Something I'm trying to pick up as a result of a charity/craft shop declining to sell my cards, because everything they sell has to be mainly from recycled products. Fair enough, good for them. So after a bit of a char last week, I left them with a couple of jam jars I'd painted Halloween things on, and took some of the hardbacks that they reckon will never sell and are only fit for recycling. Some hopelessly out of date reference books, and a work of fiction which... well, I tried, but folding it was much more interesting.
Anyway. You can, it seems obtain "patterns" that tell you the measurements at which to fold each page. A few are free, most, you pay for.
The first book I did (last night) was from one of them. It forms a heart. But having looked at it, and noted that it only used the middle 40 sheets of a 300-page (150 sheet) book, I started interpolating things... and refusing to do the folds all at a right angle as suggested, because that makes the top edge look awful and the first few folds simply not work, and.... yes. Well, this is me, what did you expect?
Obviously, I won't be purchasing any "patterns" of measurements. Done it once with a freebie, now we move on. I've read a few tutorials on how to best make your own, and some advice on where to end the "other" end of the fold, the one near the spine of the book. This post is pretty much "notes to myself".
Aspect ratio. If you close the book, draw the shape you want on the edge of the pages, and then open it and spread the pages out as if they'd been folded, the pattern will become wider as a result. How much wider? Double is what's suggested (makes sense, fold a sheet, it becomes twice as thick), but the results looked more than that to my eye. Thinking about it, the doubling will occur at the closest point to the spine where we have double thickness - and that's the fixed point about an inch from the spine, where you're folding everything to. If I measure that first book I did, the 1.5cm section I folded expands to 9cm at the front of the display. So an expansion of about 6 times.
Areas with more than one "solid" part - you can cut the page down the middle so that you can fold it twice, but the preferred method is to alternate pages, so that sheet 1 is folded for area A, sheet 2 for area B, sheet 3 back to area A, and so on.
Patterns and templates. If you can draw the letters you want directly on the edges of the pages, good for you, but it's described as being hard. What's easier (and easier to reproduce if you want to make several books) is a graphic with lines across for each sheet and a mark on each showing you where to fold.You slide this between pages, keeping it lined up neatly with the edge of the book. Aspect ratio can be exaggerated so as to make it easy to read. This is what I'm going to try next, I think.
Oh, and here's the first one I did.