December 28, 2012
The Letter that Becomes an Envelope
One of the reasons that I started an on-line site is that I wanted to keep a record of things that I didn’t want to forget. The paper-folding sequence shown above is one that I have already forgotten once. Fortunately, James Higby, who learned it the same day that I did, something like 15 years ago, continued to make these folds, and I was able to look at an envelope he made, then recreate the steps for this post, which will now forever be at my fingertips.
Since it’s the season to write thank you notes, this seems like the right time to post these instructions. What I like about this structure is that I can start with a standard size paper, which I have either created an image on or not , then make a sequence of folds which transforms the paper into an envelope that has a precious feeling to it.
If you start with a paper that has an image on it, like this one:
…then be advised that the image should be visible after the first fold.
The fun thing about using printed paper is watching how the image is transformed by the folds.
Here’s the snowflake paper as a finished envelope…
…and the other side.
And here’s a few, ready to go:
I have to say that I am partial to the envelope on the lower right, which is the stock page scavenged from the Wall Street Journal. A perfect thank you envelope for a gift of money?
Once you’re done with your thank you notes, may I suggest that you take a look at Hannah Brencher’s site http://www.moreloveletters.com/? Each week her organization mails out a ”bundle of love letters to a person in need. Sign up for the Love Letter Alert List to get the letter request in your inbox.” Very cool.
October 26, 2012
This goes along with the photos in my last post, which shows paper folded and cut in such so as to encourage young playwrites to put on a show. It’s a sweet little project, especially designed for the Pre-k and K crowd. I used a medium weight paper which was about 23″square before folding, but just about any size will work. I made a few little stages out of 8 1/2″ squares, regular copy weight paper, and they were charming.
I’m including a few screen shots of the process here because working in Adobe Illustrator is such a new thing for me. I’ve been making my hand-outs through a laborious, materials intensive use of paper, scanning, copying, tracing, drawing, coloring on and on until I get things just right. I’ve known that there is an easier way, so, rather than abandon what has become a process that it less and less fun to do, I’m trying out something new.
Isn’t this funny, all the shapes lines up ready to be put in their place?
I like the more hand-done look of my other hand-outs, and as I learn this program more (and when I get a new scanner) I will be able to get close to the look that I like. In the meantime, I am enjoying this learning curve.
January 27, 2012
Last Sunday morning I was trying out different ways of folding 11″ x 17″ paper to make a folded book cover. When the structure that I’ve drawn out in the document above appeared in my hands I was so excited that I kept making one right after the other, and, thus began my Off To South Africa day of bookmaking.
When I wrote the post about sending off the V-Pockets books that I had made I wondered if anyone would notice and ask about the folding method. I wondered if anyone would ask how to make it, and how long it would take for that inquiry, if ever, to come.
After posting it took me three hours to get back to the computer to look over the post. Bronwyn, who is literally half the world away from me, had already noticed and asked. I was so pleased that I immediately got to work on some sketches and sent them out to her. Here’s an excerpt of her response, which might be helpful to people who work with A3 rather than 11″ x 17″:
“….those instructions – they work perfectly!! I…. got an A3 piece of paper (which is 29.7cm x 42cm) …. and cut it to 22cm x 34 cm – not the same size as yours, but the same proportional dimensions. I’ve ended up with an 11cm square, so you probably end up with an 5 1/2 inch square.”
So, there you have it, the metric measurements! Roughly, a proportion to keep in mind is that the starting paper proportions should be 1:1.5, so if your paper is 10 units wide, is should be about 15 units long.
Thank yous to Bronwyn and to the others who asked for instructions on this structure. I hope you enjoy making books (or folders) with these directions.
January 13, 2012
Creating a binding for single sheets of notebook paper elevates groups of papers into something more precious. I’ve recently written some posts on my current favorite way of binding loose papers. The printable hand-out above goes into detail with the steps of using a pipe-cleaner binding to make a handsome folder. When I made this with Indian Lake students we used colored papers for the covers; when the students I worked with in Saratoga Springs made it, we used black covers. Either way, they looked great.
Click on the image on the left for a black & white version of the above hand-out.
The students have been filling these folder with their collections of pictures and facts. Good, solid, serious stuff. Personally, I have been enjoying just decorating them.