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How to Make an Attractive Fan-Fold Book

I have been collecting postcards all my life—just like my father did before me. I now have many thousands of them, both vintage and modern.

The open album with some postcards inside.

The open album with some postcards inside.

What to Do With So Many Postcards?

As a postcard collector, I am often looking for creative ways to use them. One idea I came across in my research was a fan-fold album I could use to display my cards. At first, I couldn't quite understand how to make one of these albums or what the finished product might look like, but I decided to try it! This article showcases the end result, and all the photos are my own. I have found that this album is an ideal way to store and display a small collection or theme.

For many more ideas on how to store and display postcards, you might like to visit How to Store and Display Postcards.

What Do I Need?

Materials

  • A3 size sheet of fine card
  • Glue
  • 10-12 postcards
  • Hole reinforcements
  • Ribbon
  • Paper clips

Tools

  • pencil
  • ruler
  • bulldog clips

Instructions

1. Fold the card/paper in half.

Put the first postcard at the top left-hand corner of the sheet. Take a second postcard and place at the bottom right-hand corner.

I kept the postcards slightly away from the edge of the paper deliberately because I found that otherwise the cards were inclined to show when the finished album was folded.

how-to-make-a-fan-fold-display-book

2. Mark the positions of the cards with a pencil.

Make a vertical fold at each of these points. The vertical space in between the two fold (from the right edge of the left and top card, and the left edge of the left and bottom card) will contain the concertina folds.

how-to-make-a-fan-fold-display-book

3. Divide that space into equal sections along the top and bottom.

Then, draw ruled lines from top to bottom to show where the folds should be. I chose to have three lines on each side of the centre fold but two would be fine and might be easier to fold. Anything more would, I suspect, be incredibly difficult to fold neatly.

how-to-make-a-fan-fold-display-book

4. Fold the sheet along the marked lines to form a concertina section.

See image below.

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how-to-make-a-fan-fold-display-book

5. Attach postcards.

Each postcard has to be glued to one fold or "slope" of the concertina so that they lie, in the case illustrated, towards the left. Apply glue to the edge of the postcard and/or to the appropriate part of the folded sheet. As you can see, I also glued a card to the outer flat portions of the sheet, i.e. the inside covers of the finished book..

I found it easy to use a glue stick but you can use whatever glue you find convenient.

Once the sheet was folded it wasn't easy to apply the glue precisely all the way to the inner edge of the fold so I applied it also to the extreme edge of the postcard too so that the glued area was maximised.

how-to-make-a-fan-fold-display-book

6. Apply postcards to bottom section.

After waiting for the first set to dry, repeat the procedure for the bottom set of postcards. Note that for this bottom set, you need to glue the postcards to the alternate "slope" of the concertina so that they lie towards the right.

how-to-make-a-fan-fold-display-book

7. Give the album time to set and dry.

When all the cards are in place and the glue dried, carefully fold the album shut. I held everything in place with bulldog clips overnight to reinforce the fold and to make sure the glue was firm.

Then I punched a hole in the centre of the front and back and tied it loosely with ribbon. I used reinforcers to protect the hole.

Alternatively, a decorative paper clip would look attractive and keep the album closed. There are some really gorgeous paper clips about these days.

Final closed album.

Final closed album.

Let me know if you've tried it yourself.  Any tips, alternative ideas?

SheilaMilne (author) from Kent, UK on January 23, 2015:

I'm sure it would work just as well for greetings cards. I think they'd look best if they were all about the same size though.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 23, 2015:

i love this craft, reusing postcards is a good idea, how about greeting cards?