A Bone Folder Makes for Paper Perfection

comments (0) May 29th, 2008     

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KhrisCochran Khris Cochran, contributor
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A bone folder is the indispensable tool of every paper crafter. This
beauty was hand-carved from elk bone by artist Shanna Leino. (Photo used with permission: Figure 5 Studio/Flickrz)
Just line up a straightedge to score your project. I like that in an age of technology a simple hand tool is indispensably useful.
After you’ve used a bone folder to make a crease, you’ll wonder what you
were thinking back in the days when you just used your hands.
A bone folder is the indispensable tool of every paper crafter. This
beauty was hand-carved from elk bone by artist Shanna Leino. (Photo used with permission: Figure 5 Studio/Flickrz)

A bone folder is the indispensable tool of every paper crafter. This beauty was hand-carved from elk bone by artist Shanna Leino. (Photo used with permission: Figure 5 Studio/Flickrz)

Photo: Courtesy of Figure 5 Studio/Flickr

All hail the mighty bone folder! For paper crafters, it is a miracle tool. Not only does it help give paper crisp, tight creases, but this handy little helper also scores and burnishes paper, cardboard, and tissue. Those crisp folds make for a professional-looking presentation—a nice little touch for those of us obsessed with detail.

Traditionally made from animal bone, today’s bone folders are now mostly made from hard synthetics such as plastic. They have a smooth, rounded surface that allows for easy gliding over most paper. Most have a sharp edge and tip for scoring paper.


Using a bone folder is delightfully easy:

  • Scoring: Using a straightedge, press the tip of the bone folder firmly onto the paper, and pull it down.
  • Folding: Fold a piece of paper in half to create a slight crease. Run the tapered edge of the bone folder firmly along the crease to press into a flat fold.
  • Burnishing: When sticking two pieces of paper together, it’s best to burnish them for a stronger bond. Burnishing is simply using a firm, rubbing motion (you’re pressing the layers together) over the area where the adhesive is.


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