These books are really easy to make (yes, even if you aren't crafty) and now that we have a stack of them we're ready any time inspiration strikes.
Mom's book ideas:
We can write a family story! We can make nature journals!
The boys' book ideas:
7 year old: We can make a book about how valves work!
5 year old: We can make a book about animals that shed their skins!
Guess I'll leave the content decisions to the kids…
This stack of homemade books is ready for whatever the kids want to put in them. We made two of them into travel journals for our end of summer trip by gluing drawings to the front. Then I used clear shelf liner (dollar store!) to “laminate” them so they can hang out in the kids back packs without getting ruined.
Homemade Book Tutorial
I used an excellent book called Creating Handmade Books to learn how to make these.
The video below shows how I sewed the binding. This is a simple method for sewing a small single signature book (the signature is one sheaf of folded papers in a book.) It takes less than two minutes and you do NOT need to be super handy with a sewing needle to accomplish it. You do, however need a sewing needle – if you don't have a needle and thread, of course stapling or threading the book together with a pipe cleaner would work too.
- Cover Paper (I used Astrobrights)
- Inner Papers (Same size as cover, I used 4 sheets plain paper per book. I could have used a couple more with no problem. If you do not want the edge to be uneven you may wish to use a craft knife after you're done and trim off the edge.)
- Thread (What you've got around the house is fine. You can buy special thread for book making, but for our purposes this wasn't necessary.)
- Tapestry Needle (or other needle with a large eye and sharp enough to push through the papers.)
(See the short video for these to make sense. It's easier to see than to read the instructions.)
- Stack you papers with cover on the outside, fold in half.
- Starting inside, push thread through center of book.
- Make a stitch in the spine that comes up between the center and the edge of your book.
- Make a looong stitch all the way past your middle thread to the other end of the spine between the middle and the edge of the book.
- Poke back up through the original hole.
- Tie your string around the long stitch with a square knot.
- Clip your ends and press the book flat – you're done!
Now you can make these in whatever size you like. Make a stack of them and your kids (or you!) can grab an empty book for whatever captures your imagination. What will you write about?