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Heart-shaped Folded Book Art

book Clare Youngs heart paper

Do you know a book lover? This project uses folded pages to create a heart shape book display, the perfect homemade Valentine's gift for anyone that loves to read.

Book art sculptures range in difficulty, from simple shapes such as this folded heart to more detailed scenes and intricate patterns. This is an easy book sculpture tutorial taken from Clare Youngs' latest book, Folded Book Art, so it's a great project to get you started!

Heart shaped book art sculpture

How to make heart-shaped book art

If you are looking for the perfect gift for someone you love, this could be the one. This double heart design is a real statement piece. Whoever is lucky enough to receive it will be amazed and really appreciate all the care that has gone into it.




Letter-size (A4) sheet of paper

Book measuring 9½ x 6¼ in. (24 x 16cm) with at least 290 pages


Craft knife

Triangle (set square) or ruler


Blunt knife, for scoring

Book folded heart design


1. Enlarge the template (if at 50%, enlarge by 200%) and print the template on to a letter-size (A4) sheet of paper.

2. With the book closed, mark a point 1¼ in. (3cm) in from the spine. Using a ruler and a craft knife, cut a line across the tops of the pages at this point. Do this at the top and the bottom of the book.

3. Open up your book and slip the template sheet beneath the book leaf you are starting on. Align the first vertical line on the template with the outside edge of the book leaf, and align the top edge of the template sheet with the top edge of the book leaf. You will see that the outline of the heart meets the first vertical line of the template in two places. Using a triangle (set square) or ruler—I find a triangle (set square) easier for some of the angles—set the edge of the triangle (set square) between the upper one of those points and the small nick you made in the top of the book in Step 2. Use a blunt knife to score along this line.

4. Now set the edge of the triangle (set square) between the lower one of those points and the small nick you made in the bottom of the book in Step 2, and score along this line. If you find it difficult to see the nick, mark it with pencil before aligning the triangle (set square).

Close up of folded pages heart shape

5. Before making any folds, make a small pencil mark on your template, in front of the line you have just used. If you get into the habit of doing this, you won’t get out of sequence.

6. Fold back the two flaps you scored in Steps 3 and 4 and press down firmly. You have made your first fold! This may take a bit of practice, but once you have mastered the technique you’ll speed up.

7. Continue through the book in the same way: Align the second vertical line of the template with the outside edge of your second book leaf. Score the top and bottom flaps, mark the line you have just used in pencil, and fold the flaps.

8. Eventually, you will reach a part of the template where more than one section of the heart touches the vertical template line. When this happens, simply treat each section as a new page: Score the upper and lower points of the top section first, fold the flaps, and move to the next page to score the upper and lower points of the next section down. Sometimes there are as many as three sections to score—each using a new page. Remember to mark off each line on the template as you complete the final section.

9. Once you have folded a number of pages, you may find it helpful to weigh down the folded section with something small and heavy. As you progress farther across the template, cut off the first few lines, so that the sheet continues to fit inside the book.

10. Continue to the last fold, close the book, and stand it up to see the full effect.


Folded Book Art by Clare Youngs

This project is taken from Folded Book Art by Clare Youngs.

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