A Four-Sided Wrapper From One Sheet With No Glue And No Waste

When I was preparing my post on Hedi Kyle’s Diagonal Pocket Folder at the end of March, I noticed her Self-closing Wrapper in The Art of the Fold. It reminded me of something I had seen in my early days on the Internet. I went back and looked at Carmencho Arregui’s Turning Triangle and created my own variation which requires nothing more than a single sheet of paper.

The basic layout should work for all but extremely tall and narrow books

The original wrapper is closed with a button and an elastic. Here is the full page of instructions from Out of Binding, Arregui’s website.



The button is a bit bulky for some applications, and elastics fail over time. I thought a tucked flap closure would be better.

The turning mechanism is a clever little piece of paper engineering. It is based on a triangle, and permits the upper part of the paper to pivot from horizontal to vertical. (I have marked the full triangle in green in the figure on the left.)

If you want to try it out, print out Turning Triangle Variation. It will print on either A4 or 8.5 x 11 inch paper. You might want to print two copies: one to make your model and one for future reference when designing your own version to fit a specific book. There is also a sheet of templates for the turning triangle itself: Turning Triangle Templates. Print this on card stock when you want to make a customized version of the wrapper. There are six copies of the cutting and folding pattern for the triangle in case you want to do this as a group activity, or you plan to make a lot of wrappers over time. The template is the minimum size I would recommend for the turning triangle, even for quite small books.

Score all the fold lines on your printout —one is marked with dots, the rest with dashes— then cut along all the solid black lines. Fold all the scored lines (the dashes indicate a valley fold, the dotted line at the upper left of the triangle is a mountain fold) then open your paper flat again.

To create your four-sided wrapper, take the right hand end of the upper portion and rotate it clockwise —down, and to the left— so that end is at the bottom and the section is centred over the middle of the horizontal bottom portion.

Here are some pictures from Arregui’s instructions.

With your pre-creased folds, this should be simple.

The next steps are easier if you have a spacer inside the wrapper. I used a scrap of Davey board cut to the measurements of the height and width of the text block used for the pattern.

Fold the top and bottom flaps over your spacer. If you flip this middle part up, you can see the turning triangle.

Fold the left flap to the right over the middle section, fold the right-hand point, then fold it to the left over everything else.

You will need to make a slit in the left hand flap for the point to slide into. With your spacer inside and all the flaps folded, mark two points lightly in pencil to indicate the ends of the slit.

Position the slit far enough in to hold a significant portion of the point, but with the ends not too close to the edges.

Open up thewrapper, pierce the holes, and cut the slit. Re-fold the wrapper over the spacer, tuck the point into the slit, and you’re done.

If you want to make a wrapper for an actual book, just use the measurements of the book as indicated on the pattern. If the text block is solid enough, you can use it to mark out the cutting and folding pattern and eliminate measuring.

I made a paste paper wrapper for one of my early artist’s books.

After you have marked out and scored your pattern, transfer the turning triangle measurements. Cut out one of the templates, and position it carefully so that the cutting and folding lines on it match the cutting and folding lines of your pattern.

Use an awl to pierce the corners and ends of the triangle cutting lines, score the short fold lines, then cut and fold the wrapper.

You can make your wrapper out of any strong paper or thin card. (I managed to make the pink one out of heavy wrapping paper, but it wouldn’t be very durable.)

A four-sided wrapper made from card stock would be a useful container for things like stickers and other ephemera.

In other book arts news:

There are still lots of online book arts workshops being offered.

This looks like a good one for anyone wanting to move from making blank books to making books with content. You will find more information and a registration link here.


If you are interested in movable books, Shawn Sheehy has a long list of workshops, or you might prefer making one of his DIY cards instead. The jack-in-the-pulpit design above is the most recent addition to his flower series.


I don’t spend as much time on Pinterest as I used to —Instagram eats a few hours a week instead— but I do browse from time to time. This week it offered me the website of Dominique Rousseau.

Rousseau is a papermaker. He casts, pours, and laminates to create his pieces. If you want to see his work, you might start with his Livres d’artistes.

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. I also create prints and drawings that are frequently text-inspired or text-based.
This entry was posted in art, artist's books, book arts, bookbinding, free printable, instructions, moveable books, papermaking and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Four-Sided Wrapper From One Sheet With No Glue And No Waste

  1. Pingback: A Pocket Placard | Byopia Press

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