Card-Carrying Blizzard Book, any size you like

Art of the Fold by Hedi Kyle It's so wonderful to have this book in the world.
Art of the Fold by Hedi Kyle
It’s so wonderful to have this book in the world.

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.

two widths, one length
two widths, one length, to find the measurement of the short edge of the paper you will need

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.

four short edges to determine 1/2 of the paper I will be cutting
doubling the length of the four short edges gives you the length of the paper you will need

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″.

7 thoughts on “Card-Carrying Blizzard Book, any size you like

  1. Dear Paula,
    Thank you for sharing your tutorial on making blizzard books – they’re very well explained. I am a Fine Art Student in the UK and would like to make these books to show some photos of my work as part of my current module.

    The workings out are clear, however I have one problem, I need to make a 12 page book and a 16 page book, but I can’t find any that is those lengths overall. Being from the UK, we work in centimetres and metres therefore, to me I would need a single sheet of paper over a metre long!

    Therefore, my question is, if I made 2 books of say 6 pages, is there a way I can link them together to create 1 single book still using the same technique in your tutorial?


      1. I marbled a few 8.5″x11″ sheets of paper and want to “marry” them together so that I can make a large-enough sheet of marbled paper for creating a 16-page card-carrying blizzard book, with 4″x6″ cards. You mention paper hinges here. Would you hinge them using a transparent tape/cloth?


      2. I generally make a paper hinge using the same kind of paper that the book is made of. If I were using marbled papers, I’d paste the hinge on the undecorated side of the paper. That said, if you have transparent tape or linen hinges, I’m sure that would be fine. Good luck! I’d love it if you send me a link to photos of what you do.


  2. Hi Paula, I am a visual communication honours student from Sydney. I found your website today while researching for interesting handmade books / tutorials, and I am so, so happy to have come across your blog. Thank you for your in-depth, detailed posts, they are very informative and clear. I’m very excited to try this out!


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