January 13, 2012
Creating a binding for single sheets of notebook paper elevates groups of papers into something more precious. I’ve recently written some posts on my current favorite way of binding loose papers. The printable hand-out above goes into detail with the steps of using a pipe-cleaner binding to make a handsome folder. When I made this with Indian Lake students we used colored papers for the covers; when the students I worked with in Saratoga Springs made it, we used black covers. Either way, they looked great.
Click on the image on the left for a black & white version of the above hand-out.
The students have been filling these folder with their collections of pictures and facts. Good, solid, serious stuff. Personally, I have been enjoying just decorating them.
December 18, 2011
Late last school year I designed a pipe cleaner bound structure that students were to use as a scrapbook for the their Heritage Week celebration at Indian Lake School, It was a colorful book that was easy to assemble within the 75 minute time frame that I had with the students. This fall a Saratoga Springs teacher asked me about doing a similar project. Her idea is that the third graders at her school will use colorful papers to create scrapbook pages for their unit on countries.
Even though I loved the colorful covers of the project that I did up in Indian Lake,we decided that the covers of this project should be a heavy, dark paper, resembling a valise. Since the inside papers that the students wil be using will be bright colors a dark cover seemed like the best way to go.
I want to say that I love the way the teachers are planning this project. Their classes are studying five countries. For the first country (which is the USA) the teacher will be reading aloud to the students about a country. As a class, students will be taking notes, and each step of their research will be carefully guided. The plan is that as the year progresses the students become more and more independent in reading and taking notes.
The hope is that by showing the students, explicitly, what is considered important and how to reasearch and write about it, that the students will form a template in their minds, and, if not, they can refer to the previous pages in their book. of the previous countries that they studied, when deciding on what is important to research.
My part of this project, then, was to help students make a folder that they could feel proud of even before they designed the inside pages. I use sparkly pipe cleaners, and provided a world map sized perfectly for this structure. My hope is that the students will label and (beautifully) color in the compass rose, and that they will color in and identify the countries that they are studying, using bright labels. This map is actually on the second layer of the cover, and is positioned so that the compass rose sort of peaks out from behind the top layer.
Here’s the top layer, predicatably labeled “Countries”, with a line underneath for the students to write their names. The label that I gave them showed the outline of the word “Countries,” so that students can playfully color in the letters.
Since the students will be using squares of paper and cut out images on their pages, it seemed like a good idea to provide an inside pocket for the students to use, in case they needed to store a bit of this and that before gluing. We made origami pockets for the inside cover, though a properly sized, pre-made envelope would work well, too.
These third grades (about 25 students per class) had no trouble making this structure in the 75 – 80 minutes that I had with them. I will be visiting these same students later on in the year to work with them on a different project. I have to say that I am looking forward to see how their pages develop.
I am nearly done with writing up a set of directions for this Pipe Cleaner Bound Scrapbook. Stay tuned.
February 2, 2011
Working as a visiting artist in Upstate New York requires good snow tires. Since where I live is centrally located int he middle of nowhere, I generally drive about an hour no matter where I am heading. If we’re expecting sleet and ice I stay home. With snow, I drive slowly and pray. Yesterday, the temperature was generously below freezing so I was confident that the snow would not turn to ice, and I headed out for a day in with students.
It was worth the trip. I helped about 60 fifth graders in three different classes make journals.
One of the students, James, said that this was an awesome project. He felt that the hardest part of the project was folding the papers . This didn’t surprise me. I’ve noticed that by the fifth grade most students have accepted the fact that papers don’t fold in half evenly. High on my agenda is to take the time to offer explicit instructions on how to successfully outwit the uncooperative nature of paper. To really get students on board with this I bring in bone folders for them to use. Students seem to genuinely appreciate learning how to fold paper well.
The teacher that invited me to come to these classes had this to say: “Paula’s workshops with all of the 5th grade classes were fantastic today. All of the students were very excited about the journals they created, and I’m sure it will motivate even our most reluctant writers.”
We made the covers of the books according to the directions below. The wallpaper covers were made from samples that were cut down to 17″ x 11 1/2″. I’ve also have B&W directions for the Pocketed Book Cover.
One of the students, Emily, seemed concerned that there might not be enough pages for the content. My impression is that she had big plans for this book. To accommodate the most prolific writers I left behind materials to create a few more books, as well as the suggestion to considering just attaching in a second set of folded pages into the cover, next to (not into) the original set of pages.
We attached the pages, five sheets of folded paper, with the modified pamphlet stitch (using 2mm satin rattail cord), hence the notches at the head and tail of the spine. The pages are the size of regular copy paper. The school’s (absolutely amazing and fabulous) reading specialist ran these papers through the copy machine so that lines are printed on the papers. After the pages were attached to the covers I gave students 2 sheets of cover weight paper which were cut to fit into the pockets of the book cover. The students slipped these heavy papers into the pockets then glued the upper corners to the book cover: this gives the book a bit more of a sturdy, weighty feel and keeps the wallpaper covers from looking dog-eared.
I didn’t take many photos. I wanted to leave before much more snow fell. In the picture above, the white mound on the left, that’s my car.
October 23, 2010
This past weekend I taught at Center For Book Arts in NYC, two one-day classes for adults. Attendees were interesting, smart, enthusiastic and creative. What a pleasure for me! We made lots of different types of books in these classes. I think that the highlight of Sunday was this beaded binding, based on the Chain Stitch that I learned from a book by Ketih Smith.( 1,2,&3 Section Sewings, page 220).
We also made simple pamphlet sewn books, pop-ups. a large accodion book, numerous origami book structures, as well as a variation of Hedi Kyle’s invention, the Blizzard Book.
Saturday’s class was full of simpler structures. as the class was designed for and filled with teachers. I think that the highlight of Saturday was seeing what the class did with the cut-paper decorative techniques that I presented.
We also made origami pockets and pamphlets, a pyramid with pop-ups, a big notebook, paper springs, booklets with various bindings (rubber band, paper fasteners, modified pamphlet stitch), an accordion with a pocket, and more.
There are a few books that I want to mention here, that are helpful to me and that I think would be helpful to others.
First is Books, Boxes and Wraps by Marilyn Webberley. This is a great book, comprehensive, inspiring, and about $50.
ISBN: 1886475008 | ISBN-13: 9781886475007
Keith Smith books, which will cost you about $35 each
I refer to his Non-Adhesive Binding, Volumes I, II, and III extensively. Some people find following his directions challenging, but I am drawn to the detailed clarity of his style of presentation.
This next book is one that I helped to author. The projects are simple and nicely presented. A good, very basic collection of projects, about $12.
25 Totally Terrific Social Studies Activities: Step-by-Step Directions for Motivating Projects That Students Can Do Independently
By: Kathy Pike Jean Mumper Paula Krieg
ISBN: 0439498309 ISBN-13: 9780439498302
This book contains many simple structures which can be easily done by teachers with their elementary students. If you want to do the Origami Pamphlet, though, use the directions from the hand-out found on this site, not the ones in the book (one drawing is out of place…)
The book that I taught that has the most steps was the book designed by Hedi Kyle. I did not, and will probably never, created a hand-out for this book. It can be done in many sizes. I like to make it in such a way that it becomes a spine piece, into which accordioned or Book Base pages can inserted. The spine piece that I used with Sunday’s class was 17″ x 7 5/8″, grain short. Our pages were made following my Book Base directions, using 8 1/2′ x 11″ paper. Here is a link to some directions that use different proportions for the spine piece:
Hedi Kyle’s Blizzard Book