Accordion Books

A Lovely Experiment

Tom and Nancy Haarmeyer’s Valentines Books

Just over twelve weeks ago people started showing up on zoom for open invitation, weekly folding sessions. My agenda was to see what I could do to shepherd people along towards gaining more intentional folding skills. It turned into so much more than that.

At one point, early on, Bobbi from California, said, we have such a nice group. I hadn’t realized that this is what it had begun to feel like, a comfortable friendly group.

These were working sessions. I was chatty for about 2 minutes while people filtered in. I taught. We worked, They shared. After 30 minutes Zoom unceremoniously kicked us off.

Susan Joy Share’s Collection fo Accordion101 models

I was super delighted that Susan Joy Share came to the sessions. Since I know she knows just about everything that I know I didn’t see that she would think there’s was anything for her to learn, but even she said that there were some surprises. I guess we all can learn from each other, no matter what level we’re at. Everyone has their own way of seeing things that is only enhanced by seeing other ways of doing things.

Jo Michalski’s 6 page accordion with extension

Oh, and then I asked Susan to teach one of the classes, and she showed how to divide a paper into thirds, then inspired the group with this cool accordion that had hidden panels that extended upwards, which is not something I had seen before. The people in the class did all sorts inventive variations of this in the little bit of time that we had.

There was more going on than just learning about folding. One person said that she hadn’t felt comfortable with the idea of signing up for a zoom class. After coming to this free little event of mine over and over, she said that she now felt comfortable enough to sign up for a Zoom class.

Paper Dolls by Davida Feder

I learned a good bit by doing these sessions. Having been thrown into Zoom unexpectedly along with everyone else, its been useful for me to simply practice teaching on-line.

Here are some things that I learned. A friend of mine who I walk with, and who came to some sessions, encouraged me to be more aware of how often I used terms like “bring this to here” rather than saying “fold the top right corner to the center of the paper.” What great feedback! Not only does using more descriptive words slow me down, but it is helpful to people who are working and listening at the same time, which is mostly the case.

Someone else suggested I be more explicit about when I want people to just watch, and when I expect that we are working together. Such good advice.

I had more of a chance to figure out Zoom, too. I realized that asking people to learn how to raise their hands in Zoom is handy in an unexpected way. Raising the hand is better than thumbs up, or any other response, because when a hand gets raised, it migrates to the top of the group, clustering them together. This saves me from scanning the group, trying to determine the percentage of people who are ready to move on, as the groups is then divided into two distinct clusters.

I also learned about how to replace spotlight in Zoom. This is so helpful when I want to move from person to person.

Pop-up by Susan Joy Share

What we made wasn’t as important to me as the skills I was trying to shore up for the people who could use the instruction. Even so, it’s good to keep track of what we did. Credit goes to my friend Karen, who kept a list of everything we made. When reading this list, keep in mind that I all I ever asked people to show up with was regular size copy paper.

Projects by week:

1.  Eight section accordion, made we two half sheets joined together,  with reinforced cover (using first and last panel).  

2. Eight section accordion with pages attached into the deep pockets of the accordion

3.  French fold accordion and origami pocket 

4.  Accordion with fold over pocket and origami pocket

5.  Twisted pages accordion

6.  Snowflakes with six points

7.  Accordion paper dolls

8. Pleated cover with pleated closure

9.  Origami pamphlet

10. Susan Share’s method for finding 1/3s and an accordian with fold-down flaps

11.  T-cut origami pamphlet with middle-pleat cover

12.  Accordions with pop-ups

And that’s a wrap!

My books with pleated closure

8 1/2" x 11" Book Making · Accordion Books · How-to

What we did last Saturday

Last Saturday a nice crowd joined me for a short accordion workshop, the first of what I hope will be a few months of these free, mini workshops to give us all some more practice with accordion folds.

The time was so short and it went so fast that it almost seemed like it didn’t happen at all. But I know it happened, mostly because I received some sweet notes, and even some photos afterwards.

Next session will be building upon this past one, so if you plan to come, and you missed out, take a look at the handout above.

This Saturday will be the same time -4 pm EST-, same zoom link as last week. I will show up about 10 minutes early if anyone want to chat, then by 2 minutes after the hour, demonstration starts, then zoom kicks us out at 30 minutes after the hour.

Paula Krieg is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 732 8168 5909
Passcode: XBFUX2

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 · Binding Loose Papers · Japanese Binding for the Classrom · Journals · Making Books with children · Making books with elementary students · simple book binding

Journals All Day Long

I’ve just noticed that I am more apt to blog about a project before I do it with kids when I am very nervous about how it will turn out.

I was very nervous about most of the projects that I wrote about in my last post. 

Making beautiful drawing journals in one class period is challenging. I’m relieved to say that the day of bookmaking went really well.

This post will mostly be a photo essay of making five styles of books, with kids ages 4 though 11.

Pre-K Book, Pipe Cleaner Binding
Pre-K Book, Pipe Cleaner Binding


The Pre-K kids immediately started to fill their books with drawings,and showing their creatations to each other.
Pre-K sharing

The Pre-K kids immediately started to fill their books with drawings, and lost no time showing off their creations to each other.

First Graders, book on a stick
Kindergartners, book on a stick

Kindergartners did a simple rubber-band and stick binding. They all wanted to decorate their sticks.  Most of the students tended towards making animal shapes with the bling.

First Graders, envelope book
First Graders, envelope book

The big surprise of the day, for me, was both how quickly the first graders finished their project and how amazingly beautiful they turned out. These books took them only twenty minutes to make.

First graders assembling their books
First graders assembling their books

Knowing what I know now I would slow the project down and help the kids less. I was so nervous about how this project would  go.

Assembling envelopes into pages
Assembling envelopes into pages


Finished Envelope books
Finished Envelope books

 Wallpaper-sample covers were simply glued on.  These look so good to me.

Simple sewing, lots of embellishments
Simple sewing, lots of embellishments

The modified pamphlet stitch book with pocketed covers made by 2nd & 3rd graders was the only project that I’ve done so often with students that I knew it would go well.

Second and Third graders made sewn book with beads
Second & Third graders made sewn book with beads


Ribbon Journal
Ribbon Journal

The highlight of the day, for me, was making these sewn journals with 4th & 5th graders.



The book block was made from 4 pieces of 11″ x 17″ papers folding into origami pamphlets, then sewn together side-by-side. All the holes for sewing were punched by paper punches.

Wallpaper-sample covers were attached by threading ribbons through holes in the cover and endpapers.

Ribbon Journals made by 4th and 5th graders
Ribbon Journals made by 4th and 5th graders

This project ran a bit over time. We were suppose to finish in 45 minuets, but it took 50 minutes. No one complained 🙂

Aerial view of Ribbon Books
Aerial view of Ribbon Books

These books, like most of the other books made yesterday, were constructed without glue, The only exception is the envelope books.  I didn’t exclude the use of glue intentionally, but I guess I think about glueless structures more often than not.

This was the last class of this school season. Now I can get back to some housecleaning.

I am ending this season happy!