accordion photo book
(Makes one 5"x 5" book)
Capturing Your Moments
The supplies required for this project are minimal and the book can be tailored to any size and color you prefer. Small books are great for fitting into a purse, suitcase or shipping box. The following instructions are for a 5” x 5” book. When choosing your book papers, look for colors and designs that complement your photos nicely.
At least ten 4” x 4” photos printed on photo paper (book fits 22 photos)
1 large sheet (at least 36”) of 90 lb white or cream colored artist paper (thick yet still foldable)
PVA or other PH neutral paper glue
1 small piece of handmade or printed art paper (8 1/2” x 11” is enough)
1 small piece of illustration board or book binding board (8 1/2” x 11” is enough)
Glue dots (or 2-sided tape, or photo corners)
Metal ruler, x-acto knife, pencil, small paint brush
If printing photos at home:
Photo spray fixative (such as Krylon UV-Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating)
Choose at least 10 photos (up to 22) from your phone or computer that you would like to use. If they are not in a square format, use your photo software to crop them to square. Next, print the photos (or have them printed) to a 4” size.
If printing photos at home:
• You can use 4” x 6” photo paper and then trim off the extra edge
• Seal the ink with clear acrylic coating spray to prevent smearing
Using an x-acto knife, prepare the accordion fold by cutting a 5” x 60” strip from your thick, foldable paper. If your paper is not 60” long, you will need to cut the strip in two pieces, adding 1/2” to the length of one of the strips for gluing the pieces together. We cut one piece at 5” x 35 1/2” and the 2nd at 5” x 25.” Next, use a pencil to mark the length of your strips in 5” increments and carefully accordion fold the papers using the pencil marks as your guide.
After you have all the folds in place, glue the two strips together by brushing glue onto the 1/2” flap and laying the next sheet on top of it. Make sure that when you close the accordion, the folds continue in the same direction and that the edges line up. After checking that no extra glue escaped, place the folded pages under a heavy book until dry.
Meanwhile, make the cover. Cut two 5 1/8” squares from the illustration (or book binders) board. Place those squares on your cover paper (handmade or printed) and cut two squares. Next, brush a thin layer of glue onto your boards and carefully press the cover papers on top. Place these cover boards under a heavy book to dry.
When dry, attach the book covers to the pages. First, lay a cover board on your table right side down. Then, brush a thin layer of glue onto the last page of the accordion. Carefully center and press the glued accordion page onto the cover board (see below). After it is attached, gently close the rest of the accordion and brush glue onto the outside of the first page. Attach the inside of the front cover to the glued paper, making sure both covers are now lined up with each other.
Press both covers under book, letting the folded pages stand up, until glue drives (as shown above left).
When the glue is dry, use glue dots, 2-sided tape or photo corners to mount your photos to each page. Remember to use both sides of the accordion. Label the photos if you choose.