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Beginning bookmaking

Apr 26, 2023


Lauren Cannon, Head of Research Library

Part of  these categories:: Library/Archives


Artist David Gibson’s current exhibition, Morning Light, presents just one aspect of Gibson’s work. He also makes books! Currently on view in the library until May 21, 2023, are four accordion-style, limited edition artist books featuring original inkjet prints created by Gibson. Carter Community Artist Raul Rodriguez recently led a bookmaking workshop in the library so guests could create their very own accordion-style books.

A glass display case showcasing several accordion-style photo books.

David H. Gibson's fine handmade books currently on display in the Library reflect changing light and seasons.

If you missed the bookmaking workshop or are eager to make your own book, follow this simple guide to make your own accordion-style book based on materials you likely have at home.

Supplies needed:

  • One to two decorative pieces of paper
  • Two pieces of cardboard cut to 4 3/8 x 5 1/2 inches
  • Three sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper
  • Glue stick or another adhesive
  • Scissors
  • Decorations of your choice: magazines for collage, photographs, pens, markers, stickers, etc.

Step 1:

Laid out on a table are: several pieces of decorative paper, several pieces of copy paper, two pieces of cardboard, a glue stick and scissors.

Gather supplies.

Step 2:

A sheet of 8.5 x 11-inch paper folder in half lengthwise.

Fold each sheet of copy paper in half lengthwise and widthwise. This will result in four folded quadrants.

Step 3:

Copy paper cut in half.

Cut each sheet of copy paper in half on the longest side along the fold. This will result in six pieces of paper.

Step 4:

Two pieces of cardboard laid on top of two slightly larger pieces of decorative paper.

Cut the decorative paper larger than the carboard pieces.

Step 5:

A pair of scissors on a table next to two pieces of cardboard laying on top of decorative paper with the corners trimmed off.

Trim the corners of the decorative paper at an angle to align with the edges of the cardboard. Repeat for the other piece.

Step 6:

A glue stick on top of a piece of cardboard with paper glued around the edges.

Glue or adhere the edges of the decorative paper to the cardboard. Repeat for the other piece.

Step 7:

Pieces of copy paper, viewed from above, folded to create a zig-zag.

Create a chevron pattern with five out of the six copy paper pieces. The pieces should overlap in the middle and leave half of a folded piece single at either end. Glue or adhere pages together on the overlapping pages.

Step 8:

Folded copy paper attached to a cardboard cover on a table next to a glue stick.

Take the joined accordion paper and glue the remaining single end pieces to the uncovered backs of the cardboard pieces.

An accordion book stands on a table showing blank pages.

Now, the accordion-style book is formed.

Step 9:

Pages of an accordion book with pictures of animals cut out from a magazine.

Decorate the pages however you’d like.

To gather more inspiration, visit the Library to view David H. Gibson’s photobooks on display until May 21, 2023. The Library has over 50 books by David H. Gibson in the collection. Come by the Library to talk with a librarian or archivist to explore these works and more.