Picture of Folding Book Art - Wedding Table Numbers
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I am getting married soon and my fiance was looking at how to mark the table numbers.

The wedding is a village fete / vintage sort of theme. My wife to be is an english teacher, and we both like books...

As she was looking for inspiration she came across one of the folded books with words in. I'm sure you have seen them before, but if not check out this link:


At this point I thought "I can do that!". So I set about folding numbers in to the books instead of words...

After I had done my first number, I tried to search the Internet for instructions to see if there is a better way of doing it. I couldn't find instructions (without paying $15), just a couple of free templates (for a crown), but no instructions on how to use them.

So I stuck with my method, and this is what I will go through here.

In theory you should be able to use the same method for words or picture.

Date Made: May 2013
Approx Cost: £0.50 per book
Approx Time: 1.5 hours per book
Difficulty: Medium

Step 1: Acquire Books

Picture of Acquire Books
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I used hard back books as I thought it would give much more structure to it after it was all folded, meaning that it would stand up easier.

Originally I was going to do them all in books that mean something to us, but I decided against this in the end for two reasons
1. Cost - looking on eBay/amazon, hard back versions of the books I was after would soon of racked up.
2. It seemed a waste to ruin good books.

So I went to my local charity book store and asked them if they had any books they were throwing out.

I was lucky in the fact that I just happened to turn up the day before their recycling collection. The lady took me to a room out the back full of bags of books. She let me pick which books I wanted, and then just asked for a donation of £5 to the chairty - so 50p per book.

Since folding these books I have realised that you need to look for a few things in the books you choose though.
1. Make sure they are solid; solid spine, no pages falling out etc.
2. Make sure the pages aren't too thin. Don't pick any with that thin tracing paper style pages.
3. Make sure you have enough pages. I think 300 to 400 pages is about right.
4. Old/Discoloured/Gold Leaf Edge books are best, as you will get a contrast in colour to the folded edge. (Although some of the colour comes from the gap/shadow).
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Morgantao1 year ago

This is truly a wonderful instructable!

I too have trouble wrapping my head around the holes in the eight.

I would really appreciate more photos, and a video would be sooooo much help.

Thanks for sharing this, I always enjoy a good 'ible.

Mr_o_uk (author)  Morgantao1 year ago

Ok, this is a very quick rough and ready example of how to fold the holes in an 8! It doesn't look like much, but if you keep repeating the process, the number will form!

I was just going to bed, so I rushed it and I didn't put the accuracy in to the folds that I normally would.

It is also done in an awkward way as I would normally have the book facing me, not facing the side. I had it facing the side just to point to the camera!

Hopefully it helps, if not let me know and I will do a proper video!
deniseann Mr_o_uk6 months ago
Going to try this

Perfect, now I finally understand!
I've always been more of a visual learner :)

This short video helped me more than reading all the tutorials. Thank you!

MarikaM26 days ago

Great tutorial, thanks for sharing :-)

deniseann6 months ago
Great video
LeanneR8 months ago

WOW this is GREAT!!! I've always wondered how people do this... I thought the pages were cut to form the number/Letter... Fantastic! :) Leanne @suggys.co.uk/Leanne

rfrick1 made it!1 year ago

okay, so it took my like 3 hours to make, but it was a good form of procrastinating before my exam!

Mr_o_uk (author)  rfrick11 year ago
Good work! 9 more to make a set (0-9). That's only 27 more hours!?! That's a lot of revision to miss out on!?!
Mr_o_uk (author) 1 year ago
I have another "book art" themed instructable here:

RingoWild1 year ago


varialodge1 year ago
This is so amazing! I have tried doing it on an old paperback for practice and I too have become confused with the 2 holes in the 8! I'm going to re-read and re-read until hopefully it sinks in :/ I never was good at this kind of thing lol, but am determined to master it!
Mr_o_uk (author)  varialodge1 year ago
Did you manage to work it out? I don't have these books anymore (they went to someone who was getting married in a library!) otherwise I would have taken some more photos and a video for you.

