Ruth Smith’s Folded Secrets 3 and 4

Last week I wrote about the first two books in Ruth Smith’s Folded Secrets series. Today’s post will be about the last two books.

Like the earlier books, this volume contains the basic instructions for making the boxes needed to complete a Chinese Thread Book/Zhen Xian Bao. This permits each volume to function independently. The illustrations are once again clear and the instructions easy to follow.

There are lots of coloured pictures to inspire creative decoration of the completed thread book. Images of “Dragon” books, a larger format thread book, are also included for inspiration.

This volume also has instructions for adding a text block, so may be of particular interest to book-centric readers.

Book 4 is the one I needed when I was on the hunt for this particular fold.

(I did eventually find it! If you would like a copy of those instructions you can download the pdf  Flowered candy box.)

All the basics are included once again. This volume has instructions for a top layer that I had not seen before, with a decorative panel replacing the top layer boxes that are more commonly used.

Ruth Smith refers to the fancy top box as a Star Fold. The instructions for it are different from the ones I used, but seem clear. (I have not yet test-folded Ruth’s version.)

Book 4 ends with instructions for some seasonally appropriate projects. If you were to start right now, you could make a twist box calendar for the coming Advent.

I recommend any (or all of) Ruth Smith’s Folded Secrets books to those who want to make some form of Chinese Thread Book/Zhen Xian Bao. The books will also be of interest to anyone who likes paper folding projects.

If you want to purchase any of Ruth Smith’s Folded Secrets project books, you may contact her at to make enquiries.

If you want to read about my explorations of the Zhen Xian Bao (with instructions), you will find links to all the related posts here.

In other book arts news:

Shawn Sheehy is offering a range of mechanical card workshops online. The one featured above is open to children age 11 and up (accompanied by an adult). More info and a link for registration can be found here.


You might also be interested in a virtual workshop on volvelles offered by the Jaffe Center for Book Arts. More information can be found here.

I finished my piece for the #areyoubookenough_recycle challenge this week. I will post more about it next Sunday.

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.
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2 Responses to Ruth Smith’s Folded Secrets 3 and 4

  1. Melisa Gwinn says:

    I tried to make the flowered candy box and couldn’t figure the directions out. They just don’t make any sense to me. Seems like something was left out and what’s there isn’t clear at all


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