Byopia Press Advent Calendar 2019: Day Ten and a Locking Pocket

This is the first paper project for the 2019 Advent Calendar that doesn’t start with a square piece of paper. It begins with a rectangle, but ends up as a square.

I have posted the instructions for this before, but as a component of a Zhen Xian Bao variation or as a letter lock. You could use either A4 or 8.5 x 11 inch paper to make a model. The instructions below are a re-post but include variations if you want your pocket to be a free-standing enclosure.


Fold the paper in half horizontally, then vertically. Open flat.

Variation: If you prefer not to have fold marks across the back of your pocket, just pinch a crease at the edges where the horizontal and vertical folds would be.

With the paper oriented vertically, fold the two sides in to meet at the middle crease.

Open your paper flat again, then fold the top right corner down to the central horizontal crease. Fold the bottom left corner up to the central horizontal crease.

Addendum: If you have pinched creases at the edges of your paper rather than folding vertically and horizontally, you may want to use a guide for this step. Lay a ruler or another piece of paper between the horizontal crease marks. Fold the top right corner down using the guide to make sure the bottom edge of the newly folded corner is horizontal. You can use that edge as a guide when folding the bottom left corner up.

Fold the upper left section in to the middle. Repeat with the lower right section.

Fold the corner at the top that projects beyond the diagonal fold (at the upper right) down and under to match the line of the angled fold. Repeat with the projecting corner at the lower edge.

Open the left side of your folded paper then refold as shown in the image below. Two crease lines are indicated by pointy fingers. These creases need to be reversed.

Reversing the two folds will make your paper look like the image below. Note that the crease indicated by the green pointy finger in the picture above is now at the side indicated by the green pointy finger in the image below.

Rotate your paper 180° and repeat the previous step.

Tuck the upper right flap (the one with the angled fold on top) under the vertical flap on the left hand side. Rotate your paper 180° and repeat the tuck.

Fold down the upper angled portion of your paper so that the diagonal edge just touches the centre point

Tuck the narrow end into the pocket in the layer below. The pink pointy finger indicates the edge of the pocket.

Rotate 180°, fold, and tuck.

If you used the pinch and crease method, the back of your pocket will be unmarked.

This pocket makes a good container for a re-usable gift like a travel sewing kit. If you are including a small pair of scissors as well as a packet of needles and some different coloured threads wrapped around a bit of card stock, you will need to make your rectangle at least  17.8 x 21.6 cm/7 x 8.5 in.

Choose a decorative paper that is at least the equivalent of 90gsm/24# in weight. You can use scrapbooking paper, paste-decorated paper, marbled paper, or —if it’s a travel sewing kit— a recycled map.

If you are including the scissors, you may also want to make a protective sheath for them so they don’t wear a hole in the pocket. You can find instructions here.

If you would like to use the locking pocket as a component in a larger gift, check out my Bookbinder’s Travel Kit. Two locking pockets would make excellent replacements for the twist boxes in the Bookbinder’s Travel Kit.

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 book arts, DIY, instructions, paper folding and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Byopia Press Advent Calendar 2019: Day Ten and a Locking Pocket

  1. Pingback: Boxing Day and an Index for the Byopia Press Advent Calendar 2019 | Byopia Press

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