Byopia Press 2017 Advent Calendar: Day Three and a mini star book

Today’s star first appeared on this blog as a DIY book/star on July 7, 2015. Rather than write out the instructions over again, I will just quote from that post. The pages shown in the illustration will look different from the one that you are using, but the guide marks on the printed page and the steps to follow remain the same.

You have a choice of printouts. There is a pdf with just the guide marks and no text here, suitable for printing on coloured or patterned paper. There is a pdf with green text here, suitable for gift tags. It will look like this:

There is a red version here.

Print out one of the versions and proceed with the instructions below.


The original design was created by Monica Morelli, and her instructions and pattern can be found on her blog. (N.B. The original post no longer exists.)

So, in celebration of a number of things, here is Starry Night 2015. I took the text from one of my early artist’s books. To commemorate Hermann Zapf, a star of the typographic world who died last month, I reset it in Zapfino and Palatino with a star-shaped Zapf Dingbat.

The first step is to print out a pdf. If you have a colour printer, use this one. If you have a black only printer, chose this. The layout will fit either A4 or North American letter size.

The printout gives you two copies with text, one blank copy, and one outlined guide. Once you have a printed page, you need to score the cutting and folding lines marked with arrows.

It’s easiest if you score the whole page at once, even if you only plan to make one copy.

Cut out the guide strip to use as a reference, then use a scoring tool to mark the ends of the slits that let the strip turn onto a star.  Just mark the outer edge by the arrows.

I use a scoring tool that David made for me from a blunt-tipped tapestry needle. He also made my awl. If you don’t have a scoring tool, (or a husband who can make one) a non-serrated table knife will do.

Lay the guide strip over one of the scored book strips, and use an awl to pierce the tips of the cutting lines. Here’s a picture showing the pierced holes. (I have turned the guide upside down to show the holes from the back.)

Cut out your strip, then cut the lines from the holes to the edge of the strip, matching the lines on the guide. You can (I hope) see the slits in the picture with my tools. Monica suggests cutting narrow Vs to make assembly easier, but I didn’t want to cut bits out of the text.

Fold your strip into an accordion, using the vertical scores as guides.

Now you have a tiny accordion, which looks a bit odd because it has slits in it. (You could use the second copy on your printout to make an accordion book without the slits.) Reverse folds 2 and 4 so that you have a strip that forms a pentagon with the print on the outside.

Here are Monica’s pictures showing the steps for turning the strip into a star.

I found I had to get all the slits lined up in the correct places, then gently tap the star together. Mine looked like this:

When I did the text layout, I didn’t worry about the alphabet being sliced up by the folding, but I made sure that the dedication would be completely readable.

If you plan to use the stars as gift tags, it is easier to sign them before folding.

If you want to mail them as a mini greeting card, you can fold the strip flat along one of the scored lines. Since they do require assembly instructions, there is a pdf with four copies of the pictorial instructions here.

If you want to make an ornament, just thread a cord through the two ends of the assembled strip and it will be ready to hang.








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.
This entry was posted in artist's books, book arts, bookbinding, DIY, instructions and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Byopia Press 2017 Advent Calendar: Day Three and a mini star book

  1. Cathryn, thanks for the stars from New Mexico!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Byopia Press Advent Calendar 2020: Day Eleven and the Third Iteration of some Gift Stars | Byopia Press

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