7 Common Bone Folder Substitutes – Brain Brigade

One of the most indispensable tools in my own office {my own personal Maker Space} is the lowly bone folder. As I was working on our latest product, a 3D light up Washington Monument, I used the bone folder to score the card stock and make clean folds in the paper.  Sounds lame. But I can’t tell you how often you need a clean, sharp crease when creating something. I realized that not everyone has a bone folder just lying around their office. My curiosity got the best of me and I decided to search online for some substitutes. There weren’t many posts to be found on the topic. I decided to get creative and gather a handful of household items and test them in their scoring and creasing abilities.

You will need a straight edge to use any of these. I’m using the ruler that I bought years ago. I think that the ruler and bone folder may have even come together in a package and I really wanted the ruler (it is transparent! Do you know how useful that is?!) and it came with the bone folder. I had no idea what to do with it, so I tossed it in the drawer and forgot about it. Somewhere along the way I must have figured out what it was and how to use it. That part is not memorable. What I do know is that I no longer would last long without it! For me, it’s worth the $5-6 investment. But if you find yourself working on a project that needs a good fold, give some of these common household items a try as a substitute!

My favorite substitute and the one that worked the best was the plastic citrus peeler. My peeler has a hooked end and a flat end. I used the flat end to score and crease. I think this is a Tupperware brand that you can find on Amazon.

I tried three knives – a standard butter knife, a plastic butter knife, and a spreader. All three worked very well! I flipped the butter knives upside down so that I could use the smooth end. To score: place the straight edge or ruler so that you line up the edge with the place on the paper where you would like the score to go. Using you tool {or substitute!} press on the tool and run it down the edge of your ruler as a guide. There should be a small indentation when you lift the tool. Then you fold over the paper or card stock and use the edge of the tool to flatten the crease sharply.

The spatula takes third place in usefulness. I wasn’t as impressed with the use, mainly because the bend in the spatula makes it more awkward to hold tightly up against the ruler.

My least favorite were the pen and craft stick. Both had more rounded ends and were thicker which did not score as well. However, both were useful in creasing the folds. And it still beats trying to fold without scoring!

Next time you need to have crisp fold give one of these common household items a try!

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