Pagoda: Folded Book Art

Pagoda: Folded Book Art



This book sculpture is called “Pagoda” because it resembles a 3-storey pagoda. To make this book sculpture, you only need to fold the pages of a book while the pages are still bound together. You will fold the pages in a three-unit pattern: 1,2,3 … 1,2,3 … 1,2,3 … etc. If you have never made a book sculpture before, you should look at the hourglass and the Lantern pattens before trying this design.

The book used for this project had enough pages to give a 180 degree structure. If you use a book with more pages, or the pages are thicker, you may be able to get a full 360 structure like the tree design.

These traditional multi-layer towers originate from Asia. They are often places of worship (but not always) and usually have an odd number of layers (again, not always).

Put yourself in a meditative mood by taking a deep, cleansing breath and then start folding…

pagoda book sculpture

Book Sculpture Instructions for “Pagoda”

pagoda book sculpture

Step 1:

Take a book and remove the front and back cover but leave the pages bound together. Without ripping off the pages, remove small bits of binding glue that may still be adhering to the spine of the book. The book used here was a day-planner donated by Slingshot.

pagoda book sculpture

Step 2:

Fold down the top-corner of the page allowing the top-edge of the paper to jam up against the binding.

pagoda book sculpture

Step 3:

Fold up the bottom corner of the paper so it meets with the flap made above.

pagoda book sculpture

Step 4:

Turn the page.

pagoda book sculpture

Step 5:

Fold down the top-corner of the page; at the same time, fold up the bottom-corner of the page. Align the top and bottom corners so they meet in the middle with the edges of the paper touching. Press down to establish the crease.

pagoda book sculpture

Step 6:

Turn the page.

pagoda book sculpture

Step 7:

Repeat steps 2 & 3 except reversing the orientation: fold up the bottom corner so the bottom-edge of the paper meets the spine of the book.

pagoda book sculpture

Step 8:

Fold down the top corner.

pagoda book sculpture

Step 9:

Turn the page.

pagoda book sculpture

Step 10:

Repeat steps 2 through 9 until all the pages are done.

pagoda book sculpture

This is how it looks like when 6 pages are done.

pagoda book sculpture

Side view when all the pages are done.

pagoda book sculpture
Done!

pagoda book sculpture

Buy Personalized Book Sculptures

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Book sculptures or altered books are often created by modifying the pages of a book while the pages are still bound together. You can cut, fold, paint, and do all sorts of interesting things with the paper to create beautiful structures. The book sculptures on this web site are made by folding only.