Book Making

There have been many posts on various blogs about making books for kids lately. I've had this task on my to-do list for weeks now because my girl Hadley could use a tree in a day if we let her. She loves to draw and color, and her story telling is something to treasure. So I decided to make her some little books of her own. Various methods were described vaguely over on Angry Chicken and Soulemama so I just went for it and made up my own pattern. By trial and error. Like I do almost all of my projects. But the books turned out to be the perfect reason for Hadley to get busy creating. The first book I made was full within 10 minutes. She loves the books!

So we made more! Within an hour we had made 4 or 6 little books.

Here's How:


Card Stock
Filler paper of your choice (I used printer paper that was cream and a little heavier weight than basic.)
Decorative papers (optional)
A cutting implement (I used a blade knife and a clear quilting ruler)
A cutting surface, such as a self healing board
A sewing machine, or a deep stapler (long enough to reach to the middle of your book)

Process to make (2) 3" by 5" books with 12 pages:

1. Take an 8.5" by 11" piece of card stock and fold it in half "hamburger" style (as opposed to hot dog). I guess that's horizontal.

2. Use your ruler and blade to cut the paper in half evenly.

3. Take 2 sheets of your filler paper (8.5 x 11) and fold them in half horizontally as well.

4. Use your ruler and blade to cut the paper in half evenly.

5. Separately fold both the card stock and the filler paper in half horizontally again. You can fold all the filler paper at once.

6. Use your ruler and your knife blade to trim the edges of your filler paper by about 1/4 in along the top edge and the outside edge so that the filler is slightly smaller than the cover of your book (card stock). If you have a sharp knife and a strong ruler you can do all the pages at once. Just hold them down tightly with one hand as you trim along the edge of the ruler with the other hand.

7. Now you have a folded card stock cover and 12 pages of filler paper to insert into your book. Open the card stock and insert your book pages.

8. Use either a sewing machine set to a straight stitch or a deep stapler to affix your pages to your cover. If you use a sewing machine just be sure to backstictch at the beginning and the ned of the process to lock the stitches in place. You might also want to tie your thread ends in a knot before cutting them. (my sewing machine worked great for this, but in the future I think I will invest in a deep stapler because I think stapled books will hold up better than sewn ones. The sewing perforates each page and I'm afraid they might rip out easily)

9. Cut decorative paper and affix it to the cover of the book with glue stick. I like glue stick the best so the papers don't bubble up and warp.

10. Hand the book over to a kid and see what happens. Magic I tell you!! Pure and simple.

(since this is my first attempt at a tutorial of sorts, please let me know if something isn't clear. I would love it if people could actually follow my instructions and find them useful. Thanks!)


  1. Looks great! I love the idea of sewing the binding. Fab!! The decorative papers are a nice touch. -S

  2. The books turned out really cute. I love all the different fabrics. And even better is that they are full of Hadley's stories.

  3. What a cool idea! Johanna's birthday is in a few weeks, and I'm working on a very cute "artists roll" (to be featured on my blog in a few days). A few of these little books would be a very nice addition to the gift. Thanks for sharing...I'll follow your pattern :)

  4. Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial - I need to make some of these for my kids, especially my son. He's always planning and writing about various adventures and "movie scripts."


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