The Byopia Press Valentine for 2022

Although it is not yet February, I am posting this year’s valentine card early in case you wish to make it and mail it to someone in time. The structure is a hybrid flexagon.

I made quite a few models before I came up with the final version!

The flexagon is made up of two parts: the first part is one half of the Swiss Cross flexagon, and the second part —whose name and origins I have been unable to trace— I call the X-cut flexagon. (The X-cut can operate as a flexagon all on its own.)

If you would like to make a blank model to play with, you can download and print Byopia Press Hybrid Flexagon 2022.

To make the valentine, download and print this file. You only need to print the first page to make the actual valentine card. You can print on 75 gsm/20 lb, but  90 gsm/24 lb is better. I found cover stock made the flexagon bulky and a bit stiff. (Please note: I adjusted the type size after doing model that I photographed, so the text on your card will not look exactly like the pictures below.)

Using the printed guide marks, score the upper square as indicated by the dotted lines below. You will also need to score where the thin black line is shown below. You will cut along this score line after the flexagon is assembled.

Again using the printed guides, score where the dotted lines are shown on the second square below.

Cut out both squares on or just inside the black outline. Cut along the lines forming the X in the second square.

The squares now need to be glued together back to back, printed sides out. Make sure the X square is right side up. (The image above shows the correct orientation.)

Apply glue to all four corner squares outlined by scoring. I used a little mask to make  it easier to be accurate and get right into the corner without getting glue outside the square.

After the glue has set, slide a bit of cardboard or a scrap of book board between the two layers and cut the horizontal opening in the front using the score line as a guide.

The next step is to gently operate your hybrid flexagon for the first time. Opening it at the middle, fold back the top edge along the score lines at the edge of the edge of the glued squares. Try not to fold the triangle from the second layer when you are doing this. Repeat with the bottom half.

Fold first the left, then the right side to the back along the vertical score lines.

Repeat the first step, opening from the middle, folding the top section up, the bottom section down.

Repeating the second step will take you back to the start.

Cut out two of the larger hearts from your printout. Glue these to the triangular shapes revealed by the first opening. (See the image above —three back— with the green pointy finger.) The image below shows the left heart in place, with a scrap of newsprint being used to protect the central portion of the flexagon.

You can make the flexagon a bit fancier by cutting the corners of the finished flexagon to match the tops of the hearts.

This creates a pretty pattern.

If you are planning to give away multiples of the valentine, you can print out the second page of the valentine pdf. It contains six copies of the instructions for operating the flexagon. If you are only making one valentine, you can write out the instructions and use the two smaller hearts from the card page to decorate your instructions.

I also made a pdf for an envelope. Alternatively, you could fold your own from a blank sheet of paper and use the third large heart from the card page to seal it.

In other book arts news:

I went to art school long enough ago that I was taught multiple methods of manually copying an image accurately. This week’s newsletter from the Getty Museum had a link to an article that shows some of those methods. They might be of interest to book artists.

The article was posted on Google Arts and Culture, a site I had not encountered previously. It looks like an excellent resource!

Check it out here.


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, free printable, instructions, paper toy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Byopia Press Valentine for 2022

  1. What a wonderful Valentine. I’ve made flexogons for years, but never have used the x second page. Fabulous and so clever!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dinahmow says:

    The flexagon is interesting, but the Getty site dragged me away! I use those transfer methods, too.Thank you for another “rabbit hole.”


  3. This is so much fun! I have never made a flexagon before! I’m making one for each of my kids for Valentine’s Day! Thank you! Julie


  4. gmovassaghi says:

    Thank you for putting so much into this valentine post. You are so generous with sharing your love of paper arts!


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