DIY Folded Book Tree
Here’s another idea for the books in your life that you no longer want to read, but are not in good enough condition to donate. Like the DIY Curled Paper Ornaments I made last week, this project is straightforward, but requires even less equipment. I’ve seen trees like this floating around the internet, and thought I’d give it a shot, and create a tutorial while I’m at it.
In the spirit of total honesty- this project takes longer than you think it will. The steps are simple, but depending on how many pages you’re folding, it might take a while. As you get farther through the book it also gets harder to make tight folds. This is the type of project where some unevenness adds character, so don’t stress out about it too much.
What you’ll need:
- a paperback book
- marker (or other decoration-type things, like glue and glitter if you’re feeling ambitious)
Step 1: Tear the covers off of your book. I found this one in the free/reject pile at my local used bookstore, not because it’s a bad book, but because there were annotations in it. Those annotations don’t change anything for this project, so free book for the win!
Step 2: Orient the book as if you were going to read it. The top, right-hand corner will be folded towards you, and lined up with the seam of the book.
Step 3: See where the black dot is in the photo above? Grab that point, and try to align the already-folded edge with the seam of the book. In the photo below, the black squigly line should be lined up as close to the seam as possible.
Step 4: Repeat step 2 and 3 for each page. After a few pages, you’ll start to see a cone shape forming, like this…
Step 5: Continue folding until the spine of the book has started to curl around on itself. The photo below shows what the book looks like from the top. I was thinking I would use the entire book, but after about 200 pages, it felt thick enough to hold it’s shape.
If you don’t end up using all of the pages, you’ll need to carefully cut off the section that hasn’t been folded. You’ll end up with a shape like this…
I didn’t need to secure the front and back pages in any way. The folded pages were full enough that it held it’s cone shape without me having to glue or clip the end pieces together.
Step 6: The underside of your cone will have an indentation in it. For the tree to sit flat, you just have to cut off those extra corners.
Once you do that, your tree should sit nice and even. I really liked the cream color with the text showing, and decided to cut out a little star for the top of the tree, using a page I hadn’t folded. I slid the edges of the star in between the pages, and didn’t need to glue it in place.
Step 7: If you’re feeling fancy, you can color the folded edges on the outside of the tree, or run a line of glue down each fold and sprinkle glitter on. Don’t be a dork like me and immediately pick up your tree before the marker dries.
Step 8: Congratulate yourself on a job well done. You saved a book from the recycle bin, and you made a rustic, bookish decoration.
Let me know in the comments if anything was unclear. Happy crafting!