Necklace Books and Beltloop Books

November 14, 2010

I recently found directions, MY directions, for these books on-line (more about that later), so I felt inspired to do on post of them. From the perspective of instructing, these miniature books are a big crowd pleaser. They are created out of small strips of paper, folded, then bound together with a double loop of a thin rubber band, size #16 or #19. I originally designed this project for a Girl Scout Jamboree. They wanted me to make books with 750 girl scouts in one day, in groups of 125. Because of the big numbers, I felt that it was impractical to use scissors or glue sticks. I packaged up strips of colored papers with rubber bands, stickers, yarns and beads. The girls loved making and having these little books. They wore them around their necks and used them to exchange phone numbers with the new friends they had made that day.

Why I call these “Necklace Books” or Beltloop Books”
I nearly always ask students to tie a piece of yarn, about 36″ long, around the rubber band that binds the pages together. Six wooden or plastic beads are then strung on to the yarn. Students then wear the books as necklaces or loop the yarn through their beltloops.

Students seem to delight in the novelty of using different colored and different size papers for the books. Even if all their pages start out as the same size, I encourage students to cut into the pages to create decorative effects. Students love cutting into the pages of their books. Sometimes they overdo it and their books fall apart. Since these books are made up of such small papers, I have no problem pointing out the results that come from too much cutting, then I hand them some more paper.

A number of years ago I wrote up directions for how to make necklace books and beltloop books. I submitted the directions as part of a contract for a book to be published by Scholastic. I didn’t hear anything about this book for years. I thought they had forgotten about it. Somewhat recentlyI happened upon it! If you want to look at the directions, follow this link: http://teacherexpress.scholastic.com/belt-loop-logbook-social-studies-bookmaking-project Scholastic has put these, and other, directions on-line in a window. There is even an option to purchase pages of directions in PDF for $1.50. What a cool idea. BTW, I am quite sure that I won’t see any of that money, but if enough people show interest in the book maybe I will get an opportunity to work on another one…..

Yes, this is playful book arts….

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