Origami Lotus Book

Here’s a fun project that both kids and adults really get excited about!  The Lotus Book may look com­pli­cated, but its folds are actu­ally very sim­ple.  Don’t be intim­i­dated by all the steps.… once you’ve made one you’ll have it down.  It’s so much eas­ier than it looks!

  • Heavy-weight paper or card stock for pages (5 pieces, 8½” x 8½”)

  • Heavy-weight paper or card stock for cover (2 pieces, 4¼”x 4¼”)

  • YES! Paste (or Avery per­ma­nent glue stickworks okay, but not as per­ma­nent as the YES! Paste)

  • Paper plate, cut into quar­ters, for hold­ing a glob of paste

  • Pop­si­cle stick for creas­ing folds and spread­ing paste

  • Flat shoelaces, one 36” lace per book (or any flat rib­bon, seam bind­ing, etc.)


First, fold all of your pages.…

Start with your first square of paper and fold it in half, match­ing the top and bot­tom edges.
(A pop­si­cle stick works great for creas­ing folds, espe­cially for small hands!)
Then unfold and fold in half again, match­ing the side edges.  Both of these folds are “val­ley folds”.

Now unfold your paper and turn it over.  (Your “val­ley folds” just became “moun­tain folds”.)

Next, fold your paper in half once, diag­o­nally (val­ley fold), match­ing cor­ners carefully.
Unfold your paper again and turn it over again so that the diag­o­nal fold is point­ing upward (moun­tain fold).  Then press down on the cen­ter where the three folds cross.  The diag­o­nal folds on each side of the cen­ter will pop up.
Gen­tly push the two diag­o­nal folds together so that they meet in the middle.
Press down (it should look like a square again) and crease all folded edges well.
Repeat these steps with your remain­ing four pages.

Now it’s time to assem­ble your pages.  (You’ll be work­ing from back to front, so keep that in mind if you’ve already writ­ten or drawn on your pages.  If not, the order doesn’t mat­ter!)  Spread YES! Paste over the top of one page and press the next page onto it, match­ing folded cor­ners to folded cor­ners and loose edges to loose edges.  Repeat this step until all five pages are glued together in a stack.  Open and close your book a few times to make sure you have it glued together correctly!

Spread YES! Paste over the top of your stack of pages.  Then lay the shoelace diag­o­nally over the glued area, with the mid-point of the shoelace over the folded cor­ners, and the extra length hang­ing below the cor­ner with the loose edges.  Dab a lit­tle extra paste on top of the shoelace.
Press one of your cover papers on top.  Then turn your book over and repeat the last step with glue, shoelace and cover on the back.

Open and close your book a few times to make sure your pages aren’t stick­ing together where they’re not sup­posed to!  (A baby wipe or damp paper towel works great for wip­ing off any stray paste!)
Close your book and set some­thing heavy on it while it dries.
Open your com­pleted book and mar­vel at its amaz­ing shape!  (A photo really doesn’t do it justice!)

These fold-out pages present a unique place for poems, jokes, rid­dles, or inter­est­ing facts about peo­ple, places or events.  You can also use Lotus Books to cre­ate one-of-a-kind book reports, using the five-page for­mat to sum­ma­rize and illus­trate key events from the (1) set­ting, (2) ris­ing action, (3) cli­max, (4) falling action and (5) res­o­lu­tion of a story.  Or sim­ply fill them with col­or­ful draw­ings and designs.… the sky’s the limit!


10 Responses to Origami Lotus Book

  1. Rina k6art.com March 29, 2012 at 5:28 am #

    Fab­u­lous! I have always been intim­i­dated by book art. Your super pho­tos and instruc­tions make it look pos­si­ble. Thanks for posting.

  2. Katja from Le Petit Manuel March 29, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    This is a great thing to do with the kids ! Thank you for this sim­ple description.

  3. Joelle April 1, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    Great project to do with kids! My love for origami comes from when I was about 10 years old and I learned how to do a bird that flap it’s wings.…and I shared that one with my students.…it’s always a great success.

  4. Maryana April 18, 2012 at 6:46 am #

    H I am Maryana and I am a 5th grade stu­dent. I also have a blog that I think may be use­ful to you if you need ideas. check it out! http://iheartartmaryana.blogspot.com/

  5. Jem S April 22, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    I love this. Thanks for the tutorial!

  6. Susanne April 14, 2013 at 8:13 am #

    I love your tuto­r­ial. As Rina k6art I didn’t right know how to begin, but your fotos look so seduc­ing, that I will begin right away. I saw some of these book­lets in an expo­si­tion with beau­ti­ful map cov­ers on them, they would be great for glue­ing travel sou­venirs, tick­ets etc. onto the pages or take lit­tle notes for every day of the jour­ney. Thanks a lot! Susanne

    • Cheryl Trowbridge April 14, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

      Susanne, this is one of those projects that is remark­ably eas­ier to do than it looks. Once you’ve done it a cou­ple of times, you could almost do it in your sleep! They are so much fun to make and the appli­ca­tions are end­less! I hope you enjoy mak­ing them, too!!

  7. teena January 2, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

    is it pos­si­ble to illus­trate how to pre enter words so that one can do the book with quotes inside?
    any­one tried this?

    • Cheryl Trowbridge January 2, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

      Teena, it’s easy to add words or pic­tures before you glue your book together, if you pre­fer to do it that way. Just make all your folds and lay the pages together like you would if you were glu­ing it. Then you’ll be able to tell where things need to go. I’ve also used Post-It Notes to label the pages as to what goes where and which direc­tion it should go. Just dou­ble check it all before you glue it!


  1. Lyn and Lesta and paper surface design (and a fine afternoon was had by all) | SHARDS: fragments and reflections - November 11, 2014

    […] Lesta Frank and I have known each other since high school, and we finally got together to col­lab­o­rate as teach­ers for a half-day work­shop at the Stu­dio on Sun­day. I learned a lot from Lesta about paper sur­face designs – she’s pretty fear­less with sten­cils and rollers! And I taught every­one how to do stamp­ing on-the-cheap with a foam plate and black con­struc­tion paper, and then how to show­case our designs on the cover of an origami Lotus book. […]

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