Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Here's How I Make a Tunnel Book

So much for posting as I work through my project! I'm afraid I was pushing myself trying to get 8 hand printed tunnel books made in 6 weeks so I basically horsed on with it to the detriment of sparing enough time to update my blog. My apologies!
So I am updating retrospectively.

I was going to start by showing how I made my actual books and then I thought it would be much more useful for whoever reads this to see a wee tutorial on how it is constructed. Maybe it'll inspire you to make your own!! There are different methods out there and some absolute crackers! Check out this link
Here is how I made mine.

The picture below shows the basic materials required

Cutting mat, art card, bone folder, scalpel, pencil for marking and glue(not shown)

My card was cut to 4 sheets of A5 (210 x 150mm) for the pages and 2 A4 for the concertina spines.
The method of folding I use requires no measuring and you still end up with pretty equal folds
Take the a4 sheet and meet the corners of each short edge exactly.
 Hold firmly so the corners stay in pace and press fold with bone folder 

You will now have a fold which halves the paper 

Using the middle fold as a guide, take the short edge again, this time butting it right up to the line.
Hold corners firmly in place and make new crease with bone folder

You will now have a sheet that is now split into quarters, all with folds away from you.

Turn the card over and repeat the folding process, this time taking the edge
up to meet the first 'quarter' fold from the top
Turn around and repeat the process with the other edge. This results in
4 'eighth' size folds in the middle with two larger 'quarters' at either end

Take the bottom edge and butt it up to match the nearest fold. Hold firmly
 and press crease with bone folder. Repeat process on other side
Repeat all these stages with a second sheet of card and Voila! you have two spines.

The shortest edge of the 'page' is the same height as the spine.
Each page will slot in and be stuck to one of the folds on the spine

Measure the size between folds. In this case 27mm.

Draw guides from the edges of same dimensions to create a 'border' inside which the
 main image needs to be. NOTE the side border will be more hidden by the folds.

Create the back page for the book. I cut out a mountain range.

The mid ground is planned and cut within the borders

The foreground is cut

A final sheet is cut for the 'cover' and now all the pieces are ready for assembly

Glue is applied to the bottom eighth

The short edge of the back page is placed flush against the fold and is stuck firmly to this portion. The process is repeated with the other side and left hand spine.

Now the other pages can be added in exactly the same way to the other folded portions

Glue is applied to the next eighth and the page is butted up to the fold in the same way as before.

The same is done to the other side.

The process is repeated with the foreground. There is a spare eighth which could take
another page before the cover is stuck to the front. But I prefer to leave this blank
as it gives a better sense of depth

View of the book from above

The finished piece.

And there you have it! One tunnel book. This is done solely with paper cut, but the pages could be drawn onto, collaged....even made with acetate! The combinations are endless!

I hope you find this informative. I have tried to keep it as simple as possible but please feel free to ask if there is anything I have missed.

Next post is my Nursery Rhyme Collagraph Tunnel Books.... how they were made and the finished articles.


  1. I'm speechless! What a great post! How do you manage to be that meticulous and patient? Amazing!

  2. Lol! mmmm....patient not....mad perhaps ;)
    You are in for a treat. Getting my hand printed ones on next...hopefully today.