i have talked about the story of my leporello books in this post and you can find part 1 of the guide - making the cover - here.
part 3 - signatures and finishing - can be found here.
instructions for optional inserts can be found here:
for part 2 of this guide - making the leporello insert - please keep in mind that the measurements i'm working with fit my cover. just as with part 1 you can customize the measurements and materials you use to whatever suits you and to fit whatever you have on hand. this is how i do it - you are very welcome to follow step-by-step but if it inspires you to go crazy and do your own thing - great!
this is what you will most likely need: scissors, bone folder, pencil (and eraser), x-acto knife, double sided tape (and/or glue if you prefer), paper trimmer and/or t-ruler, awl (pokey tool) and waxed linen thread (for sewing in signatures later).
for the leporello base you need heavy card stock. i get it in those big sheets at the craft store - they measure 50x70cm - 19 5/8" x 27 1/2". they come in lots of different colours and also with patterns. (i have only used the rainbow one for a leporello book though because the other patterned ones are white on the back side.)
this card stock is really heavy: it's 300 gms and it really is best to use something heavy like this since it's supposed to hold all the signatures and embellishments.
with card stock this heavy it's important to pay attention to the machine direction of the fibers that make the paper. there's an easy way to find out: take the sheet of paper/card stock you want to use and gently bend it as if you wanted to fold it - without actually creasing it - once horizontally and once vertically. you will find that one way offers less resistance than the other way. the heavier the material the easier the difference is to notice. (with regular printer paper it's hardly noticable at all.)
the side with less resistance runs parallel with the fibers of the paper which means it folds easier and the fibers don't break. this usually doesn't matter so much when you fold paper to make pages in a journal or card stock for a card base.
with heavy 300 gms card stock it matters because you don't want your folds to break like this:
this is the journal i used the rainbow cardstock for and i knew i folded it against the fiber direction, but i wanted to use the whole rainbow sequence. (you can see it two pictures above.) it's easily visible that the paper is not just folded but broken. it would be less obvious with solid coloured card stock but still noticable because of the fraying. a lot of use makes the damage worse - i will have to use tape to reinforce the folds on this journal soon. the rainbow colours are printed on white card stock which is now visible through the broken top layers.
with the papers i can get here (in austria), finding the fiber direction is rather easy because they usually run with the longer side of the paper. (if you want to make sure you can find the right direction of your paper, practice on square sheets to see if you can determine how best to fold.)
to make sure the folds of my leporello go in the right direction, i cut the strips i need for the book from the 50cm - 19 5/8" side of my card stock sheet.
my cover is 20,5cm - 8" tall. i want my book insert to be sightly shorter so i cut the card stock to be 20cm - 7 7/8" (x 50cm). you need 2 of these.
measure 20cm - 7 7/8" on both sides and cut using a long ruler and an x-acto knife. i use a metal ruler and i have to place the card stock diagonally on my cutting mat to make it fit. cut 2 strips. (i use the rest of the card stock sheet to make card bases.)
now measure half of your strip and score using either a ruler and bone folder or a scoring board if you have one. then flip the strip over and score each half in half again. you'll end up with 3 score lines - the 2 outside ones done from one side of the card stock, the middle one done from the other side. fold along the score lines - from the sides that you scored from - and crease the folds with your bone folder.
this creates a mountain fold and 2 valley folds (or the other way round). DO NOT score and fold from both sides, as it weakens the card stock and makes it break/tear faster!
if you want to ink the edges and mountain folds of your card stock - now is the time to do it.
place your two pieces on your work surface just like i did here. now take a piece of masking tape or washi tape - anything that's removable - and tape the two loose ends in the middle together so that they can still fold open as if the whole strip were one continuous piece.
this will be how the leporello insert will go into the cover. we will make a piece that connects the two pieces, covers the joint and is useful all at the same time.
the next part is very important. it determines whether or not your book will be properly usable in the end.
here are pictures of the first leporello book i made. notice how the last fold opens to the left. the whole of the leporello with all the signatures has no room because the spine is in the way and the fact that the last "page" of the leporello is glued to the back cover. it's not able to lie flat which is rather irritating to work with.
can you see how the book insert seems to lever the last fold off the cover? and there's not much in this book. imagine if the book were filled with ephemera, photos and maybe even dimensional embellishments! no room to move or do anything!
with this journal i glued the leporello insert so that the last fold opens to the right.
see how the right edge of the cover positions itself neatly between the folds and nothing is in the way of each other? with a leporello you have the option of working from every side which is why it is convenient if it opens flat.
take your leporello insert and place it, all folded up, in front of you so that the first fold opens to the left. close it again. take a pencil and mark the "page" facing you something like this:
(i only added the "fold" and "open" with the arrows for orientation - you don't have to do that.) you will have to refer to your markings a few times to make sure you don't attach your connection piece and/or the whole insert (with signatures and pockets and everything) upside down.
place your insert in your cover like this and double check that you put your "top" and "bottom" marks in the right place. (i'm repeating this so many times not because i think you don't understand or can't keep up with me, but because i've made several of these and still managed to stick something upside down, which usually meant i had to start over again or be very, very creative in covering up the mess i made when i had to rip it apart. it's always better to double check...)
by the way: in part 1 of this guide i covered both inside covers with decorative paper to show how to make a whole cover from scratch, because you can use book covers in more ways than just this (such as sewing signatures right through the spine, easy twine binding, making a ring binder, etc.).
