Little Books to Give Away

December 9, 2017

Three Inch Square books

An artist friend of mine makes something each year for the children who come to the food bank in her community. Last weekend she came over and we worked out how to make a box that would contain items for the kids. After she left I started thinking about making little books to donate towards her efforts. It took awhile for me to come up with what kind of book I could make that was just the right balance of being not incredibly work intensive, while still being something that I am proud to offer.

3" x 11" paper strips

3″ x 11″ paper strips

These books began with some medium weight papers strips, cut 3″ x 11″. I used something kind of fancy because I have it around, but any kind of colored copy paper would have been fine to use.

Book Block paper 3" x 6"

Book Block paper 3″ x 6″

I’m using regular copy paper for the book block. This shows the paper separated into grouping of 12 papers, so the books will have 48 pages.

These papers for the inside of the book are cut to be 3″ x 6″. (Question for the grammar police: does the period go inside the inch symbol?)

I have a little guillotine cutter in my house that cuts piles of paper nicely. I paid $800 for it at a time when I barely had two nickels to rub together. It was so worth it. I see similar ones on the market now for $99.00.

Next, each cover got folded in half, then I lined the center up with the number 7 on my little paper-cutter.

A little wide of the 10 inch and 4 inche marks

A little wide of the 10 inch and 4 inch marks

These covers need to be just a bit longer than 6 inches so I made the folds at about 3 1/8″ away from the center, using the markings on my paper-cutter to show me where to fold.

 

Modified Pamphlet Stitch

Modified Pamphlet Stitch

I decided to use a needle with a  modified pamphlet stitch to for the binding so that I’d have to make only one hole in the spine (with my very sharp bookbinders awl). (I love my tools)

All done!

All done!

Here they are, all ready to go.

This was such a satisfying little project.

 

 

 

For years, until she retired, I worked with an enthusiastic classroom teacher named Anna who loved seeing her students make books. Instead of teaching bookmaking skills she created a bookmaking corner in her classroom that included a little display of books that I had taught her how to make. These books were accompanied by written directions and a stack of paper. Anna’s third grade students had a great time making books independently.

Last week I received a note from Lana, a teacher in Canada who I follow and who always has insights that I value. Here’s what she wrote:

I started a personal history project with my kids today, with  the big idea that our histories are different but we learn about each other because we are a community. Students start with creating a personal history of 5-10 important events in their lives. What if I open it a bit and let kids work with paper in 3 dimensions? Someone wants a line, someone else a book, a spiral, a tree, a flexagon?

I was wondering if there are some formats that you could recommend that don’t require too much pre-teaching. Ideally kids can follow template/video.

Origami books made from a multiple folded papers, to create a Star Book and a Cascading Book, aka Origami Caterpillar Book

Origami books made from a multiple folded papers, to create a Star Book and a Cascading Book, aka Origami Caterpillar Book

Thinking about Anna’s bookmaking corner, I want to suggest a few books to Lana.

I decided to take this opportunity to finally get around to creating the StarBook/Cascading Book tutorial (at the top of this post) with video accompaniment:

This modular origami book can be tricky, but it is totally doable, The folding needs to be done precisely, folds need to be sharp, and it’s important to pay attention to the orientation of the modules as they get glued together.

Fact is though, that it looks tricker than it is. It’s a structure I highly recommend because it’s so dynamic.

Bookmaking by Paula Beardell Krieg

The next book I want to highlight is the Origami Pamphlet. This is the #1 book that I would like every person in the world to know how to make. Here’s the link to my post https://bookzoompa.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/how-to-make-an-origami-pamphlet 

Another set of these directions that I like belongs to Tim Winkler, and can be viewed at http://pictureengine.net/?p=7960

Mike Lawler made a 24 second video -Voila!- showing a piece of paper transform into the origami pamphlet  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APfeGF0HqvY 

Books made from one or two pieces of paper

The biggest problem with the origami pamphlet is that if you’re using regular copy paper, the book will be rather small,  If this bothersome there are two good variations that result in a larger book (other than just finding a larger sheet of paper):

You can link two of the structures together with a rubber band. That’s what’s going on with the lilac/blue booklet above. Well, I guess it’s not actually a larger book, it’s just longer.

Making a larger origami pamphlet by linking two halves together

Two Book Bases linked together to make an origami pamphlet

A way make a larger origami pamphlet is to use two sheets of paper to make two halves, then attach them together (use glue, tape, paper clips, staples? whatever ) like in the photo above.  I call this half-or-an-origami pamphlet a book base.

An advantage of making a book this way is that, if composition paper is used, the lines will be going in the correct direction for writing on.

There are so many fabulous inventive book structures students can make, but sometimes it’s great to just fold a bunch of papers in half, secure them together, and be done with it. The problem here is that it is not obvious how to secure the pages together. A doable no-needle way to sew pages together in a classroom setting is to use a bit of string or yarn to do a modified pamphlet stitch.

Modified Pamphlet Stitch

Modified Pamphlet Stitch

There you have it, four books:

  • the Star Book,
  • the Cascading Book,
  • the Origami Pamphlet (with two variations) and
  • the Modified Pamphlet Stitch book

Lana’s note mentions a spiral. I’ve been playing with some spiraling pages lately, and I have something wonderful that I want to share, but the spiral deserves its own post: which will hopefully show up here in the near future.

 

 

Journals All Day Long

June 13, 2017

I’ve just noticed that I am more apt to blog about a project before I do it with kids when I am very nervous about how it will turn out.

