Start with 6 envelopes, all the same size. I used alternating colors mostly so you can see the overlap better, but the effect is nice if you’ve got the color options.
Starting with the far right envelope, place adhesive on the flap and then attach that to the back of the next envelope to the left. Don’t butt the edge of the envelope right up to the fold line of the flap otherwise you may have trouble folding it up later. Leave just a tiny gap. Do this with each successive envelope until you get to the left end and then you want to fold the flap underneath the envelope and glue it in place. You *could* trim in off, but I think it adds just that little bit of stability.
The ‘inside’ of the attached envelopes.
And the ‘outside’ or back of the envelopes. Here you can see the flaps overlapping their neighbors and the left-most flap overlapping when it’s folded back.
To make the covers you need two pieces of chipboard or cardboard, not too thick but you do want it to be sturdy. Measure your envelope size and then add half an inch to each measurement. So my envelopes were 7.5″ x 5″ so I cut my covers 8″ x 5.5″.
You need two cover pieces and 2 pieces of decorative paper to cover them. The decorative paper should be 2 inches larger than your cover measurements. Going back to my example, my patterned paper (which was actually patterned printed cardstock from Storytellers October 2004 kit) pieces were cut to 10″ x 7.5″
Center each chipboard cover on the back of each decorative paper and attach. Trim the corners diagonally, leaving about 2mm between the corner of the cover and the trimmed edge of the decorative paper. (This lets the paper fold down to neat corners without any overlap but also without exposing the corners of your chipboard!)
Fold the flaps over to the back of the chipboard (cardstock will need to be creased with a bone folder for security) and secure with your adhesive of choice. If you find that there is a little bit of a gap where the edges meet, take one of the trimmed corners and attach it over the offending exposure. Easy fix! Once both covers are covered, attach the back of the top and bottom envelopes to the back side of the covers (hiding the rest of the chipboard) and accordion fold the envelopes until they are neatly stacked.
Of course, I left out the ties, but no fear, I have another fix! Usually you would attach some ribbon to the back of the cover before attaching it to the envelopes, but in my case I took a long piece of ribbon and wrapped it around the back and both covers of my book, securing the ribbon with regular tape.
This was actually a happy accident, since this closure keeps my book relatively contained. But if I decide later I want the book to fully extend, a quick snip with some pinking shears along the ‘spine’ and it totally looks like I meant to do it that way 😉
To cover the secured ribbon I used the scrap cardstock from the covers (which has a green pattern on the back of the orange) centered on each cover and then embellished the front. Again, the embellishment squares are from the same Storytellers kit, the ribbon from the craft store, the green buttons are Memory Makers and the two buttons on the ribbon ends are just from my stash. (I think the corn is from Dress It Up, but I’m not positive.)