Sometimes you get lucky and find a book with the perfect amount of pages, but the majority of the time your book will have too many and this is totally normal so stop hunting for the 'perfect' book! Unless you get a custom pattern made then it's VERY rare to get a book the perfect amount of pages and height.
For help with how to work out if your pattern will fit the HEIGHT of your book, take a look at this post. Is book height important?
To make your pattern look like it was made for the book and come out looking it's best you need to do a little math. Even if you are thinking of removing the excess pages this still needs to be done evenly from the front and back due to the way pages are attached in sections. If you remove a massive chunk from the front or back it can look unsightly leaving a gaping hole which will not support your fold on that side and can even damage the spine and cover of the book.
To get your start page you first you need to get some numbers from your book and pattern:
e.g. my book has 470 numbered pages
there are 6 sheets without any numbers on, so there are 12 un-numbered pages. (A sheet has 2 sides, page 1 on one side and page 2 on the other so we always double when counting sheets in books and folds on patterns)
This gives me a total of 482 numbered pages.
My pattern has 440 numbered pages.
book size - pattern size = spare pages
482 - 440 = 42 spare pages.
We want to then half this to get an equal amount at the front an the back of the book.
So my start page is page number 21 however, 3 of my un-numbered sheets were at the front, that's 6 numbered pages which are included in my 21 start page, so I deduct 6 from 21 and my actual numbered start page is 15.
Don't worry if this seems confusing, it will soon be second nature. :)
To help you I will attach the centralising sheet for you to download which I give to students of the Cut and fold Masterclass. There is a chart on there with space for you to plug your own numbers in, along with an example so you can copy the method. You can also see me work out a start page on the free cut and fold video and the beginners heart video, in fact any video where I show how to make a book fold I include this at the beginning :)
After folding your pattern you can then decide what to do with those extra pages. Some people leave them in, it is a book after all!
Do you have a 'go to' or favourite method of dealing with extra pages?
If you need any help working out your start page or would like to confirm your workings then do comment below or post in the group.
Have you ever found the perfect book for a pattern to then realise it's not the same height as the pattern states? ARGH! That's more than likely a yes! When this happens we can be unsure and not want to risk it in case it doesn't look right or fit, so off you go, to hunt for another book with your fingers crossed you get the right height too. Here's how to check if it will fit even if it is a different size and hopefully save you some time and stress hunting unnecessarily.
Patterns are made in a range of page numbers and heights but that doesn't mean you need both of these to be EXACTLY the same in the book you find. Centralising a pattern within the number of pages has been covered a lot, I try to include it in most how to videos, just in case the viewer is a beginner, you can find it at the beginning of this video if you need help with that too.
Book height doesn't get as much attention but can be just as important. Patterns come with a recommended book height. All this means is the pattern will sit central if you use the same size which is stated. It was either made as a custom for someone or the designer made it in a common height.
How do I know if the pattern will fit in my book?
There's a few things to look for before we can be certain
Look in the first column of measurements, the one labelled '1st mark or 'mark from top' etc. Different pattern software calls it something slightly different but it is the first column after your fold/page number column. Go through and find your highest point. This is the one closest to zero. Depending on the pattern it could be anywhere from 0.9cm or it could be quite low at around 8cm, especially if it's a word pattern.
Now look for the lowest point that your pattern goes to. If your pattern is an MMF (Measure,Mark and Fold) this will be in your '2nd mark'/ 'mark from bottom' column. If it's a cut and fold pattern then you need to check the last measurement of each page.
The height of your book
Make sure to measure the actual pages and not the book cover as this can add up to one centimetre and throw out all your workings.
When you have all your measurements you can now see how much space the pattern actually takes up in the book and, more importantly, if it will actaully fit!
For example if the pattern has a highest point of 3cm and lowest of 18cm then the pattern itself takes up 15cm. You will need AT LEAST 1cm top and bottom to fold to those marks (and a super thin ribbon!) so our absolute minimum here is 17cm. If your book is 20cm then the pattern WILL fit.
However we may need to move the pattern up the book so we also need to check the lowest point the pattern goes to. If the pattern has measurements at 18cm then this will give you a 2cm gap at the bottom. If it's an MMF pattern then you will more than likley want to use ribbon to keep the book closed at the right point so if your ribbon is quite thick it may be worth moving the pattern up 1cm. This will then give you a 3cm gap at the bottom, which is what I would recommend, and then you will have 2cm gap at the top of your book which is a manageable amount to fold over and still look neat.
Moving a pattern DOWN in a book
Moving a pattern down takes a little more prep but still doable without having to change all your pattern measurements. However if it's only a couple of centimetres taller than the pattern states then I would usually leave it. When a book is taller your pattern is guaranteed to still fit, the only difference will be you will have a larger gap than intended at the bottom of your book. So you could use a wider ribbon or with some it's not even noticeable or worth worrying about. BUT if you're OCD and MUST have it more central then here's how!
You will need :-
You probably stumbled across a photo or two on social media or maybe you or a friend received a book fold as a gift and were intrigued to how it was done so started searching and found me YAY! For me it was Pinterest. So many amazing book sculptures and I just had to know how they were done! Unfortunately in 2014 there wasn't a lot of info around on them. Eventually I found the ONLY book folding group on Facebook at the time and it was so great to find others who were interested in learning how they were made and we all kind of figured it out together. Then came some pattern making software and the fun really began as we tested the limits of how much detail we could fit in a book just by folding it's pages. The first pattern I made was the vintage sewing machine in the photo above as at the time I had a sewing business. People loved the pattern and wanted to buy it and that's how All in the folds started.
The style we are covering here is the Measure, Mark and Fold style (MMF) which means you take a list of measurements, which are two per page, mark them on to the books pages and then fold to these marks. There's no cutting involved in this method and there are only two marks per page. For the cut and fold method, which is a little more time consuming and can be more challenging but gives the option for much more detail depending on the pattern take a look here at the free Inspire pattern in the cut and fold method.
To get started with book folding I recommend practising with this free heart book folding pattern as you don't need a big book so it will give you quick results and a boost to have a finished fold within an hour.
Tools you will need:
Here is the video which walks you through your first book fold. Once you have the basics you can then move on to more detailed patterns as the principle is the same.
If you have any questions after watching the video, let me know in the comments!
You may have come across the term 'half fold' in a book folding pattern or you could have been told to use them to create a gap between words or to separate letters which merge together. But what the heck is a half fold?? Here's a video I did giving a quick run through of what they are and how they're used!