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Shamrock Book Corner/Mark June 12, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in Books, DIY, how to, luck or time, Origami, statistical analysis.

I find a lot of four-leaf clovers, which some people consider to be lucky (um, not the finding, I think, but the possession thereof).  The first couple I found I gave away as presents, after laminating them, but there was nothing particularly elegant about lamination.  And I have quite a few, now–I stopped counting at thirty. And laminating is boring and expensive. 

So I’ve been looking for some other way of presenting them to people.  Because what am I going to do with all these things?  It occurred to me a couple of weeks ago that I could put them inside paper, onionskin or tracing paper, possibly translucent vellum, so that they could be used as bookmarks.  Problem was that unless you put some sort of tassel on them, they will stick out of the book and part of the mark will get mushed.  They might get knocked loose, which would also suck.  Anyway, yesterday I finally happened upon a solution, which is to make book corners out of them. 

The design for this is that of a letterfold, the K-Letterfold, which is diagrammed here, at my favorite letter and envelope folding site.  I don’t use the K-Letterfold much for actual letters, because it comes out too small to actually post through U.S. mail when you use paper of standard dimensions.  But it is perfect for this particular purpose (see below, click to enlarge).

Front View

Back View

The book is Nicholas Rescher’s Luck: The Brilliant Randomness of Everyday Life.  Much better, printable, concise, instructions and diagram are at this site (look under K-Letterfold on the side-bar), but I am putting step-by step instructions below so that you can see where the shamrock goes in the folding process.

Step 1: I started out with a 6 inch by 8 inch (15.24 cm x 20.32 cm) sheet of tracing paper.  The pictures below are for the same size white sheet, which shows the folds and the position of the shamrock.  It is best to fold the thing first, then unfold it and place the shamrock (or whatever flat keepsake or flower or whatever) inside and refold it.  It is less likely to damage the delicate dried plant if you wrestle with the paper and crease it first. 

Step 2: Fold one corner snug against the side.

Step 3: Fold the top side down to meet the edge of the paper.

Step 4: Fold paper in half and then unfold.  Then fold it in a quarter towards the crease in the middle.  Yeah, I know that’s two steps.  Second one is like 4 and 1/2.  O.K.?

Step 5: Fold the other quarter to meet the center crease.  Now comes the tricky part. 

Step 6: Tuck the pointy part at the bottom into the slot in the middle.

Step 7: Then slide it all the way to the top inside, so that the little crevasse (seen in the picture below in a not-quite-closed-but-almost-closed state) closes as completely as it can.

Step 8: Turn over and tuck the remaining untucked corner into the other inside slot . . . carefully.

Of all the letterfolds this is one of the most stable.  It simply does not open accidentally, even when sent through the mails without any adhesive devices to keep it closed.  And as you will see, it can be used vertically or horizontally, so that the side with the clover is always on the page that you are attempting to mark. 


1. strugglingwriter - June 12, 2007

Cool post. I always like your paper posts. I haven’t tried any of them, but they are cool.

2. Ev - April 5, 2008

I’ve never once found a four-leaf clover.

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