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20 mins

These little books fold "inside out" to look like stars. They can be made with a variety of papers, take a short while to create, and make great gifts.

Posted by Marnie K. from Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States • Published
  • How to make a bound book. Star Books - Step 1
    Step 1

    ::Cut your squares::

    One sheet of 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper will give you 4 4 ¼ inch squares, with a little bookmark chunk leftover. You will need at least 5 of these squares, so you’ll need more than one sheet of paper. You’ll also want to cut the squares as perfectly as you can. Origami squares are nice for their perfection, but are a little flimsy as book pages.

    When I get supplies for my class, I buy a bunch of colored resume paper from Kinko’s and then I have THEM chop it into perfect little squares using their big chopping machine. Lately, they have charged $1.50 or so per cut (that’s through all of the sheets), so with three or four cuts, it’s a cost-effective way to get square squares.

  • How to make a bound book. Star Books - Step 2
    Step 2

    ::Fold your squares::

    Select either 5 or 6 squares for the pages of your book. They can all be the same color, or you can mix and match. (FYI: Using only 4 squares results in a funky looking book, but it doesn’t look like a star, and using more than 6 squares results in very pointy books, that lose the star look as well.)

    Fold the square in half, then open it, rotate 90 degrees and fold in half and open it again so that your folds look like a cross. Make your folds as perfectly as you can.

  • How to make a bound book. Star Books - Step 3
    Step 3

    ::Fold your squares (cont.)::

    Hold the square (now a triangle) with your thumbs in the center and your fingers just inside the two ends. Pressing up gently with your thumbs and down with your fingers, “pop” the fold to arrive at this shape. (Note: there are other ways to get this same fold. If you know a way that works better for you, use it.)

    Repeat these folding steps for all of your squares.

  • How to make a bound book. Star Books - Step 4
    Step 4

    ::Glue your squares::

    Apply an even coat over the entire surface of the flat side of one of your squares. Try to avoid big goops, yet make sure you don’t miss any little areas.

    Stick the flat side of a second square onto the glued one making sure that they are both facing the SAME way. In other words, the closed points and open sides match. Doing otherwise gets you a cool-looking “exploded” style book, but not a star book. Glue the pieces together as perfectly as you can.

  • How to make a bound book. Star Books - Step 5
    Step 5

    Continue gluing all the squares like this, but do NOT glue the remaining ends together – you need to be able to close your book! (Of course, if you wanted to make ornaments rather than books, go ahead and glue these ends together, punch a hole in one point and then string it up.)

    Set the pages aside while you work on the cover. (I like to set something heavy on the squished stack to help the glue set.)

  • How to make a bound book. Star Books - Step 6
    Step 6

    ::Create your cover::

    Cut out two squares of paperboard that are just slightly bigger than your folded pages. (Using 4 ¼ inch squares, they fold down to 2 1/8 inch pages, so I cut my paperboard at 2 ¼ inch square.)

    Cut out your cover material to yield about a ½ inch margin all around the paperboard. (3 inches works well.)

    Glue the paperboard onto the back and center of your cover material.

    Miter the corners of the cover material.

    Glue the edges of the cover material and, folding them over the sides of the paperboard, stick them down.

  • How to make a bound book. Star Books - Step 7
    Step 7

    ::Add the ribbon::

    This is what holds your book closed and your star open. I usually use about 20 inches of ¼ inch width satin ribbon. Experiment with other materials if you like, but this is what works best for me.

    Find the center of the ribbon (I pinch mine). Position the covers diagonally to each other with a little gap in between. Draw a line of glue across the insides of each cover, from point to point.

    Stick the ribbon onto the cover pieces by centering it over the little gap and then pressing it into the glue.

  • How to make a bound book. Star Books - Step 8
    Step 8

    ::Add the pages::

    Think of the center of your covers as the hinge of the book. Glue the flat side of one end of your page stack and stick it to one of the cover sides – make sure the hinge of your pages matches the hinge of the covers, and do your best to center it.

    Glue the top side of the pages and stick the second cover onto this.

  • How to make a bound book. Star Books - Step 9
    Step 9

    You can now tie the ends of the ribbon to keep your book closed.

    Once the glue dries, your star book is complete! Ya-Hoo!

  • How to make a bound book. Star Books - Step 10
    Step 10

    ::Add a bead closure (Optional)::

    Thread a bead or two onto both ends of the ribbon and tie a knot at the end to secure it. The bead should have a small enough hole so that it acts as a cinch to hold the book open or closed.

Made this project? Share your version »


june S.
june S. · Ipswich, England, GB
I love the way you have layed this out its so clear thanks
june S.
june S. · Ipswich, England, GB
I love the way you have layed this out its so clear thanks
Molliewobbles · Ann Arbor, Michigan, US · 7 projects
I just made one for my friend's 17th bday and I filled it with a whole bunch of fun facts about the #17!
Carrie C.
Carrie C. · Idaho, Idaho, US · 1 project
Do you ever come up with a project that is less than stellar?! I love your postings and can't wait to see the next!!!
natalie m.
natalie m. · Bellevue, Nebraska, US · 2 projects
This is great! I love the idea of using photos!
Marnie K.
Marnie K. · Minneapolis, Minnesota, US · 1 project
Roma asked: Can you write cute things on the paper?

You betcha! One caveat is that if you want your writing to look superb, write on the "inside" of the squares BEFORE you assemble the book. It gets a little tricky to write in them once they're completed.

Other ideas/uses:

* skipping the cover, gluing the end pages and using them as ornaments (great when made out of holiday paper/wrap, or colored vellum

* planning not to write anything in them and using patterned paper throughout

* gluing in small photos to fit the triangular sides of the pages

* give it a little tassel out of embroidery floss to make them look like little mortarboards and use them as graduation announcements or gifts

* make a pocket for a teeny tiny pen on the outside and they make cute "thought books" or "autograph books"

* write a list of why you love someone throughout the pages and give it to that person

* table place setting identifiers

* shower gifts/mementos

Have fun, and if you think of other brilliant uses or variations, please pass them on!
Nuhbe  .
Nuhbe . · Escatrón, Aragón, ES · 1 project
Clever! And sooo beautiful!!!
northernstar · Flateyri, Westfjords, IS · 35 projects
That is very pretty!
Roma · 19 projects
Can you write cute things on the paper?

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