Bone Folder Scoring Tools for Card Making and Paper Crafts

Use a Bone Folder to Create Perfectly-Scored Greeting Cards, Gift Tags and Other Paper Craft Projects

Here’s a guide that answers frequently asked questions about bone folders, and discusses the variety of uses for them in cardmaking, bookbinding, origami, art and paper crafts.

What Is a Bone Folder?

A bone folder is a tool that can be used for manipulating paper or other surfaces in various ways. Here are some typical uses for bone folders:

  • To score or crease paper or other materials
  • To burnish or emboss paper
  • To create or turn corners in various craft projects

Other Materials That Can Be Scored or Manipulated Using a Bone Folder:

  • Vellum
  • Leather
  • Fabric
  • Some Acrylics

I recently discovered that my bone folder can be used to make really fabulous folds on Clear Scraps acrylic sheets. I created a clear greeting card using the acrylic sheet as the card base; I created the fold using the bone folder.

Bone Folders Are Helpful Tools for Use in the Following Crafts:

Bookbinding: Bone folders are essential tools in the bookbinder’s stash. They are helpful for creating many different types of bindings, including accordion-fold books and others.

Origami : Bone folders have limitless applications in origami; they are useful for every aspect of this craft, including making the origami folds and manipulating tight corners.

Card Making: If you’ve ever tried to make a greeting card without using a bone folder, you’ve no doubt discovered that the folds don’t turn out looking professional. Bone folders are typically used for making crisp, perfect creases in handmade cards and envelopes.

They are also useful for smaller variations, such as gift tags and matching envelopes for wrapping birthday presents and holiday gifts. Have you admired the little gift tags that the florist includes with flower deliveries? When you pick a bouquet from your own garden, you can create a matching gift tag and envelope using some cardstock, adhesive, and a bone folder.

Scrapbooking: Use a bone folder to make hidden journaling spots for scrapbook pages. There are many other applications in addition to this one.

Collage Art and Altered Art: Everywhere you need to fold or burnish your paper, a bone folder can help.

What Else Can You Do With a Bone Folder?

Bone folders are a versatile tool for paper crafting. Here are some additional ways the bone folder can help with your paper crafts projects.

Make handmade boxes out of paper by scoring the paper with your bone folder.

Add distress marks, dry doodles, or additional texture by “writing” with the bone folder as you would with a pencil or stylus. Ink over the “writing” with an inkpad, or apply chalks or paints for additional emphasis.

Use the bone folder in place of a paper crimper if you prefer asymmetrical crimping or crimping that is unevenly spaced.

Are Bone Folders Really Made Out of Bone?

Some bone folders are made out of bone, and some are made out of various plastics such as melamine.

How Much Do Bone Folders Cost? And Where Can I Buy Them?

Pricing depends on several factors, including the size of the bone folder and the material it is made of. You can typically buy the cheapest available bone folders for prices ranging from $4 – $10.

Your local art or craft store probably sells bone folders. Most scrapbooking stores sell them too. Look for them wherever you purchase paper crafting supplies.

If you’d rather shop online for a bone folder, click here to see the bone folders available for sale at Amazon.

A bone folder is was included with the Making Memories Distressing Kit, which has now been discontinued.

You might also be interested in taking a look at the Scor-Pal tool. The Scor-pal is a complete system for scoring paper. It includes a tool that is constructed like a bone folder, and it also includes a base with guides for scoring.

More Cardmaking Resources:

More Must-Have Craft Supplies:

  • Strathmore Bristol Board — This is the paper I use for most of my greeting card bases.
  • Lumiere Metallic Paint — This is a versatile paint you can use for adding shimmery accents to your handmade cards and other paper craft projects.

By Amy Solovay

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She holds a bachelor’s degree with a studio art minor; and she has also obtained another degree in textile design. Amy has been crocheting and making crafts since childhood, and knitting since her teenage years. Her work also appears at, and Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-2-2019.

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