Lots of my friends (and especially colleagues!!) will know that life, as a full time teacher, tends to take over, well, my life a lot of the time. I’ve been going a bit crazy with the amount I’ve been working lately and literally can’t remember the last time I did something that I actually wanted to do. So when the opportunity came up to help Kaboodle Mum to test her new patterns for book folding and my friend Forget Me Knit tagged me in her post I was really excited to get involved.
I’m quite a crafty person, and you can check out the lunch boxes we make Darcey on our Instagram feed and further back on the blog. I love scrap booking, although rarely have time to do it nowadays so instead spend lots of time getting messy with Darcey instead. In spite of all this, though, I’d never turned my hand to book folding before. I bought one for my friend’s little boy last Christmas and, beautiful as they are, they can be very expensive because of the time element needed for all the folds. I’ve now learned that they are so do-able, though. It’s not a craft that you necessarily need to be talented to do but you definitely need patience, in droves!
Kaboodle Mum sent me a link to a fantastic tutorial she’s made which literally explained everything I needed to know, and everything I needed to gather in advance, then she sent me the 6 patterns I would be trialling, in both upper and lower case (I T J S O Y) and I sat down with a cuppa and the patterns and got cracking. If you want to try them yourself you simply need a book, a pencil, a ruler, an elastic band and the pattern. Pretty staple household items so no visits to Hobbycraft are needed, which is something else I love about this craft.
All in all it took me about 4 hours to complete these 12 letters which is roughly 20 minutes a letter. I definitely got quicker as I moved through. Some letters have a lot more pages to fold than others, so the S, for example, took a lot longer to fold than any of the others. It was really nice watching the designs coming together as you folded – it’s a bit like crochet in that you get instant gratification because it grows so quickly!
Kaboodle Mum’s patterns are really simple to follow – each line represents a sheet which you mark off on the pages of your book and then fold the edges up to meet that mark. I found it easiest to mark up all the pages I needed for each letter and then fold. Then you can tie that letter out of the way with an elastic band and move on to your next pattern.
If you’re lacking in patience or eye sight, in any way this probably isn’t the craft for you. However, if you can’t draw to save your life or if you’re short in measures of creativity but fancy trying your hand at some craft, give this a try! I found it really relaxing and therapeutic and there’s something really satisfying about seeing all those perfect edges creating these letters all regimented in a row. Kaboodle Mum has done all the hard work for you; she even explains in the tutorial how to work out where to begin your folding in the book, in order to centralise it. Check out her explanations here . I genuinely couldn’t believe how easy she’s made it.
The other thing worth noting is that you’re doing a lot of up close work that is tough on your upper back and shoulders (I know that sounds mad but I spent 4 hours bent over a book yesterday and my shoulder muscles won’t let me forget it today!) so if that is a problem area for you, you might need to consider how you can elevate the book so that you don’t need to be so hunched over. All in all though, I’m pretty chuffed with my first attempt & am looking forward to trying a few ‘real’ designs on some lovely hardbacks I’ve dug off of my bookshelf. I’m feeling something Christmassy for my Oliver Twist hardback! I know there are some YouTube tutorials on how to gift wrap these books in cellophane so I’ll certainly be perusing those soon, because these make great Christmas gifts!
Next on my list: Kaboodle Mum’s crochet tutorial … I’ve tried with three different tutorials and epically failed so if she’s taught me once, she can do it again! (But first I need to mark the books and exams and write the year 11 reports that I conveniently forgot about all over this weekend)…