How to build your own Thomas Heatherwick-designed Friction Cover

How to build your own Thomas Heatherwick-designed Friction Cover

The cover of our 20th anniversary issue is rather special, even if we do say so ourselves…. After all, we don't do 'normal' at Wallpaper*. To mark the momentous occasion we decided to ask one standout game-changer, Thomas Heatherwick, to do something truly outstanding with us. His cover design is a textbook example of the Heatherwick approach: a low-tech but joyous piece of paper engineering to create a simple but total transformation.

As you fold, squash and stretch your Wallpaper* Friction Cover, consider that you’re holding one of the smallest and most intricate projects to come out of the Heatherwick Studio. He thinks it’s a true return to the surprise and delight conjured up by his earliest works back in 1996; we think it represents the intersection of engineering, design and making.

Speaking of making, first you will need to order the kit required to create this kinetic cover by emailing Once it arrives, return to this page to follow the simple instructions below…

Step 1

Tear off the cover via perforation

Step 2

Cut the removed page into six strips along the dotted lines

Step 3

Place pins through the lengths of card from your Friction Cover kit, as shown

Step 4

Press the pins together from each side firmly, to secure the mechanism

Step 5

Glue the strips of the magazine cover to the mechanism

Step 6

Place the mechanism on the magazine, making sure to leave cover strip no. 1 open

Step 7

Glue the cover strip to the mechanism

Step 8

Slide your Friction Cover to reveal the birthday message...

Now you're all done, why not share a picture of your finished kinetic cover with us? Send us a snap of your Wallpaper* collection (or your most prized edition) using #SubscriberSince and tagging @wallpapermag on Twitter and/or Instagram

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