If you look at the bottom of the first page of the pdf, you will see that there are two templates for the tab, one square and one oval.

I cut the parts for the square one by hand, using one layer of card stock.

Make sure you keep the parts in the same relative orientation as when you cut them to assure optimum fit. I glued the outer piece first, then used that as a guide for gluing the inner part. Having made the model, I would also suggest gluing two layers of card stock together and cutting the tab parts from that. This would make the tab lock more securely.

You could also use a commercial punch/die cut to make the parts: punch the centre opening first, then cut the outer shape around the opening.

Finally, my apologies for the colour quality in the images. The weather yesterday was unusually dreary for Saskatchewan, so I was photographing under an incandescent light on my work table. The weather is even worse today, with rain and wind, so taking pictures today would not have been an improvement.

About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
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