Accordion Books

Folding Together

The twelve weeks of Saturday zoom folding are evolving. This has been a fun experiment for me, to get together for just thirty minutes once a week to go over some basic paper folding skills. People are showing up, and I get feedback that they are picking up and sharpening their skills.

This Saturday will be the last one before the interruption of the upcoming holidays that will be falling on December 25 and January 1. To keep the continuity, INSTEAD of Saturdays, during Christmas week I will do sessions on Monday December 27 and Thursday December 30 at 1:00. The earlier time is meant to accommodate time zones across the Atlantic. I know this time won’t be good for everyone, but it suits some overseas people whom I’ve been in touch with.

The zoom link will be the same as it’s been every week, which is

Paula Krieg is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 732 8168 5909
Passcode: XBFUX2

Now for some pictures from last meeting:

Pocket Accordion by Susan Joy Share

We created pocketed accordions this past week. My emphasis was on how to fold up the pocket evenly without using measuring tools. I wrote about this in detail in a 2014 post. After folding, we examined the possibilities of the form.

Susan Joy Share sent me the stunning example above of what she made. Taking advantage of the characteristics of these folds, she slipped design elements into the pockets, emphasized the pocket’s edge with strip, echoed that strip with another one above it, which has a number line feel to it. Then she took full advantage of the folds to create pop-ups, both on the pockets and on the space above. She lined the back of the accordion, too. I love the detail of the hot pink in the bottom edges, and all the lovely hand drawing that she included.

Jo Michalski’s Pocketed Accordion

Here’s one from Jo Michalski. She’s taken advantage of the pockets in two distinct ways. Like Susan, she included pop-ups on the pockets, which takes advantage of the fact that the back of the pop-up is lined by the lower layer, but then she went on to include this delightfully clever second color into the pockets, which offered another pop-up opportunity. Doing this makes the upper layer of the accordion be the background for the new set of protruding shapes. Then she glued fun little add-ons and made some interesting cuts to finish off.

What Jo and Susan both did was that they explored the different opportunities that the structure offered. Looking at what’s in front of them, they came up with a direction and followed it. For me, it’s this process of development that captivates me about others peoples work.

Accordion by Paula Krieg
Pocketed Accordion by Paula Krieg

What my challenge was, after seeing Susan’s and Jo’s work, was to figure out some other ways of playing around with the same structure. What I chose to do was to add curves to the pocket and the the top of the page, sew in a couple of tiny pages in a couple of the valleys, make slinky little cuts in the pockets that show some gold beneath, glue in some geometric shapes, then include something like paper dolls into the pockets.

I made a little video of it. It occurs to me that this would make an interesting stage set.

Tomorrow, Saturday December 18, I’ll be doing another 4 pm EST session, using the same zoom link that I listed earlier in this post. We’ll be making a different sort of accordion (maybe I’m pushing to even call it that) which will result in a six-sided snowflake. I have all sorts of tips to share

Bring scissors, lightweight copy paper, and, if you have some, bring some paper napkins, doesn’t matter what size. Hope to see you.

Working with Paper

Accordions in the Air?

Linked French Fold Accordions, with spirits

Looks like my new favorite thing is 4 pm on Saturdays.

It feels like such a relief to be doing these open, half hour folding sessions which I wrote about doing a few weeks ago.

I had decided not to teach this fall because I thought I needed a break from teaching. What I now realize is what I needed a break from was the work around the teaching: writing up descriptions, figuring out supply lists, taking photos, working on promotion, and being accountable for providing good content. Okay, I’m still going to be doing all that again, but I sure did need a break from it. What I didn’t need a break from is just getting together and folding with a friendly group.

Deep Accordion Spine with added pages

I can’t help but suspect that the dozens of people who are showing up for these sessions also welcome break from having to stop and consider, then make commitment, register, and allot a significant portion of the time each time they want to make something with a group. Okay, people will still do all those things, but I imagine it feels good to folks, for a change, to just show up, or not, for a little casual folding.

