Revisiting the Zhen Xian Bao: Part 1

In celebration of Easter —and of having reached 60,000 views— this week’s post is the first of two on making a couple of variations on the Zhen Xian Bao/Chinese Thread Book. Today I will show you how to fold two versions of my self closing bottom box.

The first version will eventually make a square-ish three pocket wallet, the second is closer to the original proportions of the classic Zhen Xian Bao, and will have multiple pockets. (I have yet to decide exactly how many.)

To fold the bottom pocket for the wallet, cut a sheet of paper 6″ x 9.5″ (approximately 15.25 x 24 cm). If you don’t mind a fold line down the middle of the outside of your model, fold your paper in half with the fold running the long way. If you don’t want a fold showing, draw a faint pencil line down the middle of the length of your paper. You can erase the pencil mark later. Now fold the two long sides in to the middle.

Open your paper flat again, then fold the upper right corner in to the middle.

Repeat with the other three corners.

Open flat again, then fold the top half down.

There is a diagonal fold line a little way in from corner A. (I have marked it lightly in blue pencil.) You will need to reverse the fold along that line.

After reversing the fold, push down on corner A so that it aligns with the edge you folded into the middle.

Repeat this process with the other three corners. Rotate your paper ninety degrees.

Fold the bottom point up to where the corners meet at the middle.

Open your paper flat again.

Fold the bottom edge up along the fold line you just created, then reverse all the folds indicated by the pink pointy fingers in the image below. This will make a triangular pocket with two squares sitting on top. (You will see what this looks like in the first photo of the second model later in the post.)

Refold the top point, then fold the bottom edge up to the base of the upper triangle.

Fold the top point down.

Tuck the point into the triangular pocket.

The second model is folded exactly the same way, but is made with different proportions. The blue model was made from paper cut 8″ x 9″ (about 20 x 23 cm). You can see the triangular pocket under the square flaps on the right end of the first picture.

If you want to make your models in a different size, the proportions for the square wallet are 2:3 plus 0.5″ (1.25cm) for the middle fold. The second model’s proportions are 1:1 plus 1″ (2.5 cm) for the middle fold.

Next week’s post will feature pockets for the two models.

In other book arts news:

Paperiaarre has been participating in a monthly book challenge on Instagram, #areyoubook enough. You can read her posts about it here and here. You can also check out the #areyoubookenough Instagram page here.

Lokta paper seems to be ‘flavour of the week’. I found the picture above on Tumblr. (You can find more of Michael Duke’s images here.) That image led me to HQ PaperMaker in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Then this morning’s Sunday Paper from Helen Hiebert started off with an image of lokta production in Nepal.

I currently have a stash of lokta paper, but I may have to consider ordering more!

In knitting news:

I completed the bolero, including washing and blocking. The gusset was a little more generous than really required but it blocked into the right shape after a bit of persuasion. The Herdwick wool got even hairier after washing, and is still shedding kempy fibres. I tried tumbling it on the air fluff setting with two dryer balls and after 10 minutes found nothing in the lint filter. Apparently the kempy bits only come off on other clothing. I’ll have to see how it behaves after being worn for a while.    ; ]

In knitting news:Save


About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than thirty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004. I also create prints and drawings that are frequently text-inspired or text-based.
This entry was posted in artist's books, book arts, bookbinding, DIY, instructions, knitting and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Revisiting the Zhen Xian Bao: Part 1

  1. Pingback: Revisiting the Zhen Xian Bao: Part 2 | Byopia Press

  2. Lisa Camp says:

    Thank you so much for everything you post! I look forward to the times I can catch up on your posts. So many rich resources, and the challenges to investigate or further research an idea always lead me to head in a new direction! I enjoyed the star theme this past winter and tried many of your posted projects. And now the #areyoubookenough amazing!


  3. Pingback: A Bookbinder’s Travel Kit | Byopia Press

  4. Pingback: Moving Right Along | Byopia Press

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