Make a Little Christmas Letter for Book Lovers

Reading Time: 3 minutes
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Give book lovers a little “story of your life” this holiday season. All images: Lisa Kay Tate

This holiday season, when it’s time to take on the tedious duty of the writing that Christmas or end-of-year letter, book lovers can turn their own year into its own little storybook with an easy paper craft.

This takes advantage to the common mini-book fold, many teachers use for projects, but turns it into a holiday keepsake for family and friends.

Fold a plain letter size sheet of paper in half, then fold two more “halves” to get eight equal rectangles (approximately 4″ X 3″).

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Fold a letter sized paper in half three times, until it makes eight equal rectangles.

Once all the creases are in place, open the page backup, except for the original fold. Cut a slit along the middle crease from the folded side.

Now, open it up, again and fold along the lengthwise crease. Then, push gently from both ends. The book should “accordion” together, and form in to an eight page book (including the covers).

Cut a slit into the center crease, as the fold, then push the book together, as shown.
Cut a slit into the center crease, at the fold, then push the book together, as shown.

This fold is very easy, once you figure it out, but try it a couple of times on scrap paper if you haven’t made one before. Several educational sites offer video tutorials to help get started. I recommend watching one.

Before adding the design, make the fold with a blank piece of paper. Number the pages, including the cover. Unfold it, and it will give you a guide as to which page goes where, as well as which direction it faces.

Now for the fun part: find a favorite book or comic, and mimic its style. I like to use Adobe InDesign, but many easy desktop publishing or document program work fine.

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The basic page setup. Make the covers and pages 5 and 6 upside-down.

We always like to give geeky themes to our Christmas photos. For 2016, we chose a “Miss Peregrine,” meets “Fantastic Beasts” theme since these are the books and movies my family has been enjoying this year. Whatever your theme, make sure the entire “book” can be printed on one side of the paper. When the final printed paper is folded, the “open spaces” between the cover and page one, and pages 4 and 5 can be easily secured with a small piece of double-sided tape.

If you get families working together, you could fold about 50 of these in no time at all.

These will easily fit in most cards, and are small enough to be used in place of a gift tag.

One advantage of this as a letter is it forces you to keep the text brief, emphasizing just the highlights of the year. It also lets you use more than just one “posed” photo of the family. Get creative with a couple of the sillier candid shots that made this year unique.

We enjoyed making this idea so much, we might make these little booklets a tradition. Who knows where our story will take us in 2017.