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How to Use a Bone Folder

how to use a bone folder

A bone folder is a perfect tool for crafters looking to find the perfect symmetry in every paper project they are doing. This tool is ideal for creasing, scoring, smoothing papers, and other many essential functions. But do you know how to use a bone folder? If not, please read this article to learn the proper usage of a bone folder.

Usage No. 1: Creating a Perfect Crease of Your Paper

A bone folder is handy if you want to have a perfect fold to your papercrafts, such as origami boxes, scrapbook pages, and even artful letters. All you have to do is create a perfect crease using this crafting tool.

To start creasing the paper, position the ruler to the paper where you want to fold. Then, you can hold the ruler firmly to its proper place using one of your hands. Then, using the pointed tip of the bone folder, run it along the line created by the ruler’s length. You can start pressing it firmly as you do it, creating some force.

Then, you can now remove the ruler while it is folded through the line created by the bone folder. The result is a smoother fold compared to just using your hands which results in a crippled or cracked line.

Usage No. 2: Scoring a Paper for Easy Fold

The bone folder was traditionally used for bookbinding. However, with the popularity of paper crafting, the usage of a bone folder has expanded in so many ways you can imagine. One of them is scoring paper for easy folding.

For example, when you fold card stock with your hands, you will normally get a cracked and rippled line in the edge of the paper. Using a bone folder is entirely different as it allows you to score and fold really cleanly.

All you have to do is position your ruler in the place where you want it to be folded. Then, run the pointed part of the bone folder along the ruler to create a score line. Then, you can fold the paper in the opposite direction to have the proper folding.

You can really see the difference in the quality of the folding using a bone folder compared to the one which is folded manually. The one folded manually is a little bit clanked and can crack if you use coded paper.

Usage No. 3: Tearing a Paper Smoothly

Traditionally, when you try to tear or cut a paper, you just fold it then tear it up immediately. However, the result is not ideal in terms of the quality of the cutting. But with the use of a bone folder. Cutting will be more precise and smoother.

All you have to do is position the ruler to where it will be cut. Then hold the ruler with your one hand and use the other hand to score a line along the ruler’s length using the bone folder. If you are cutting, you can try to score the line a few times, especially if you cut a thick piece of paper.

After that, proceed to tear the paper using the score line created by the bone folder. It will be easy since the score line will allow you to create a clean tear utilizing the effectiveness of the bone folder.

Other Usage

Using a text-weight paper, you can easily make a fold using the bone folder. Even if this paper is light, using the bone folder will give you a very crisp fold, especially when you are working on crafts that come with a lot of folding.

You can also use the bone folder if you want to press the paper and make it smoother on the surface. For example, if you are gluing the back of the paper, the bone folder is essential to get out all air bubbles to have a perfect result.

Other Information You Need to Know in Using a Bone Folder

A bone folder is traditionally used for bookbinding but is now an essential tool for crafting. Some bone folders are made of recycled cow bone which is the reason why it got its obvious name. But other bone folders are made of Teflon and plastic.

Apart from creasing and scoring papers before folding it, it can also be used to smooth your paper craft’s edges. The pointed part of the bone folder is used for scoring papers and working on its corner. The curved side is best used in polishing decorative papers.

If you are not familiar with how a bone folder works, it is very easy. All you have to do is hold the bone folder in your hands which allows you to apply more strength compared to using the fingernails or the fingertips.

Also, when using a bone folder, avoid making the crease with it. The first thing to do is force the paper gently using your hands while flattening it using your fingertips. Once you are satisfied with the quality of the fold, you can easily sharpen it with the bone folder.


If you are planning to learn about crafting, then learning how to use a bone folder is an excellent skill to have. There are so many functions of this incredible tool, such as scoring, creasing, and smoothing the paper’s surface. Crafting is fun and challenging, but having a bone folder will be a big help during the crafting activity.

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