I’ve always loved the idea of concertina books, but they struck me as very complicated — and a little fussy. Wrong.

This smallish (about 4 by 6 inch) book was surprisingly easy to put together, and is incredibly sturdy. Each section is sewn with a stab binding; when the book is folded together, you can see only the thread on the outer edge of the binding, horizontal threads which create an interesting pattern.

I used 60 lb drawing paper for the folios and some thick decorative paper for the cover. The cover is one long piece, the center creased into several consecutive accordian folds. The folds on either end are left empty, and folios are sewn into each of the folds in between.

The most complicated part of making the book was piercing the sewing stations (each fold in the cover and folio had to be pierced together) but once that was done, sewing was pretty easy.

It would be a great format for anything with sections — a chapter book, for example. It would also make a nice photo book, the flaps between each folio are natural dividers and create a nice effect. It’s definitely a book I’ll try again, maybe next time with the kids.

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