if you make your cover with the intention of making a leporello book you don't have to cover the inside of your back cover since it will be covered by the leporello - like this:
now let's move on to the connection piece that will hold the two strips of card stock together and also create pockets to keep ephemera. here are some options:
this is the insert that will go into the cover i showed you just above. the whole book (previous 3 pictures) is much smaller than the one we are working on. it has only one pocket slot on one side, and because the piece of design paper i used for it was a left over it was too short to cover the whole of the other side and i turned it into a side pocket. you can do this with every size of book of course.
this one is the same size as our project but it has three pockets on each side - the other side looks basically the same. personally i find the pockets too shallow but that really depends on what you want to keep in them. you could also have three on one side and two on the other if you wanted to.
the above three examples all have two pockets on each side but i used different kinds of paper to create them.
for the first one i used vellum, which i very much like the look of. the double sided tape is visible around the edges but personally i don't have a problem with that since the tape gives it a clean look and everything is straight and aligned.
for the second one i used card stock that i spray inked through a stencil and then doodled on a little. you can completely customize your connection piece to whatever theme and colours fit your project.
for the third one i used a page from a wall calendar with a flower bouquet on it. this calendar paper is thinner than card stock, which makes it a little harder to work with and it tears easier but it's totally possible to do and i think it looks really pretty. as you can see i've reinforced the fold with washi tape because this gloss coated paper wants to break when folded.
this is what the other side of the connected card stock strips looks like:
here i've covered the joint with washi tape. you could also run a marker along the joint if your connection piece has a different colour than your leporello base.
in this book the connection piece has the same colour as the leporello base, which makes it basically invisible.
this is OPTIONAL: you can attach hinged insert pages/tags to the inside of the joint between the two parts of the leporello base before you attach the connection piece. you can find a seperate tutorial for that here.
cut the paper or card stock you want to use as your connection piece to size: 20x24,7cm - 7 7/8" x 9 3/4" and fold it in half.
place double sided tape all the way around and to the left and right of the fold - don't get too close to the fold with the tape. i'm creating two pockets on each side, so i place tape along the middle. if you want three pockets on each side you have to divide the height in three parts and place your tape there.
fold your connection piece so the pretty sides face each other. lightly mark where you want your slots to be. i like mine to be slightly angled and i'm not too bothered about them being exactly the same angle or distance from their respective above tape lines. yours can be straight, more angled or even along the sides to create side pockets.
take a hole punch and punch a hole at the end of each line, going through both layers at once. (if you have a hole punch with long reach - like a BigBite - you can punch all the holes seperately.)
when i first started making these books i used to just cut a slit between the holes and leave it at that. but i found that to be rather impractical when inserting my keepsakes and the paper tends to rip at the hole.
take your ruler and x-acto knife and carefully remove a strip as wide as the punched holes are. you can go through both layers at once or unfold your piece and cut each slot seperately. be careful: your ruler might want to slide on the the tape backing.
you can correct your slot with scissors if you have to. you can ink the edges of your slots and if you want them to be wider or narrower just use a bigger or smaller hole punch.
if the mirrored symetry bothers you when you look at the spread like this, don't worry about it: you will hardly ever see it like this when you use your finished book.
this would be your tape and punch/cut layout if you wanted different numbers of pockets on each side. you'd need a long reach hole punch for this though - or one of those eyelet setters that can be placed anywhere on the page and require a hammer to punch the hole.
pop up your leporello base on your work surface - facing the right way - and position your connection piece where it's supposed to go - all the tape backing still on.
taping the connection piece in the right possition is a little fiddly. (i often position and re-position, flip and turn everything for a while before i actually remove any tape backing.) just go slow and do one bit at a time.
hold everything together and place it, folded open, slots facing down, on your work surface. set the right leporello base piece aside for now. (i have an additional butterfly insert in this book - so i can easily see that both the base piece and the connection piece are right side up.)
remove the tape backing from the tape to the left of the fold and tape the base piece into place, aligning it with the top and bottom edge of the connection piece - but not too close to the fold. it still needs to fold with ease.
turn everything over and remove the backing from the rest of the tape on this side for the connection piece. gently smooth the connection piece down from the fold to the edge.
turn everything slots facing down again, remove the backing from the tape to the right of the fold and lift up the ends of the other tapes as well.
line up the right half of the leporello base with the left half - again: don't place anything right on top of the fold.
remove all the rest of the tape backing and glue everything in place.
there will be a gap between the two leporello pieces. i admitt that this gap it a tad wider than i would like it to be, but the flaps that the butterfly inserts are attached with add a bit of additional bulk that has to be taken into account. if we didn't leave a gap the connection piece would not be able to fold properly - the heavy card stock from the leporello pieces would be in the way of each other. if you don't want any visible gap at all, you'd have to have a connection piece that has the same colour as the leporello base and you could have no hinged inserts or would have to use very thin material for them.
this is the pocket side of my connection piece. note how the left and right edges don't go all the way to the fold. if you want your edges a little closer to the fold just add a tiny bit more when you cut your paper - they must not overlap the fold though.
i like to take my bone folder and run it along the edges and the middle and center where the tape is, just to make sure everything is properly adhered.
if the connection piece sticks out over the top and/or bottom edge of the leporello base, just trim the exess with your scissors or x-acto knife.
now have fun embellishing your pockets to your heart's content. i like to doodle in the slots or just stick down file tabs for a little definition.
there is one more thing you can do if you'd like to give your slots an extra touch of colour:
before you adhere your connection piece, lightly mark where your slots will be on your leporello base and cover that area with washi tape or strips of pattern paper.
the design will peek through your slot. (please excuse my fingernails...)
gluing your leporello base to your cover, sewing in the signatures and more finishing touches will be the subject of part 3 of the leporello book guide.
if you have any questions or need help with anything, please feel free to contact me via my facebook page.