The Orihime Binding with a Drumleaf Variation, Part One

The anniversary of this blog is coming up —July 7— and I post a special project every year to celebrate both this event and Tanabata. This year I am re-visiting the Orihime binding which was created for Tanabata in 2017. I developed this drumleaf variation so that I could do paper weaving or stitching on the pages and have the “wrong side” hidden when the book is completed.

Last week I showed you the papers I created for my version of this project. (If you want to print those pages for yourself, you will find the file here.)

You can also choose another paper. You will need three pieces of paper that measure the height of your finished book by four times the width of your finished book, and three pieces that measure the height of your finished book by twice the width.

The templates I designed for an Orihime book 4.25 inches wide by 5.5 inches high can be downloaded here. (The templates give the cutting patterns for the slits through which you weave the book together.) My coloured printouts linked above make this size. (You will have half of one strip left over after making your pages. You might want to use that in some of your paper weavings.) If you are making a different size, you can use the templates as a reference and design your own slit pattern to fit.

The next step after cutting your pages is to fold them. Take the three wider pieces of paper and fold them in half, then fold the sides in to the middle. Take the narrower three pieces and fold in half. (Your pages should look like the layout shown in the second image in this post.)

Although this step can be done later, you can also cut the cover slits now. The image below shows where the slits should be cut in the front and back covers. Make sure the spine row of slits are exactly on the fold. You can also cut the slits in the third long piece which will form the centre signature. Make sure the two slits (upper right pattern in the image above) are exactly on the centre fold of the piece. They also need to line up with the equivalent rows of slits in the front and back covers.

If you don’t want to design your own pattern for doing a weaving on each page, you can use the same cutting templates I am using. You can download that file here. To make the weaving, you will need to cut a pattern of slits in your page.

Cut strips of paper the width of the short slits on the sides and longer than the width of the pattern. Weave the strips of paper through the slits horizontally. I like to weave from top to bottom, but some people find it easier to start in the middle.

Here is a smaller woven pattern shown from the back and the front. You can glue down the ends of the strips if your paper is slippery.

If you want to design your own weaving patterns for the pages, you can find lots of inspiration on the internet by doing a search for “paper weaving”. You can also find this sort of pattern by searching for “twill weave patterns” since cloth weavers use this type of design as well.

If you have participated in a Weave through Winter session with Helen Hiebert, you will be ahead of the rest of us! Here’s a sample of Helen’s paper weaving.

You might also do a search for “Japanese meshwork”. This is a textile process that involves weaving ribbons or strips of folded cloth to create patterns. Most of the patterns are easily reproduced using strips of paper.

Just remember that you don’t want any of your slits to cut through the edges of your pages. You need to leave a solid border around your pattern so that you can glue the folded pages back to back to hide the “wrong” sides.

Next Sunday I will show you how to assemble your pages with all their lovely woven designs into a finished Orihime/Drumleaf book.

Just to keep you up-to-date with progress on The 99 Dreams of Euclid’s Wife, here are the seven images from this week.

In other book arts news:

If you like listening to podcasts while you work, you might want to add this one to your playlist. A short intro and the link can be found on this webpage.


Love all things Japanese? Interested in the history of children’s toys? Check out this set of catalogues from The Public Domain Review.

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, DIY, free printable, paper cutting and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Orihime Binding with a Drumleaf Variation, Part One

  1. Pingback: The Orihime Binding with a Drumleaf Variation, Part Two | Byopia Press

  2. Diane Laundy says:

    Hi Cathryn – I am enjoying your blog very much and am interested in making the Orihime book. However I don’t have any paper wide enough for say a 5” high book. Do you have any techniques for piecing paper together? Thanks!


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