::Cut your squares::
One sheet of 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper will give you 4 4 ¼ inch squares, with a little bookmark chunk leftover. You will need at least 5 of these squares, so you’ll need more than one sheet of paper. You’ll also want to cut the squares as perfectly as you can. Origami squares are nice for their perfection, but are a little flimsy as book pages.
When I get supplies for my class, I buy a bunch of colored resume paper from Kinko’s and then I have THEM chop it into perfect little squares using their big chopping machine. Lately, they have charged $1.50 or so per cut (that’s through all of the sheets), so with three or four cuts, it’s a cost-effective way to get square squares.
::Fold your squares::
Select either 5 or 6 squares for the pages of your book. They can all be the same color, or you can mix and match. (FYI: Using only 4 squares results in a funky looking book, but it doesn’t look like a star, and using more than 6 squares results in very pointy books, that lose the star look as well.)
Fold the square in half, then open it, rotate 90 degrees and fold in half and open it again so that your folds look like a cross. Make your folds as perfectly as you can.
::Fold your squares (cont.)::
Hold the square (now a triangle) with your thumbs in the center and your fingers just inside the two ends. Pressing up gently with your thumbs and down with your fingers, “pop” the fold to arrive at this shape. (Note: there are other ways to get this same fold. If you know a way that works better for you, use it.)
Repeat these folding steps for all of your squares.
::Glue your squares::
Apply an even coat over the entire surface of the flat side of one of your squares. Try to avoid big goops, yet make sure you don’t miss any little areas.
Stick the flat side of a second square onto the glued one making sure that they are both facing the SAME way. In other words, the closed points and open sides match. Doing otherwise gets you a cool-looking “exploded” style book, but not a star book. Glue the pieces together as perfectly as you can.
Continue gluing all the squares like this, but do NOT glue the remaining ends together – you need to be able to close your book! (Of course, if you wanted to make ornaments rather than books, go ahead and glue these ends together, punch a hole in one point and then string it up.)
Set the pages aside while you work on the cover. (I like to set something heavy on the squished stack to help the glue set.)
::Create your cover::
Cut out two squares of paperboard that are just slightly bigger than your folded pages. (Using 4 ¼ inch squares, they fold down to 2 1/8 inch pages, so I cut my paperboard at 2 ¼ inch square.)
Cut out your cover material to yield about a ½ inch margin all around the paperboard. (3 inches works well.)
Glue the paperboard onto the back and center of your cover material.
Miter the corners of the cover material.
Glue the edges of the cover material and, folding them over the sides of the paperboard, stick them down.
::Add the ribbon::
This is what holds your book closed and your star open. I usually use about 20 inches of ¼ inch width satin ribbon. Experiment with other materials if you like, but this is what works best for me.
Find the center of the ribbon (I pinch mine). Position the covers diagonally to each other with a little gap in between. Draw a line of glue across the insides of each cover, from point to point.
Stick the ribbon onto the cover pieces by centering it over the little gap and then pressing it into the glue.
::Add the pages::
Think of the center of your covers as the hinge of the book. Glue the flat side of one end of your page stack and stick it to one of the cover sides – make sure the hinge of your pages matches the hinge of the covers, and do your best to center it.
Glue the top side of the pages and stick the second cover onto this.