Generalization has a bad rap. We’ve all been admonished with the phrase “don’t generalize.” But sometime generalization is a worthy pursuit. Sometimes when you can come up a way to understand something in a general way, it opens up possibilities.
Hedi Kyle’s card-carrying Blizzard Book is an elegant, well-loved folding structure. I wrote a post about this structure about 7 years ago: this post of mine has attracted viewers every single day (nearly 20,000 views so far). What I want to do here, in this post, is to generalize the paper proportions so we can make a card-carrier blizzard book that can hold any size cards, not just business cards.
Determining the size of your paper can be done in one of two ways: 1)referencing the cards themselves or 2)measuring the cards then doing some calculations with numbers. I do it both ways, starting with no measuring tools except for the cards that will be going into the book’s pockets, then I do the math to check and refine.
There’s a video link at the end of this post, demonstrating how to discover the perfect size paper for your cards of choice, but here’s photos and a description, too, because a snap shot may be all you need to see what’ going on.
First, or course you have to know the size of the cards that you want to put into the pockets. These cards will have a length(bottom) and a width (side).
To find the short side of the paper you will be needing, stack two short edges of your cards plus one long edge of your card, then add just a bit more. In the example above my cards are 3.5″ x 5.5″ so I added 3.5 + 3.5 + 5.5 + .5 = 13 inches. This is the short edge of the paper I will need to cut.
Keep in mind that the paper you will be needing will be a long narrow rectangle.
To determine the long edge of the paper you will need, measure one short edge of the card for every pocket that you want to have in your book. I usually make books with eight pockets, so I measure four short sides then double this length, and finally add another 1/8″ per pocket. In the example above, the short sides of my cards are 3.5″ so four of these are 14 inches, doubling this makes 28 inches, then I add one more inch and get 29″.
My eight-pocketed book will, therefore, by 13″ x 29″. If I want 16 pockets, like what Hedi shows in her book, I double ONLY the length of the paper. In my example my paper would then need to be 13″ by 58″.
Here’s the video of me telling you all of the above.
Addendum: Here’s a video on how to make the blizzard book. The paper I use in this video is 13″ x 29″.