Ornamental Books and Boxes for the Holidays

Under my tree this year is another tree and it looks like this:

My Christmas tree book & box

In the Book Arts class, “Ornamental Books and Boxes for the Holidays” with Dea Sasso we tackled three ambitious projects for the Long Weekend.

The first project was the tree pictured above with a fancy triangular box. Dea bought a wonderful assortment of papers, book cloth, and leather and everyone picked a combination of colors. My tree fits into a blue box with gold tooled stars and a tree on the front.

Tooling was an additional technique we tried out in the class. The effect of the gold pressed into the book cloth reminded me of vintage books from the 50s and 60s. I knew I wanted this one to be a Christmas gift for my mom, so I went for a colorful traditional green and groovy Chena Rivers marbled paper. When secured with a ribbon bow, the triangular book turns into a stand-alone three dimensional tree. It’s a whimsical and unique decoration and I knew it would make a precious gift for my mom that she would cherish for Christmases to come.

Another tree created by my classmate
Another tree created by my classmate


Attaching the book case to the pop up box
Attaching the book case to the pop up box

The second project was a whimsical pop-up box containing a small book with a leather spine. Opening the box brings smiles and wows to the audience as a hidden ribbon “pops” the book out of the inner case. It was the most complex project, but under Dea’s guidance, everyone in the class got their boxes “popping” by the end of day two. This would make such a special gift for a loved one! I’m keeping my first one to make sure I can repeat the building process.

Adding the ribbons to the pop up box.
Adding the ribbons to the pop up box.

The last book fit into an unexpected space: a match box. The sweet tiny book was bound with leather and tooled with gold, making for an extra luxurious and fancy surprise in a otherwise everyday object. Apparently miniature boxes are popular and collectors and societies exist to celebrate books under 3-inches total dimensions. Dea brought a part of her collection to share and it was amazing to see how bookmakers are so creative when making miniature books. My mini matchbook is going in my dad’s stocking with a handwritten message.

Browse upcoming Book Arts classes on our website.

Visit Dea Sasso’s bindery, Light of Day Bindery.

The Folk School has almost completed the fundraising effort for the new Book & Paper Arts Studio! We have raised $420,702 of our $450,000 goal. We hope that you will join with us to finalize this important capital campaign. Donate today.


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