Little Star Books 1

As you may have guessed from the title of today’s post, I have decided to spread the instructions for the three little star book variations over three posts. At the end of three weeks, you will know how to make these:

A word about terminology before we get started: what I am calling a star book is sometimes known as a lotus book, though a lotus book usually has more than 5 pages. You can see an example here.

Another book structure is sometimes called a star book, especially in the scrapbooking world, but I learned that one as a ‘carousel’. It looks like this:

(The image above comes from this post.)

Enough of names, it’s time to make a book.

This week’s star book is the most commonly made version. If you want a crease pattern to help you with the folding, you can download one here. Today’s star book is the one at the top of the pdf. (It’s also the one on the upper right in the pictures at the beginning of this post.)

You will need five identical squares of paper. I used copier paper for my samples.

Start the folding process by laying out one of your squares.

Fold the bottom edge up to match the top edge.

Open flat.

Fold left side over to match right side (or right side to match left, if that is easier for you).

Open flat.

Turn your square over and rotate it so that it looks like a diamond.

Fold bottom point up to match top point.

Open flat. Make the final fold by pushing in on the two side points while folding the top and bottom points towards each other. (You will be folding the points away from you.)

Your page should look like this:


Fold the other four pages the same way.

Now that you have your five pages folded, you need to glue them back to back. Be careful to ensure that all of them are facing the same way. You can produce an interesting structure by gluing them in different directions, but it won’t be a star book!

A little gluing tip: if you put your glue on the two surfaces to be adhered on the areas indicated by shading in the image below, you will have some non-glued areas to hold onto when getting the two pages aligned and then stuck together.

When your pages are all glued together, it’s time to put on the cover. You will need two pieces of card stock the same dimensions as your folded book, a piece of ribbon six times (or more) as long as the diagonal measurement of the book, and a bead. You can use any kind of ribbon or bead as long as two thicknesses of your ribbon will fit through the hole in the bead loosely enough to slide, but tightly enough to stay in place when pushed into position. My ribbon is 7 mm wide and my bead has a 4 mm hole.

Fold your ribbon in half and make a pinch mark at the fold. Put a bit of glue on the top outer page of your book and stick down the ribbon so the it runs from point to point with the pinch slightly above the closed end point.

Glue on one of your cover squares.

Turn the book over and repeat the steps you did for the first side. The ribbon should be snug at the point, but not too tight. Thread the two ends of the ribbon through the bead, then tie an overhand knot in the ends and trim. When you slide the bead up to the book it will look like this:

To open the book, slide the bead up to the knot, bring the front and back covers together, then slide the bead back to the point of the covers to hold the book open.

Congratulations! You are now the proud maker of a little star book. The disadvantage of this design —at least from my point of view— is that the star looks upside-down if the book is suspended. The advantages of this version are that each page pops open fully when being ‘read’ and you have square areas to work with.

I have just about completed my knitter’s version of the Zhen Xian Bao.

The small blue object inside the pocket designed for scissors and needles is a paper sheath containing a pair of stork-pattern embroidery scissors. The tips of the blades are extremely sharp and would make holes in the paper pocket, so I folded a protective cover out of half a square of origami paper. I will show you how to do that in a future post.

I said “just about completed” because I have decided to add a pull tab to the triangular flap to aid in opening the book. It is not a necessity, but I think it will reduce wear and tear on the paper. (I also think it would have been better if I had decided that before gluing on the scissor pocket. I hate learning experiences.)

In knitting news:

I have completed the lace chart and the written instructions for the scarf/stole Carmen. It took longer than I thought it would (another learning experience), partly because the version of the chart I had worked from looked like this:

(The pattern chart originally came from

The re-graphed pattern now looks like this:

The pink dots are not on the pdf —I added those for people who may not have knit from a chart before. They indicate the edges of the actual knitting. First and last stitches are the V stitches on the odd rows and whatever is directly above them on the even rows. Also for new lace knitters, the blue lines —which are on the pdf— indicate the pattern repeat. Areas to the right and left of the blue lines are knit once each row, the area between the blue lines is repeated as required for the width of the piece.

You can download the pdf of Carmen here. If you do try knitting this and have problems, or find mistakes in the chart or instructions, please let me know here. I have never written a knitting pattern before, and I have not tried knitting another scarf following this pattern, so it hasn’t really been test knitted. I will not be at all surprised if I have made mistakes along the way! (There we go again: another learning experience.)



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, free printable, instructions, knitting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Little Star Books 1

  1. Mary A Hickey says:

    Very nice directions for the star book! I look forward to seeing the other variations. thanks for for sharing this.


  2. dinahmow says:

    I thought this might interest you.Of course, you may have already come across it!


    • Byopia Press says:

      Fascinating article! I’m not really surprised as knitting lends itself to coded messages. I have played a bit with creating lace patterns that were encrypted words/phrases. ; ]


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