I was very nervous about most of the projects that I wrote about in my last post. 

Making beautiful drawing journals in one class period is challenging. I’m relieved to say that the day of bookmaking went really well.

This post will mostly be a photo essay of making five styles of books, with kids ages 4 though 11.

Pre-K Book, Pipe Cleaner Binding

Pre-K Book, Pipe Cleaner Binding

 

The Pre-K kids immediately started to fill their books with drawings,and showing their creatations to each other.

Pre-K sharing

The Pre-K kids immediately started to fill their books with drawings, and lost no time showing off their creations to each other.

First Graders, book on a stick

Kindergartners, book on a stick

Kindergartners did a simple rubber-band and stick binding. They all wanted to decorate their sticks.  Most of the students tended towards making animal shapes with the bling.

First Graders, envelope book

First Graders, envelope book

The big surprise of the day, for me, was both how quickly the first graders finished their project and how amazingly beautiful they turned out. These books took them only twenty minutes to make.

First graders assembling their books

First graders assembling their books

Knowing what I know now I would slow the project down and help the kids less. I was so nervous about how this project would  go.

Assembling envelopes into pages

Assembling envelopes into pages

 

Finished Envelope books

Finished Envelope books

 Wallpaper-sample covers were simply glued on.  These look so good to me.

Simple sewing, lots of embellishments

Simple sewing, lots of embellishments

The modified pamphlet stitch book with pocketed covers made by 2nd & 3rd graders was the only project that I’ve done so often with students that I knew it would go well.

Second and Third graders made sewn book with beads

Second & Third graders made sewn book with beads

 

Ribbon Journal

Ribbon Journal

The highlight of the day, for me, was making these sewn journals with 4th & 5th graders.

 

 

The book block was made from 4 pieces of 11″ x 17″ papers folding into origami pamphlets, then sewn together side-by-side. All the holes for sewing were punched by paper punches.

Wallpaper-sample covers were attached by threading ribbons through holes in the cover and endpapers.

Ribbon Journals made by 4th and 5th graders

Ribbon Journals made by 4th and 5th graders

This project ran a bit over time. We were suppose to finish in 45 minuets, but it took 50 minutes. No one complained 🙂

Aerial view of Ribbon Books

Aerial view of Ribbon Books

These books, like most of the other books made yesterday, were constructed without glue, The only exception is the envelope books.  I didn’t exclude the use of glue intentionally, but I guess I think about glueless structures more often than not.

This was the last class of this school season. Now I can get back to some housecleaning.

I am ending this season happy!

 

Envelope Journal

Envelope Journal

I will be heading up to the Adirondacks in the morning to work with students, helping them make drawing journals. I get thirty to forty-five minutes with each class. On Tuesday the students spend time with the talented, stupendous, creative scientist/artist Sheri Amsel, who will work with these same students, teaching them to draw nature.

I am so jealous these kids get to spend time with Sheri.  Her drawings look like this:

I am creating this post as I pack for tomorrow. I’ve designed these projects one right after another, and we will be making the books in such a compressed amount of time tomorrow, that I might forget to take photos, and I might forget what we did…I like these projects so much that I don’t want to forget them.

Envelope book wrapped with Wallpaper Sample Cover

Envelope book wrapped with Wallpaper Sample Cover

The photo above and the one at the top is the project for the first graders. (I am packing the projects in the reverse order that I am seeing the classes -which is how I hope to stay organized.) This is a thick little book whose pages are made by sliding the flap of an envelope into another envelope, them repeating until the desired number of pages are achieved. The whole book block gets wrapped in a long piece of decorative paper.

Second and third graders will sew pages together, attaching beads on the spine, and using specialty papers for the book cover, and paper punched winged things as embellishments.

Pocketed book cover

Pocketed book cover

The inside cover of the book has pockets, and more embellishments. The theme of this week at the school is roots and wings.

Book on a Stick

Book on a Stick

Kindergartners will be making a book on a stick. These are long half-sheets of paper, folded in half (closed, the book block measures 5.5″ x 4.25″), bound with a #33 rubber band. The sticks are like the stir-sticks that Starbucks has out on creamer counter. If we can find sticks from outside to use, I’d like that. A big part of my thinking in putting together these projects is trying to get students to see that they can make a book anytime they want, using available materials.

Front is decorated with bling. Maybe I will get students to make a design like mine, which references the Fibonacci sequence… no reason not to! (hmm, one of my blings fell off, see it there in the background…messed up my numbers. Oh well.)

Sky Paper Book

Sky Paper Book

The pre-k crowd will be making these stab “sewn” books with this fun sky paper on the cover. Instead of threading anything, they will use craft pipe-cleaners for the binding. Decorate with stick-on clouds, a few simple birds in flight?, and a one and three-quarter inch radiant sun.

Thick book

Thick book

Finally, now packing my first project of the day. This is for the fourth and fifth graders. It’s a four-signature book (each signature is an origami pamphlet folded from 11″ x 17″ paper) sewn together with shoelace tipped yarn. The holes will be punched with a regular punch, as are holes in the cover that the ribbons are threaded through.

Inside the Thick book

Inside the Thick book

It’s the ribbons that hold the cover to the book block. The covers are wallpaper samples pieces. I have a pile that the kids can choose from.

Okay, now to remember to pack glue sticks, scissors, and then pack up the car and g o  t o  s l e e p .

 

 

 

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