How to Make Mini Books & Accordion Cards

Written by karin collins
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By making folds in a single piece of paper or card stock, you can easily create simple mini books and accordion cards. You can use a mini book for a variety of things, such as presenting research data on a specific topic or giving a different “coupon” of something you will do as a gift for a friend or family member. An accordion card is a fun alternative to a single-fold greeting card because it provides additional panels on which to write your message or create illustrations. You can make these as plain or decorative as you like to reflect your personal style.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Card stock or paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue

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  1. 1

    Place your paper on a flat surface and turn the paper so that the longer edges run from top to bottom and the shorter edges run from left to right. If your paper has a coloured or printed side that you wish to be visible on the book pages, place this side facing down.

  2. 2

    Fold the paper in half from left to right, firmly making a vertical crease down the middle, and then open it back up.

  3. 3

    Fold the paper in half from top to bottom, firmly making a horizontal centre crease.

  4. 4

    Fold the bottom edge of the top layer up to meet the centre crease and crease firmly. Repeat for the back layer, folding its bottom edge up to meet the centre crease.

  5. 5

    Carefully cut along the initial vertical centre crease. Start at the top of the horizontal centre crease and cut down to the bottom fold. Cut only through the folded layer and not through the top and back layers which have been folded up.

  6. 6

    With two hands, grip the fold on each side of the cut along the horizontal centre crease. Pulling gently, separate the two sides of the cut from each other until it looks like a horizontal cut rather than a vertical one.

  7. 7

    Apply glue along the inside of the cut and press firmly to close the opening. You now have a plus-shaped paper that is still open at the bottom. Apply glue along the bottom openings and press firmly along the crease lines. The other openings will naturally align. Press these closed.

  8. 8

    You can now easily see your four double-sided book pages. Bend them so that they stack on each other in a book shape. The top page in your stack is the book cover. There are six internal pages plus a back cover.

  1. 1

    Decide how tall you want your card to be and cut the card stock or paper to that height.

  2. 2

    Decide how many panels you want your finished card to have.

  3. 3

    For four panels on each side (front and back), fold the paper in half vertically, left over right. Crease the fold firmly. Take the top right edge and fold it back so that the edge meets the centre fold, creasing the fold firmly. Flip the card over and repeat.

  4. 4

    If you want more than four panels, increase the number of folds, always alternating the direction of the fold.

  5. 5

    Decorate the card as desired.

Tips and warnings

  • If you want more pages in your mini book, you can create multiple mini books and then glue the back page of one book to the front page of the next book, completely overlapping the pages.
  • For a mini book with different coloured or patterned pages, cut printed paper to the same size as the book page and then glue the printed sheets to different pages in the mini book.
  • An accordion card made from card stock will stand better than one made from paper because card stock is sturdier.
  • Try experimenting with different sizes of card stock to change the height or length of your accordion card. For a really long card, create two accordion cards of the same size and glue the last panel of the first card to the first panel of the second card, completely overlapping the two panels.
  • Children should only use scissors with adult supervision.

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