Introduction: How to Fold a Book Into a Word - the Original Tuto

Picture of How to Fold a Book Into a Word - the Original Tuto

Here it is : the tuto to make yourself a folded book.

Whatever you want to write or make a shape.

WARNING : this is the original tuto, with all the steps
With this one you will make really detailed altered books.

Step 1: Download Photoshop

Picture of Download Photoshop

This tuto is made with Photoshop (you can find a free trial version on the web).

Step 2:

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Open a new file, pixel scale.

Width is the number of sheets.
WARNING : I said “sheets” and not pages !!

For the height : height of your sheets in cm (be careful, the cover can be higher) multiplied x12.
This increase is for the final distorsion (folded sheets take up more space).

Step 3:

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Choose the custom shape tool or the text tool.

If it is a word, choose your font and create a layer for each letter.

WARNING : if it’s a word don’t leave space between each letter (each column must have a black area).

Step 4:

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In the “view” menu, check “rulers” and “extras“.

Use the “pencil tool“, “square brushes“, size 1 pixel.

Step 5:

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Rasterize layer.
Zoom until the ruler shows each pixel.

We’re going to modify areas where the text (or the shape) has two parts on the same column.

For the “L“, the grey areas won’t be changed (vertical lines are not broken).

Step 6:

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Keep in mind that each column is a sheet of your book.

With the “pencil tool” (square brushe, size 1 px, white color) erase one column out of two in the upper area.
Then erase one column out of two in the lower area shifting the deletion from the upper area.

At the folding time, you will have :
- first sheet for the upper part,
- second sheet for the lower part,
- third sheet for the upper part…. and so on, until complete columns.

Step 7:

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Do the same for letters “o” and “v“.

The “e” is special, because you don’t have 2 areas on the same column but 3 !!

Step 8:

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First part ⇒ nothing to change (except if there is a letter before).

Second part ⇒ Erase two columns out of three, shifting the deletion :
- first sheet for the upper part,
- second sheet for the middle part,
- third sheet for the lower part… and so on.

Third part ⇒ erase one column out of two

Fourth part ⇒ nothing to erase (this part is thin… I admit, I am fussy).

Step 9:

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Let’s have a look to the full pattern.

Now, we have to calculate all the folds….

Step 10:

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Keep your Photoshop document opened, grab your book, your ruler, a pencil… and a calculator !

On this pattern the 30 first sheets are not folded.

Zoom until the ruler show each pixel.
Place guides just before and after the first sheet (1st black column).

The vertical ruler displays 76 px and 81 px…. we have to divide them all by 12 !!
So, folds are at 6.35 cm and 6.75 cm (starting from the top of the sheet).

Step 11:

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For the following sheet, move vertical guides.

The vertical ruler displays 135 px and 140 px : folds are at 11.25 cm and 11.65 cm.

For a nice rendering, I recommend to round up two numbers after the point (2 decimals).

Step 12:

For those who don’t want to use a software, you can make your pattern onto a squared paper or a graph paper.
You will have to run all these steps.

If you don’t want (or could not), here is the pdf patter.
All the calculations are done, but notice :
- sheets are 21 cm height,
- “Love” is made with 236 sheets.


On my website you can find patterns for free and my online shop is HERE.


JakeR66 (author)2016-11-21

what do you mean by "sheet"??

It's impossible to fold pages!! So I'm talking about sheets ;-)
Enjoy my tuto,

sinubuj (author)2014-08-07

Here you can create your own graphical pattern for free, to fold your own name.

cbrady123 (author)sinubuj2016-01-19

Hello. I too thought this link would lead me to the easiest solution, but after printing out the "Home" template using A4 landscape format, I am finding that I don't know where to line up the template onto the book page that is slightly more than 23 cm tall, (15"), when the template is 20.2 cm, (8" tall), from border to border, (not the total landscape page height). A difference of approx. 3 cm. I also don't know if I am supposed to line up the border of the template along the book page top or bottom edge or if I need a larger template. In other words I need a 15" tall template and only have an 8 1/2" tall piece of paper if I print it landscape. The full version template builder won't let me change the page height. Even if it did, the landscape page height is only 8 1/2". I must be missing something??

