I love to make these little Accordion Fold books with scraps of pretty paper. They are especially fun to make with kids, because they are a do-able project in a reasonable amount of time before the kids get bored. Kids also like the "secret" aspect to them. When you remove the spine, there is a "whole 'nuther" book in which to write secrets.
You'll need scraps of pretty paper, and strips of paper to fold into an accordion for the pages of the book. I like to determine the book size by the size of the paper strip. In the bottom left of this you can see that my book will be card catalog size.
A Word About Paper Grain
When folding paper for book binding, it is important to make sure you are folding along the grain of the paper. If you don't, the paper won't fold well, and the fold will cause stress along the spine, making the book bend or buckle, or the spine less strong.
There are a number of ways to tell which direction the grain runs on a piece of paper. For smallish pieces, You can first just try folding it in each direction. The neater fold shows you the direction of the grain.
Here are two sheets of the same type of paper, folded in opposite directions.
The top sheet is folded against the grain - you can tell because it does not make a neat crease; it is wobby.
The bottom sheet is folded with the grain - you can tell because it folds completely and neatly.
Here is a second way to tell the grain - you can try this with a piece of newspaper. Rip it one direction, then rip it the other. When you rip it with the grain, it rips in a neat line. When you rip against the grain, your rip will be wobbly and uneven.
Here is a video showing how to check the grain, and a third method with water.
Back to the Accordion Fold book:
Fold your strip of paper into even sections, front and back ending in the same direction. The inside pages of a book are called the text block. Make sure, when pages are folded, that all four edges are even.
Then you will fold your cover pieces. You need 2 pieces exactly the same height as the text block, but at least 2 inches wider. You need 2 contrasting pieces exactly the same width as the text block but at least 2 inches taller. Fold the 4 pieces so that they each are exactly the same size as the text block. Now you are going to create your covers.
When you have each of the covers made, you can insert the end page of your text block into each cover:
And here's the secret back side where you can hide things like your favorite kitty picture.
And here are some lovely Non-Adhesive Accordion Fold Books: