An Accordion Book with Removable Spine

I saw this structure a while back on Pinterest.

It turned up again recently. The image is from the announcement of a workshop —now long past— offered by Cristina Balbiano d’Aramengo. I tracked down an email address for her and wrote at the beginning of January to ask permission to post instructions for her structure.

I have had no reply, so I don’t know if she received the email or doesn’t care one way or the other. I think the construction is fairly obvious: it’s a combination of an accordion with pockets (instructions here) and one of the card case/book covers I posted in December (instructions here). Rather than show you how to make Cristina’s structure, I will show you a variation that I developed.

My variation offers a continuous inside surface rather than one with pockets. If you want to make your own model with a printed design on the front and back, you can download a pdf: cover-holding accordion. The required page size is 7.125 x 17″.

Trim the white border off the ends, then fold back the patterned area at each end. (I folded back a little more than the pattern area so the printed section is almost the size of the finished pages in the accordion.)

With the printed side face down, fold the bottom edge of your paper up about 1.5″, then fold the top edge down about 2.75″. Now fold your accordion in the usual manner, treating the fold at the edge of the patterned area as the end of your paper. You should end up with something like this.

I positioned my upper and lower folds on divisions in the printed pattern. The bottom fold could be as little as 0.5″ from the edge, and if you make the top fold so that the top edge folds down to the bottom fold, you can have a double-sided accordion.

I used card stock for the spine insert. The card stock needs to be slightly less than the height of the accordion so that it can slip into the ends. Cut your card stock width to allow for two page widths plus the width of the spine, then score and fold at the sides of the spine section. (I made my spine 0.25″ wide.)

Slip the ends of the spine unit into the pockets at the ends of the accordion.

Like most accordion books, this one requires a band or sleeve to keep it closed.


It was cold all week, but I lit the studio fire to permit me to cut some paper for upcoming projects.

My Lovely Assistant Kemuri came to supervise.

I also finished my first project for #guylainelab.

Here it is temporarily displayed outside. (None of our ceilings are high enough to hang it full length indoors.)

You can see more images on my Instagram feed, and other people’s work on #guylainelab.


The mini bone folder I ordered for my bookbinder’s travel kit arrived this week. It’s a little (Delrin?) folder made by Yan and Dave Krasnopolsky. I ordered it from their website.

The lovely little scissors come from Kelmscott Designs. Oddly, the company is located a four hour drive south of me rather than in England. They only sell wholesale but the owner gave me the email address of the closest Canadian supplier. (They no longer seem to have them.) The design is called Putford and comes in a number of colours. You can contact Paula Sibbald via her email (at the bottom of the webpage) to enquire about retail outlets. You can also find some listed on-line if you do a google search for Putford scissors.


In other news:

The 2016 text-based installation above, entitled Time Changes Everything, is the work of Indian artist DAKU. His most recent installation, Theory of Time, also works with letters and shadows.

You can see more images on Colossal, or on DAKU’s Instagram.

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, Design, free printable, installation, instructions, paper folding and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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