madeleines (author)sinubuj2014-10-26

Thank you - very helpful

rachel.hart.104 (author)sinubuj2014-08-25

Hi I didnt understand how the pattern works on this either. Really thought this link was what i was looking for, an easy way to get started. I typed in 350 pages for the word HOME. I was sent 349 lines with the word HOME spaced out with unused pages then the O and E all on 1 line instead of different. Cannot see how you can fold this word into 350 pages (175 sheets)???

sinubuj (author)rachel.hart.1042014-08-26

350 is the last pagenumber at the last book page, 175 are the number of book pages. The pattern has for each book page one line and on the line is the pageumber. Depending on the folding direction even or odd pagenumbers

rachel.hart.104 (author)sinubuj2014-08-27

Yes I can understand that, and i used your pattern of a love heart which came out beautiful thankyou. What im struggling to understand is how you fold letters like the O or E? E has 3 different folds, top middle and bottom so surely I would run out of pages as the top middle and bottom of the E is all on the same line.

Then you are on the right tuto !
Look at the steps 6-7 & 8 and you will find how to fold ;-)

i was responding to sinubuj free graphical pattern. Like yourself didnt understand how you can use it for words! It works ok with a shape. Unfortunatly I dont have photoshop and cant get a free trail as my duaghter had it in the past. Ive found other free online photoshops, etc but as i dont know how to use them i cant follow your tuto :( I guess ill have to wait till i can afford to buy it :'(

I understood you're using Sinubuj's graphical pattern!
I was just telling you to look at the pictures of my tuto to see how to fold letters like O or E. It's the same way : you have to "cut" lines which are made with several areas.

Your first piece is nice!
I offer 5 free patterns here :

Beware, folding can be addictive ;-)

I understand now, thankyou so much for your help :)

my 1st piece!

It's just the graph of the shape, the hardest parts are not done!!

When buying on my online shop, I send a pdf pattern containing the marks for each sheet of your book : you can start folding immediatly!...

Yes, the graph of the shape with all marks for eache book page. Look inside the instruction book than you can see how to fold its easy

I don't understand, this is the link to the book "Wir lieben papier", not to the pattern... ?

Look inside = "Blick ins Buch"

ChloeF7 (author)2015-11-10

I don't understand what you mean by 'sheets not pages'. What's the difference?!

flowery_air (author)ChloeF72015-11-13

A page indicates the front and back face of a sheet i.e. pages 1-2 = 1 sheet

angelducky3 (author)2015-10-17

There's no longer a PDF pattern attached to this and your website doesn't have free patterns listed on it that I can find. I suggest you update this instructable to remove those statements if you can.

AlexK41 (author)2015-09-18

This may be a dumb question but once you have a pattern, how do you transfer it to the book?

MAFERNANDACO made it! (author)2015-07-04

Hi I did this pattern according to your tutorial, you believe that this well

rachaellouise (author)2015-01-22

Can anyone help me at all with the photoshop steps? Ive downloaded the free trial and it looks nothing like the screen prints on here, im guessing this is an old version?. Ive never used it before so I have no idea how to do the steps in the tutorial. Layer each letter??? If someone could add some screen prints for what to do for photoshop beginners i.e how to layer each letter etc I would really appreciate it as I cannot start doing this until I figure out how to use photoshop and the online help for photoshop isn't clear at all :(

My tutorial is a detailed walkthrough, I cannot add more details.... but I can surely help you.

