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Tool of the Trade: Bone Folder

Make crisp, clean creases with a single swipe of the tool.

Digital Editor
three lineco bone folders
Photography by: Courtesy of Lineco

Whether you're a crafter or a home cook, it often feels like there are so many tools you can purchase to help you get a job done. Which ones are really worth investing in? Our editors are here to help. From everyday essentials to more obscure must-haves that will take your practice to the next level, we're breaking it all down. Each week Tool of the Trade will highlight one must-have crafting or cooking item you need to know about.

 

A bone folder is a dull-edged hand tool used to score, crease, and smooth paper in crafts such as bookbinding, cardmaking, origami, and other paper crafts that require perfect lines.

 

RELATED: 13 Genius Tools Every Crafter Needs

 

What Is It?

This traditional bookbinding instrument—rounded at one end and pointed at the other, and sometimes made of real bone—is the best tool for scoring paper before you fold it. It's also good for smoothing edges. The pointed end is great for working in corners or scoring paper, while the curved side can be used to polish decorative papers.

 

How Is It Used?

Use a bone folder to perfectly fold scrapbook pages, artful letters, and origami boxes. To create a perfect crease, place a ruler on the paper where you want the fold. Hold the ruler firmly in place with one hand. Run the pointed tip of your bone folder along the length of the ruler, pressing it firmly down as you go. Remove the ruler and simply fold the paper along the scored line. Try folding a sheet of card stock without it, and you'll notice a cracked, rippled crease that results. It's an immediate difference.

 

Why We Love It

A bone folder is the perfect addition to any tool collection, but especially for crafters who want to perfect their symmetry in paper projects. And while it's the go-to for scoring, creasing, and smoothing paper, it's handy for a few other functions like curling paper ribbons in gift packaging, making embellishments in quilling and paper flower making, smoothing out air bubbles in decoupage, pressing down self-adhesive appliqués (which, after a long crafternoon, your hands will thank you).

 

Our Editor's Pick

We like the Lineco Bone Folders: smooth-edged tools for making precise creases in paper, embossing, and burnishing—invaluable for fibrous and heavy decorative papers. All three sizes—8 by 1 inches, 6 by 7/8 inches, and 4-3/4 by 1-1/4 inches—are designed to comfortably hold in hand with precise and flexible control. And all of them are made from durable genuine bone as opposed to plastic or wood.