How to Fold an Accordion Style Paper

By Pamela Martin

Accordion folds are popular in scrapbooking and other craft projects, beginning with children’s fans made from old schoolwork. You can fold any type of paper in an accordion, or fan, fold, but you may find creasing heavier papers easier with a bone folder. You can press lighter weight papers with your fingers.

Fold an edge of the paper over to the width you want the final accordion to be. If you are concerned that all the folds are even, measure the paper and divide by the number of folds you want. Measure and mark the fold lines accordingly.

Press the bone folder along the fold to crease it.

Turn the paper over so that the first fold is at the bottom of the paper and faces down on the work surface.

Fold the folded edge up until all of it is on the top surface. Align the original edge of the paper with the new edge and crease that fold.

Continue until all of the paper is folded and creased. You will have a series of “hills and valleys” along the paper.

Tip

Accordion-fold poster board to make a file stacker.

Wrap one end of an accordion-folded scrapbook or gift-wrap paper with ribbon to make a wall hanging fan.

Warning

Working on a flat surface prevents "slipped" folds that make your accordion-fold paper look sloppy.

About the Author

Pamela Martin has been writing since 1979. She has written newsletter articles and curricula-related materials. She also writes about teaching and crafts. Martin was an American Society of Newspaper Editors High School Journalism Fellow. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching in elementary education from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Arts in curriculum/instruction from the University of Missouri.