If you are still struggling, let me know and I will try and make another and take some more photos.
sav141 year ago
Wow, Love it! i'd really like to do this for my Wife's birthday, but don't know how you did the "holes" in the number eight. I would like to do "love" but need to know how to do those inside parts. Does that even make sense? Can you explain?
Mr_o_uk (author)  sav141 year ago
The holes are done by folding alternating pages, either as the top or the bottom section of body. So the holes are 'left over' after forming the body of the text. If you cut a slice through the text, think of each fold as an edge of the outline.

If it's too complicated to alternate pages, you could cut the page at the center of the fold and fold from there, but that would ruin your book, and there's no coming back from it if you make a mistake.

For an alternative method, see these instructables:


sav14 Mr_o_uk1 year ago
Thank you so very much for your response! Please forgive me I am still a bit confused. As you fold to create the main outline for, in your case, the number eight, the insides automatically form from folding it from each of the corners on alternating pages? So you're not specifically looking to fold those "inside areas" as they do it automatically?

I actually had found the other constructible on book folding but it wasn't as good as yours. It's mostly about using the program but I couldn't find any information about folding the actual pages as you showed. And I very much want to try this. Anything else you could provide I would be so very grateful!

Thank you again!
Mr_o_uk (author)  sav141 year ago
This sketch might help. You will have to zoom in to read the numbers.

Let me know if it doesn't help!?!
Mr_o_uk (author)  Mr_o_uk1 year ago
Another picture which might help.... The arrows show the fold locations and page numbers to go along with the sketch above. (The page numbers are upside down though!)

The gaps between the edges of these folded pages leave the 'holes'.
weddlbel1 year ago
weddlbel1 year ago
This is really cool!! I am going to be in a craft show so i thought this kind of thing would be really cool to do!!! Do you have any other book folding ideas you think would be cool for a craft show?
Mr_o_uk (author)  weddlbel1 year ago
Check out my book art collection:


But there is loads of cool stuff on instructables. Just search and browse!
Mr_o_uk (author) 2 years ago
for a follow up post from someone else who has done words, check this out:

shazni2 years ago
Wow doesn't describe it! Voted! But only epilog as that's the only one I see :-) thank you for this wonderful instructable .
Voted! Thanks for this instructable, I've always wondered how it was done :) I wanted to show the violin one I made with these instructions, but it's not letting me post pics for some reason.
Mr_o_uk (author)  nottotallyhere2 years ago
I'd like to see it. If you try again and it doesn't work, then pm me and I'll send you my email. Then I will try and post it.
Ok, I'm trying from a different browser.

book folding.JPG
Mr_o_uk (author)  nottotallyhere2 years ago
Awesome. I'm glad it worked for a picture too.
lrussell112 years ago
Voted! This is a fab idea... I just need to get married now! ;)
Very fun! A heart would be cute for a wedding too :) Like with other books for the couple's initials :)
Mr_o_uk (author)  Penolopy Bulnick2 years ago
I was tempted to do our names and a heart, but after doing 9 table numbers, that was more than enough! It's pretty time consuming!
HollyMann2 years ago
Love it!!!!
and I voted for you!
Mr_o_uk (author) 2 years ago
For reasons as to why I would like to win a laser cutter, please read my wedding invite instructable. (Basically I'd like to win it for my sister who is very talented and just about to finish Uni)
pyearick2 years ago
I've also been looking for free instructions for this kind of folding technique. Thank you so much! You get my vote (good luck!). And congratulations and best wishes to you and your bride. Cheers!
tema1372 years ago
Great! With e-books you will never get this :-)
Mr_o_uk (author)  tema1372 years ago
Very true, although I am partial to an ebook and an audio book in the right place! However I couldn't not have my bookcases filled with paper books!
koklimabc2 years ago
This is awesome!!!!
yukikkt2 years ago
It looks amazing!
soul_eater2 years ago
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