The Zig Zag Fold

Essentially this is just when paper is folded in alternating opposite directions. For bookbinders there are numerous creative, structural applications for the zigzag fold.

(AKA concertina, accordion fold)

Version 1 Fold a long sheet of paper into a series of pages linked by the spine and foredge folds. A narrow “tab” can be used to join more than one piece of paper.

Tip: keep the grain direction of the paper running head to tail, or parallel to the folds and crease the folds first, (especially when using thickish paper) to improve quality and accuracy.

Version 2: Build a zig zag book from 2-page spreads.

This method is good for single-sided printing and books with lots of pages. The structure works best when the grain direction of the paper runs head to tail.

Fold prints in half and arrange in page order – you will need extra sheets for the “back pages” which can be plain or printed.

Version 3 – The Elastic Spine

This is a narrow pleated strip of paper that can be used to join single sheets or folded pages together.

Try the ‘folding in half” method for a narrow pleat like this one. Cut a sheet of paper to the height you want. The length should be 16 or 32 cm. Fold in half, then take each half and fold into quarters. Keep folding the sections in half until you have folds every 2cm.

Use the elastic spine to make Flag Books

and tunnel books

A cousin of the elastic spine is the Blizzard Fold


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