Kid’s Bookmaking

by Kelsey Norwood

in Bookbinding,Crafts,Tutorials

I’m a guest blogger today over at Skip To My Lou – Cindy is having a week of guests share story time ideas in an effort to spread the word about the “Read to Feed” program. To read my about awesome story time activity, visit Skip To My Lou today.

Okay, so my activity was kid’s bookmaking, and I wanted to share a few more ideas here at Vanilla Joy today. Making a little book is a great activity for any occasion, and here are a few simple books you can make with your kids.

paper bag accordion book

1. Accordion Book

  • Cut 5- 4×8 rectangles out of a brown paper bag.
  • Fold each rectangle in half.


  • Lay the 5 sections out on the table so that they are alternating between opening up towards the ceiling and down towards the table.
  • Glue the underside of the piece on the left (1, and excuse the shaky-hand-moused-numbers) to the top of the piece on the right (2). Continue gluing your sections together in this manner.

portfolio book kid’s bookmaking

2. Portfolio Book

  • Cut 5 or 6 – 4×8 rectangles out of brown paper bag.
  • Line up your 4×8 rectangles and fold them all in half together.
  • Open the book to the piece in the center (where you can see the fold) and punch two holes in the fold, about 1/2″ from the edges.
  • Go through the two holes from the inside with a needle and ribbon/yarn/string, etc. Tie a knot on the outer edge of the spine and trim the ends of your thread.

*If you want to make your book bigger, just be sure to cut the paper twice as wide as it is tall.
button book

3. Button Book

  • Cut 10 rectangles out of brown paper bag (dimensions don’t matter).
  • Sew two buttons along the spine edge to hold the book together.

step book

4. Step Book

  • Cut 4-6 rectangles from a brown paper bag.
  • Make the steps by leaving the last page, cutting 1/2″ off of the third page, 1″ off the second page, and 1 1/2″ off the first page.
  • Punch two holes along the spine edge, about 3/8″ from the edges.
  • Thread ribbon/yard/etc., up through the holes and tie a knot on the front side of the book.


Now you know 4 (6, if you went to Skip To My Lou) ways to make little books with your kids. Let your child choose his favorite method and begin.

Then you need to put something in the book. Here are some ideas:

  1. Draw some original artwork
  2. Cut themed pictures from a magazine – animals, food, people, flowers, bugs, favorite things.
  3. Make a counting book – 1 flower, 2 stars, 3 moons, etc. (I did one like this. See pictures below.)
  4. Make an alphabet book. A is for aestival, B is for brillo
  5. Make a color book with only red/yellow/pink things.

Here are some pictures of the counting book I made for Joel using the portfolio method:

hand made counting bookhand made counting book

I had lots of fun making these little books today. When Joel is old enough, we’re going to make these all the time! Maybe I’ll invite the neighbor kids over tomorrow to make books with me… ENJOY!

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Crystal Brinkerhoff August 20, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Oh man those are super cute! What a great idea and I really love that they’re so inexpensive. One thing I’ve discovered about myself just recently is that I tend to be a bit of a control freak with the “fun crafty projects” the kids and I do together. I really have a hard time turning things over completely to them. So one of the things I’ve been trying to work on is relaxing and just letting them actually have some fun with it. Imagine. :) Anyway I think this is the perfect thing to practice my letting loose attitude!

2 The Mommy August 21, 2008 at 5:27 am

Those books are wonderful. I think I’ll plan on making some books for my 2yo with numbers, letters & colors. it’s a great way to jumpstart her homeschooling!

3 Brandy August 21, 2008 at 8:18 am

We made something similiar to this at Girls Camp this year and it was so cute. In fact, I am going to make these for Christmas for my mom and MIL. I am going to use white bags and do brag books. Then I am going to make cards with each of my kids handprints in it and stick inside the pockets. Way cute. I am really like your sight and am so excited for the giveaway’s next week :D.

4 Dawna August 24, 2008 at 5:10 pm

Very cute. I am thinking this would be a great thing to make for Laurels class one night. They would love it.

5 Cee August 24, 2008 at 8:28 pm

Oh wow, gonna have to show my sister this for her 4, and 3 year old boys!

6 Maria August 25, 2008 at 10:41 am

Oh my gosh!! This would be PERFECT for my new blog – I am all about using what you already have to create something new! This is so stinkin’ cute! My kids would make a million of these & never get tired of doing it! Thanks for sharing!!

7 Lisa Burton August 25, 2008 at 5:50 pm

What a great idea, cheap too! I have made paper mini scrapbook albums, but using them as a learning tool is great!

8 Mel August 26, 2008 at 9:46 am

Thanks for the info and ideas—I make a lot of bag books, but I’ve never tried a “step” book style-so I want to give that a try next…. great idea!

9 Jenna P August 26, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Cute book! And, I am really happy you put the Read to Feed banner on there- we did that as a college project for one of my Childrens Literature courses when I was in undergrad. GREAT GREAT GREAT concept.

10 Sherry Lovely August 27, 2008 at 7:43 am

I know my 8 and 5 yr old granddaughters will love making these when their over! Very cute and a great way to get my grandchildren interested in doing crafts like this. Thanks for sharing!

11 kristen August 27, 2008 at 10:15 am


12 Kim R. August 28, 2008 at 4:59 am

What a great inexpensive way to teach children to love books.

13 Peg August 28, 2008 at 7:02 am

I love this idea! This would be fun to have your child help do.

14 Elizabeth M. August 28, 2008 at 12:38 pm

We have been making books but I never even thought of an alternative to stapling them. This is way more fun.

15 Sue D August 28, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Great ideas! My kids are grown but I have a granddaughter. This will be fun with her.

16 Colleen August 29, 2008 at 5:53 am

What a great idea to get kids involved. Thank you.

17 Amy August 29, 2008 at 2:55 pm

These are adorable! My neices would love this- I’m going to make it with them, thanks for the idea!

18 Amy Rhoads September 18, 2008 at 10:58 am

Thank you so much for this idea. This is also a great way to use paper scraps or odds and ins to create a really cute book on anything you want. The bonus like you said is you can make it with your kids!

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