Tools & techniques: what is a bone folder?

craft suppliesWe’re very protective of our bone folders around here. So protective, many of us refuse to even lend one to a friend for fear we may never see our much-loved crafting tool again. And for good reason: a bone folder forms to the user’s hand over time, remembering your index fingers and palm after years of loving use. So, not unlike a great pair of blue jeans or your favorite Birkenstocks… yours has a “hand blueprint” and fits only you the best.

So what’s all the fuss about bone folders? Simply put, this basic craft tool is the “multi-tasker” of tools. It does it ALL. Bone folders are ideal for making cards with great folds, invitations with perfect smoothed liners, stationery with clean creases, scrap booking scores for recessing photos, and virtually anything in the realm of bookbinding. A bone folder makes anything you create look more professional. Spend some time around our demo table or at one of our workshops, and you’ll be a bone folder expert in short order!

There are two types of bone folders:

basic-bone-folder1. The old tried-and-true “basic” bone folder (traditionally made of animal bone –the way old fashioned bookbinders have been for using them for centuries) has two ends with specific purposes. One end is narrowed to a softer point, which makes them great for deep scoring of heavy-weight paper and indenting for marking on book board. The tip can be sanded to the desired roundness depending on the project.

teflon-bone-folder2. The second version is the newer Teflon folder. Teflon bone folders are more flexible than regular bone folders and won’t leave a sheen or scuff paper or book cloth. The great thing about the Teflon finish: glue will not adhere to it.

–Linda
PS colors: chartreuse & pool
Latest fave: Saddle Stitch Notebooks

5 Responses to “Tools & techniques: what is a bone folder?”

  • lindy says:

    Oh my gosh… I went to a craft social the other night and a woman had one of these… it worked great but I didn’t have a clue as to what it actually was or where I could find one… I should have known it would be at PAPER SOURCE! Check out my new blog to see ideas on using your products!
    http://www.casualhome.blogspot.com/

    … scatter joy …
    lindy

  • ohbrooke says:

    My and my bone folder are besties… taking the world, one fold and burnish at a time. Love your store, and loving your blog!

  • any chance you could do an online tutorial of how to {correctly} use a bone folder? i was hoping to get some info on that in this article. i’m sure i could look elsewhere online but i’d love to hear it from you all!

  • Good to know that there other folks out there looking for more info on bone folders and great ways to use them…kinda like having a few tricks up their crafting sleeves. I love having a few at my desk to use for all kids of projects. So Stephanie, we definitely have a few more tips to offer on how to use them, including loads more about the amazing teflon bone folder. I’ll see when we can get a few shots taken so we can post more visual info about bone folders. More to come…Linda

  • Margi Brown says:

    The first time I used my bone folder, I cut through the paper. I have since been more careful, but then I don’t get a good fold. Obviously, there is somewhere in between, but I am having trouble getting it right. Should I be using it on a hard surface, or one with give?

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