Send me by email a screen copy of your Photoshop screen and give me the version number. There must be a solution to adapt ;-)

Hi. Thanks for your reply. I agree your tutorial is detailed however for someone who has never used photoshop before an instruction like `choose your font and create a layer for each letter' is hard for me to do as I don't even know what a layer is. I was just saying it would be helpful for photoshop beginners to have the steps in there and screen prints of how to even do a layer for each letter etc. I have managed to do your tutorial but in instead as I've personally found that easier to use so we will see how the book turns out to see if I've done it right in that software. If it turns out wrong I would definitely be sending you an email and picking your brain for help if you don't mind ? thanks very much for your reply ☺

Yes paint can be easier to use (even if I don't ;-) ).
It's impossible to detail each function of Photoshop, my tuto would be too long and wouldn't be pleasant to read.
However, it's easy to find on the web short instruction for a function... or it's possible to ask me more details!
Don't hesitate to contact me if you need and enjoy book folding.

Jansen0815 (author)2014-12-28

Hello. I just wanted to thank you so much for creating this instruction. It took a lot of time to find out how people can do these amazing things with books. Then i found your perfect explanation. Great! I did a lot of orimoto-stuff this year, what gave me a bit practice. I even found out how to fold invert. Here you can see what i did for a friends wedding. Thanks so much again. Greetings from Germany.

Thanks and nice done !

You can see your book on my website visitor album.

yvonne.layland.9 (author)2014-10-28

could anyone help me I'm stuck on how to do a letter "i" a small letter I with a dot on the top it's the only letter which doesn't look right xx

Faitmain-Faitcoeur (author)2014-08-03

New! My online shop is opened :-)

rasha925 (author)2014-06-27

Do you have the word (Read)? I really need it.

All my free patterns are here :

lwright22 (author)2014-06-14

is this as complicated as it looks? i'm desperate to do my own wordssss

No, it looks much more complicated as it is ;-)

Did you start to fold a book with an already made pattern? It helps to understand the tuto!
On my website, at this time, there is 22 different patterns (for free!).

Enjoy create,

heathersharmony (author)2014-04-05

One other solution to folding two words is to make the pattern so the letters of the word on top fall mostly between the letters on the bottom. This way you are not losing so much definition.

heathersharmony (author)2014-04-05

I agree about not cutting. I refuse to cut any pages :)

ebredberg (author)2014-03-26

Well, maybe I´m stupid, but if I want 2 words like in the picture, how can I make a pattern for that?

jessicapct (author)ebredberg2014-03-27

Are you okay with cutting in your book? I've seen a couple of people do that, to get more folds from each page (like when they're making an O, they'll cut the pages to get both the upper and lower part of the letter on each page instead of alternating) and think that might work.So you'd make a cut maybe a third down of the pages, looking at that picture, and you could use the upper third to write "the".
I wouldn't cut more pages than the ones that cover your top word though. (I've never tried, I'm just guessing.)

sorry about lengthy, and possibly useless, comment. I just thought "maaaybe..."

Sacrilege !! ;-)

Even though the book is folded, it is not degraded.
It pains me to cut a book....

ebredberg (author)jessicapct2014-03-28

It sounds smart but I gave up for this time, I don´t became friends with photoshop ;)

Oops, I miss the "reply" button. Therefore my answer is above your question....

Faitmain-Faitcoeur (author)2014-03-26

Same technic, but you will have many areas in the same column --> your letters may loose accuracy.

Is it better to do 2 books and put it together that way instead?

Yes, it could be a solution.

heathersharmony (author)2014-02-01

If you use the program paintnet there is a plugin that will count the pixels for you :)

Meteorka (author)2014-02-01

People,I need help))
Could someone help to calculate cm?

Take a look at step 10.
You have to manually pick pixels measurements and divide them by 12 to recover cm measurements.

heathersharmony (author)2013-12-26

Finally made my own! Thank you!

whimsicalwonders (author)2013-12-21

Just for clarification on folding... (using image 11 as example) If the first part of the letter "L" uses 2 sheets for each part of the curve, top and bottom. Do you also use 2 sheet for the solid part of the letter (colums 40-55ish)? or are they individual sheets at that point? Thanks

Take a look at step 6 : " Keep in mind that each column is a sheet of your book."  So, after having erased your letters (or design), one black area is one sheet ! (whatever it was before).

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Bio: Faitmain-Faitcoeur : Handmade-Heartmade / Done with my hands from the bottom of my heart!
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