Book folding is a recent crafting phenomenon that’s popular with paper crafters and book-lovers alike. Using books that vary in length, book folding is when you fold each page of the novel to a certain measurement creating an overall phrase, motif or symbol. There’s a huge range of book folding patterns out there that’ll teach you how to fold everything from your Hogwarts house to your pet! Book folding can be a little tricky to get the hang of at first (you’ll definitely need that ruler handy) but once you’ve learned how to follow the pattern and chart you’ll be a book folding whizz.
There’s a few abbreviations you need to know before you start book folding. These terms you’ll see in most book folding patterns and they’re much simpler than they look.
- MMF – This stands for measure, mark and fold.
- 180 Fold – To make a 180 fold, you fold every page towards the spine before marking and cutting.
- Combi Fold – After measuring and marking, fold your first and last page to 45 degree angle instead of straight.
- Shadow Folding – to create a shadow on your design, leave every other page unmarked.
Now you’re down with the book folding lingo it’s time to get folding. We’ve gathered 23 free book folding patterns from around the web to get you started. We’ve included everything from sayings to animals so we hope there’s a pattern for you! There’s plenty of paid patterns over on Etsy so check them out too.
23 free book folding patterns
Read book folding pattern
Eco-friendly DIY has a great free book folding pattern for beginners. Hannah talks you through all the basic techniques and has a step-by-step guide to show you how to make this read motif. We love that she’s created an easy-to-follow table that shows you how far to fold on each page of the book.
Hedgehog book folding pattern
Heart free book folding pattern
Bookami has loads of free book folding patterns on their site and we love all of them. This cute heart design would look lovely displayed all year round on your shelves or make for an extra special Valentines Day gift. Head over to their site to download your free book folding pattern.
Cat book folding pattern
Folded Book Art has tons of free book folding patterns which are broken down into handy categories like Animals, Baby, Celebration, and more. We know many of our makers are cat-lovers so we thought we’d include this cute free cat book folding pattern. For more purrrfect projects check out our free amigurumi cat pattern and our how to draw a cat tutorial.
Christmas angel book folding pattern
Christine Craft’s free book folding pattern is perfect for Christmas. Christine shows you how to fold your book (choose a festive novel like A Christmas Carol for an extra Christmassy edge) into this pretty angel. This would look so good sat atop a book-lovers tree or perched on your stack of books.
Dog book folding pattern
We couldn’t include a free book folding pattern for cat-lovers and not include one for dog-lovers! Folded Book Art has this cool bone pattern which will show all your guest just how much you love mans best friend. This book folding pattern is a little more complex so we’d recommend practicing on an easier project first.
Home book folding pattern
All in The Folds is the ultimate book folding website! They have loads of free patterns as well as paid-for patterns making it the go-to hub for book folding addicts. Sign up to their website and you’ll get access to their past free book folding patterns as well as their free project of the month. How lovely is this home pattern?
Tree book folding pattern
Scrappy Sticky Inky Mess is a great place to go if you’re a newbie to the world of book folding. They teach you all the basics including how to an alternative for counting pages, adding a ribbon, multi-line folding, and much more. They have a whole blog post full of templates including the tutorial for these tree book folding pattern.
Lantern book folding patterns
Candice from ReFabDiaries has kindly uploaded her free book folding patterns that were originally featured in Budget Living Magazine and we’re so glad she did! These cool wall art books are a fab way to upcycle old books or charity shop books into unique artwork for your home.
Mum book folding pattern
Give your mum a special handmade gift this Mothers Day with Doodle and Stitches free book folding pattern. Learn how to fold a book with their step by step tutorial and use your mum’s favourite childhood book to fold with. For more Mothers Day projects check out DIY Mothers Day gifts round up.
Free book folding shapes
Rather than folded motifs inside the books Jen from Frugal State has gone one step further. She shows you how to turn books into these 3D shapes that make cool decorations for your bookcase, side tables, shelves… or anywhere you fancy really! You could also spray your shapes in different colours to match your decor.
Free book folding pattern for Halloween
Book folding really is for every season. All Free Crafts shows you how to turn a book into a spooky little pumpkin. This is the perfect free book folding pattern for beginners because it’s really simple and takes very few steps. To match your new paper pumpkin why not make our halloween garland?
Chinese symbol folding patterns
Oru Fun has several Chinese symbol book folding patterns on its blog. These patterns don’t come with a step-by-step tutorial but they do have a chart. As long as you can read book folding charts you’ll be fine but we definitely recommend this project for more experienced book folders.
Rose book folding pattern
Ok so this one isn’t technically book folding but it was too pretty for us not to include! Fern Makes shows you how to turn a few pages of a book into this delicate rose. Make a single rose or fold up several pages to make a bunch – either way we think it would make a lovely gift for a book-loving pal.
Alphabet book folding patterns
Once you’ve learned how to fold the alphabet the world of book folding is your oyster. Heather Reddy Art shows you how to fold each letter of the alphabet with simple charts and instructions. Having this guide handy will allow you to fold full names, places, and phrases making your book fold more personalised.
Squirrel book folding pattern
Make everyone’s fall friend with Love Book Folding’s free book folding pattern. They have lots of lovely projects on their site but we especially loved this squirrel pattern. Plus the Youtube video which accompanies the pattern is ideal for book folding beginners.
Number book folding patterns
Mr_o_uk over on the Instructables blog has created a really useful tutorial on how to fold your own numbers. We love that he’s used them as table numbers at his wedding! If you’re looking to give your wedding a crafty touch check out our DIY wedding favours post.
Fold your state!
Show some national pride and fold your country, county, or state. Thistle Wood Farms has the free book folding pattern for the state of Kentucky over on her blog. She shows you exactly how to fold old books into something beautiful that you can display for years to come.
Whimsical tree book folding pattern
This magical-looking tree is by Failin over on the Instructables. They show you how to turn the middle of your favourite book (we’re thinking a fairytale would be great for this) into a little tree. Use their free pattern to make yours and gift to a little one who’s hoping to spot a fairy one day.
Faith book folding pattern
Fold your faith with Create and Craft’s free book folding pattern. They’ve made a handy downloadable PDF that has all the instructions you’ll need as well as a handy chart. This is a lovely project for those of you wanting to show your devotion and faith – no matter what religion you ascribe to.
COVID free book folding pattern
We all deserve this free book folding pattern after the year we’ve had! This would make for a cheeky gift this Christmas that your family members will appreciate. Zoes Novel Creations has the pattern up on their blog along with lots of paid-for patterns.
Splodge book folding pattern
Fold your own abstract splodge with Oru Fun’s free book folding pattern. This one would be a great one to paint or spray different colours and use as decoration in a kid’s room.
Batman free book folding pattern
For all you superhero and Sci-Fi fans, Folded Book Art has free book folding patterns for you. They have a collection of different patterns including this Batman one. There’s everything from Star Wars to Star Trek, Spiderman to a dragon!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our free book folding patterns and have found your next papercraft obsession! If you’ve got the papercraft bug now but need to update your kit then never fear. We’ve rounded up the best printers for card making along with the best die cutting machines for beginners. There’s also a guide to the best glue guns on the market – for neat projects you need top equipment.