Make a Book...


You will need: an old cereal box (these were done with 1 KG cornflake/frosted flake boxes), scissors, a glue stick, a pen, a strong hole punch (if you do not have one, you will need to change the second step slightly - see # below) a craft or Stanley knife, and a ruler. Ribbon, string or Treasury tags to bind them and wrapping paper, stickyback plastic or fabric to cover them and paper for the pages. Hole reinforcers will make the end product longer-lasting; eyelets are better still, if you have an eyelet tool.

2 little books...

These little books can be used as diaries, photo albums, mini-scrapbooks, address books or to write a favourite story in - whatever your child wants! This can be a good way of interesting a reluctant reader in the whole subject of books; there's nothing like seeing how something is made, and who could resist their very own story?!

Cut the two largest panels from the cereal box and cut these into quarters. Cut-up Box


Step 1 Stick the four pieces of one panel together, patterned to plain, to make one thick rectangle a bit larger than A6, then do the same with the other. Punch holes (3 or 4 for this size) down one side of one - landscape or portrait, whichever layout you prefer. Then place it on top of the second rectangle and mark through the holes with the pen. Seperate, then punch holes through the second rectangle on the marks. Trim the edges of both rectangles with the knife and ruler. (You can add a hinge to the front cover at this stage - see below *.)

Cut or tear the paper for the pages, slightly smaller than the covers, and use the holes in one of the covers as a template to mark one sheet. Using this as a guide, punch holes in all your pages. Put to one side.

Cut two pieces out of the chosen covering, about 2cm bigger all round than the cardboard. Glue the card thoroughly and place onto the covering, then trim the corners diagonally about half a centimetre from the card. Using the pen, mark through the holes or you'll lose track of where they are! Step 2


Step 3 Glue the back of the card thoroughly and carefully smooth down two opposite sides. Push the corners down so that they don't bulge out when you lift the other two sides to smooth them into position.


Apply glue to the smoothed-down edges, then cut two pieces of the covering material slightly smaller than the card. Place one on the cover you're working on, over the stuck-down edges of the outside, and smooth into position, which completes the first cover. Repeat to make the second. Step 4


Step 5 Using the pen marks you made earlier, re-punch the holes through both covers. Use hole reinforcers or eyelets to strengthen the holes in the cover.


Now assemble the books! One cover on top, the pages in between (you may need to turn some over to get the holes to line up - I always do!) and the second cover on the bottom. Thread string, ribbon or Treasury tags through. I always find it easiest to do the top & bottom holes first, with a spare piece of string if necessary, which holds everything in place while you thread the rest. Step 6


Bonnets If you have used ribbon or string, tie securely. This is roughly what they should look like...


Landscape or portrait - up to you & your kids! Decorate however you choose - we used alphabet, angel and garden stickers. And you can vary the size - James's Pirate Map book is A5. If you have a long roll of paper, you could make a zigzag-fold book rather than one with individual pages, which means you don't have to punch any holes! Great for an ongoing story... 4 books, all different...

Sarah made my day after making these by writing in hers, "Dear Diary, I really really loved making you..."

# : if you don't have a strong hole punch, after cutting the panels into quarters, make biggish holes down the side of one quarter with anything sharp enough. Then glue this on top of a second piece and push the holes through this one too; then follow on with the third and fourth pieces. Assemble the second card rectangle the same way, then continue by making the pages etc.

* : you can make a hinged front if you want to bind the books more tightly - this will make them more durable, as would washing the cover over with PVA glue (and allowing to dry!) before assembling. At the stage of first punching the holes, cut a thin strip (about half a centimetre) out of the front over, just under a centimetre further in than the holes. Then place the two pieces as if the strip were still there and stick together with masking tape, including the gap. Turn over and do the same on the other side, then trim off any excess tape. Push the two sides of tape together in the gap; this forms your hinge. As you add the outer and inner covers, run a fingernail down the line of the hinge to score it and allow movement. Then carry on as usual.

Optional hinge 1 Optional hinge 2

With older children, if you use good-quality paper (inkjet paper's fine) and materials like fabric or handmade paper (it doesn't take much!) rather than plastics, tell them they are making something that could last to delight their own children, or even grandchildren...

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