Introduction: Snowflake Book Folding Pattern. Book Art Tutorial Using Template Pattern

About: Having been involved in paper crafts for many years, I have now decided to make my book folding designs available to others who want to pursue this fascinating hobby. It is so easy and very therapeutic, all yo…

For those of you who like to plan ahead for Christmas, here is a fun pattern for a snowflake book art.

The pattern requires 260 folds so you will need a book (preferably hard backed) with at least 520 pages and which is a approx. 21 cms tall (8 inches).

The pattern is a template style with easy to read columns, which makes it more straightforward and quicker to use than most book folding patterns available. You do not need to measure and mark each page of the book before folding (who has time to do this on every sheet of a large book!). Most patterns can be completed in an evening (or 2 depending on how much TV you watch while folding!).

You can find the pattern here Snowflake Pattern

I have now built up an ever expanding collection of patterns and also make custom words and designs for people. If you want to try this yourself you can see the patterns in my website Looks Inviting

Step 1: Things You Need

The simplicity of book folding means there are very few things you need. In fact, all you need is:

· A hardback book · Your folding pattern · A ruler (to line up your folds) · A optional bone folder (or strong finger nails) · An optional large elastic band or peg to hold folded pages out of the way

Top Tip! – A child’s elasticated fabric hairband is great for holding pages

Step 2: How to Choose Your Book

You need to choose a hardback book with enough pages for your chosen design. Make sure that the book has a strong spine so that it will stand firm when finished.

Each pattern has many columns and this is the number of sheets in the book which will be folded. Since each sheet of paper in the book is 2 pages (there is a page on each side), the number of pages required is twice the number of sheets. This is the minimum number of pages you need.

If your pattern is an alphabet, your pattern comes in 3 sections. These are uppercase, lowercase and numbers and symbols. On the second page of each section there is a table which shows the number of folds or sheets required for each character. This corresponds to the number of columns in the pattern and this is the number of sheets in the book which will be folded for that character. You need to add together the folds required for each character in your word.

Top Tip! - Remember to include any un-numbered pages at the beginning or end of the book when counting the pages available.

You also need to make sure that the book is tall enough for your pattern. The distance between the upper and lower lines on your pattern is the maximum height of the design, so you need a book at least a couple of centimetres taller than this.

Top Tip! – When measuring your book, measure the height of the pages, not the height of the hardback cover, as the covers are larger than the pages.

Top Tip! – Look out for books which have coloured page edges, these can be especially effective.

Step 3: Calculate Where to Start Folding

To calculate how many sheets are in your book, find the last numbered page. Now add in the number of pages which are not included in the numbering (there may be some at the beginning and the end of the book and photograph pages are often un-numbered). This gives the total number of pages in the book. Divide this by 2 to get the total number of sheets or folds.

Now subtract the number of sheets required in the pattern from the total number of sheets in the book. This gives you the number of spare sheets which will be left at the beginning and end of the book.

Let’s use the following as an example.

The pattern requires 255 sheets.

There are 507 pages in the book

There are 8 un-numbered sheets at the beginning of the book, 7 un-numbered at the back of the book and 6 un-numbered photo pages inside the book.

Total pages = 507 + 8 + 7 + 6 = 528

Total sheets = 528 / 2 = 264

Spare sheets = 264 – 255 = 9

We can leave 4 spare sheets at the start of the book and 5 sheets at the end. This means that the first sheet to be folded is the 5th sheet in the book.

Step 4: Lining Up the Pattern

Your pattern is printed over several pages and you need to use these in ascending order.

Have the book in front of you and lay the first page of your pattern on the first sheet of the book and position the pattern vertically where you want your design to be. There is a centre line printed on the pattern to help you.

Now carefully fold over the excess at the bottom of your pattern sheet. This crease will be used to line up with the bottom of each page. Measure the amount that you folded over and make the same fold on the bottom of every pattern page.

Open the book and count the sheets until you reach your starting sheet (sheet 5 in our example).

lace your pattern under this sheet and use the bottom of your folded pattern to align the pattern with the bottom of the page. Make sure that the pattern is straight by checking that the first column is parallel to the edge of the book.

You are now ready to start folding!

Step 5: Folding Your Design

Line up the top of your ruler with the top of the shaded section in column 1 of your pattern as shown in the photo. Now fold over the top corner of the page up to the ruler and firm the crease using your finger or a bone folder.

Top Tip! – You can use the line of text on the page to help line up your ruler

Now line up the bottom of your ruler with the bottom of the shaded section in column 1 of your pattern and fold over the bottom corner of the page up to the ruler.

You have now folded your first sheet.


If the position of the fold does not allow you to line up your fold with the ruler, then fold over as far as your can and turn up any excess which goes past the spine of the book.

Top Tip! – If you find it too difficult to keep the pattern in place while folding, you can mark the page with a pencil where the pattern marks are and then fold.

Turn over the page and repeat the process, positioning the pattern as before except this time ensuring that the second column of the pattern is parallel to the edge of the book. Make the folds, mark column 2 as complete on the pattern and continue to the next sheet. As you finish a section of pattern move on to the next section. Continue to the end of the book.

Top Tip! – If you can no longer slide your pattern underneath your next page, fold over some of the columns you have completed.

Step 6: Making Use of Spacers

To help make your design “float” out of the book, spacers can be added at the beginning and end of the design. This is a good way of hiding the spare pages at each end of the book. Fold over the top corner of your sheet and line up with the middle of the sheet. Do the same with the bottom corner. Now fold the page over towards the centre spine of the book.

Spacers are also very useful between words in word designs. We suggest that a maximum of four spacers are used otherwise the design can become too “loose”.