How to Make a Memory Pocket

This is my Memory Pocket for World Book Night, April 23, 2023. It was mailed to Bristol this week and should get there in plenty of time.

The inserted locking square was made by gluing together pages cut from a Readers’ Digest Condensed Book, with a logo from the cover mounted on the front and another logo from an endpaper glued to the back. The memories are printed  inside and can be read when the pocket is unfolded.

I made a little protective case for the pocket with the title on the front.

There’s a helpful printer’s fist on the back flap. (If you want to make this kind of case, you can find the instructions in this post.)

To make your own Memory Pocket you will need a rectangle of paper with proportions of 1:2. My model for this post was a piece of paper 10 cm/4 in x 20 cm/8 in.

Fold your paper in half across the length, open flat and then fold the ends into the middle. Position your paper horizontally with the mountain fold side up. It should look like the following image.

Fold the upper corners down to meet in the centre, then open flat. Rotate 180º and repeat.

Rotate the paper to make the long axis vertical and turn it over so that the horizontal folds are valley folds. Collapse the upper half closed by pushing in from the sides —see pointy fingers— while pushing the top edge back and down to the middle. (The image below shows this step from my original bookmark instructions. Think of the bottom edge of the square paper as the middle fold of the longer paper for the Memory Pocket.) Rotate the paper 180º and repeat the step.

Flip your paper over so that the pocket openings are facing you. Here’s what the completed step looked like in the bookmark instructions.

This is what it should look like for the Memory Pocket: two triangles with their open sides facing each other.

Fold the outer points of the upper layer so that the tips meet over the point at the top. Here’s the bookmark version with both points folded up.

Here’s the Memory Pocket version with just one point folded up. Fold both points up on one half, rotate 180º, then fold up the outer points of the upper layer on that half.

Lift the tips back up about half way. Open the pocket and fold the tip down to the centre. This is known as a “squash fold”.

You will need to make four squash folds for your pocket.

Fold back the tips of all four squash folds. This will make a square opening in the centre of your Memory Pocket surrounded by four triangular flaps. The folded-back tip of each flap should match the tip of the triangular shape underneath.

To keep your Memory Pocket closed, cut a square of card stock or stiff, heavy paper slightly smaller than the space defined by the four corner pockets inside the squash folds. For the Memory Pocket I showed at the beginning of the post, the locking square was glued in place at one corner so it can’t get lost. Opening and closing the Memory Pocket will be facilitated if you round the corners of your locking square, making it easier to slide in and out.

You can write or draw directly inside your Memory Pocket, or use it to hold something flat. The pocket could be glued into another book structure, or a set of them could be stitched together through the side folds to form an accordion book.

If you would like your Memory Pocket to have the printers’ fists to indicate where to pull, click on the image below to open the print file.

To avoid creasing the printers’ fists, press the diagonal folds lightly at those corners. Alternatively, you can download a diagram of the folds here and, using the guides on the file above, score all the fold lines. This would avoid having any crease at all in the corners.

In other book arts news:

If you are interested in book cover design, you might want to attend this presentation from the Book Club of California. The registration link is here.


If you can’t attend Emily Martin’s upcoming paper puppet workshop in person, you can attend her talk online. Register here.


This year’s MCBA/Jerome Foundation Book Arts Mentorship Recipients — D’Angelo Christian, Suriya Khuth, and Leah Klister— will be presenting artists’ talks online. You can reserve a virtual seat here.


Books sometimes need different shapes to reflect their content. You can view this clever use of a slanted codex by Peter Newell and read a bit more about its creator here.


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.
This entry was posted in altered books, art, artist's books, book arts, DIY, free printable, instructions, origami, paper folding and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to How to Make a Memory Pocket

  1. Pingback: The Februllage 2023 Finish | Byopia Press

  2. Heather Finlay-Morreale says:

    Cool design. I used it as a basis for some Easter cards for my niece and nephew. Pics on my Insta if you want to follow @haleyfinmore

    Liked by 1 person

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