French Folded Accordion made by Sharon Fiffer during the 10 minute works session

People are sending me photos of their work. It’s so inspiring to see all the different directions people are going in, starting with the same structure.

Here’s a link to what Gerry McGaunn posted on Instagram

Accordion by Ruth Nuesch

Last week, along with going over the details of making an origami pocket and a French fold accordion, I also provided everyone a link to Cathryn Miller’s blog. Coincidently, Cathryn is also showing one type of accordion after another this month. This is not the first time that Cathryn and I have been on the same track as each other. Sometimes I feel like we’re reading each other’s minds, sharing the same muse. It’s kind of a thrill to see this happening between us over and over again over the years. I encourage everyone to go see what she is up to.

Accordion by Sarah Barton

This link will take you to what Cathryn posted yesterday, day nine of her accordion tutorials.

Then, if you want to and can, come to the fourth my 12 sessions of 30 minutes of folding, and as I talk about the small details of folding. As usual this Saturday, 4pm EST on zoom. See the bottom of my announcement post for the zoom link.

Art and Math · Art with Math Supplies · geometry and paper

A Spiraling Book


Spiral Book
Spiral Book

I put these photos, and a video, together for a math teacher friend, Lana, a couple of years ago, and thought I had made a post about it. Lana reported back that she had made it will kids, and that they had enjoyed it.

I’ve been posting projects, weekdays, on twitter, from my blog. Wanted to feature this one today, but turns out I never did write a post. Made a video, took some photos, but never wrote about it here.


It’s a fun structure, not too hard to make. I’m thinking of it now as a fun things to make and send in the mail.

Spiraling pages made from copy paper, an old calendar, outdated map, and a pretty orange scrap
Spiraling pages made from copy paper, an old calendar, outdated map, and a pretty orange scrap

Something about how it is cyclical feels appropriate for for the times right now. Can be made from lots of different kinds of papers. Old pages from calendars, maps, and grocery grocery bag, or just regular copy paper can all be used.

The Folds before the Spiraling
The Folds before the Spiraling

Folding pattern shown above. Video tutorial below.

A sturdy paper can be set up to make this funny little shape below.

Side view of a Spiral Book
Side view of a Spiral Book

Try it out. See where it takes you.

Spiraling Snake or Snaking Spiral?
Spiraling Snake or Snaking Spiral?

Arts in Education · Beads on Books · math · Working with Paper

Loose Ends



A handmade paper book cover
A handmade paper book cover

Last week I worked on organizing my desks and workspace.

This week I’ve been trying to clear ideas out of my thoughts by getting out the things I’ve been thinking about. Writing posts and making videos are like my pensieve in the Harry Potter movies.

So today I did a video dump. Three videos on three different topics. Getting these out will let me move on in a more focused way.

The first one is a video about working with paper. I was tearing some paper for this book cover, and took the opportunity to make a video to show how and why I tear. Here’s the link:

Next video is to accompany a post that I wrote a couple of weeks ago, about a project that I did with 5 year-olds about counting beads to create groups that add up to 10 beads. The kids enjoyed this project so much that I revisit the project with a video.

Bead counting book
Bead counting book

Here’s the video that describes the project. The cover photo of this video makes it look like it might be upside down, but everything is there right as it should be.

Next up is a video about a math problem that I saw on Mike Lawler’s blog¬†¬†

Calculus problem that is more than just calculus
Calculus problem that is more than just calculus

I was swept away by this problem because it illustrates how a problem with really easy calculus in it (really, I could teach the calculus part in like five minutes) is scaffolded on top of math from geometry, algebra, and pre-calc. I love how skills from many parts of math have to be used together here. In many ways this is like the bookmaking that I do, in which I use many different skills to create one thing.

Thank you WordPress for giving me a place to clear my brain.

In about 10 days I will be teaching a two-day Chinese Thread Book workshop. Between now and the, it what I mostly hope to be thinking about. I will be seriously over preparing! Looking forward to it.

Making designs on papers
Making designs on papers for Chinese Thread books