Late winter and early spring often bring some of the most restless afternoons at our house. The novelty of cold weather has worn off but the weather is often still wet and requires more indoor time than anyone really wants to spend. This bookmaking project is especially good for days such as these. It is designed to be extremely quick and easy but can be modified to take as much time and creative energy as you’ve got to spare. You can use this project as a way to showcase artwork, writing or even photographs. It is very open ended, so get creative!
Cardstock or heavy weight paper
Bone folder or other folding tool
Writing and drawing tools
Cut a piece of card stock or thick paper to be 5 ½ inches tall by 8 ½ inches wide. This will be the accordion binding of your book.
Fold the cardstock in half, bringing the corners of the two long ends together and matching them up carefully. Use a folding tool to make a sharp crease at the fold.
Unfold the cardstock and take each end and fold it back to the middle fold line that you just made. This will fold each half of the cardstock in half again, giving you four equal sized sections.
Use a back and forth folding motion to fold each section of the cardstock in half again, giving yourself eight equal sized sections. Use your folding tool again to make sure that the creases on your fold are super crisp. You now have the accordion binding for your book!
Cut two more pieces of cardstock. These will be 5 ½ inches square. Glue one square piece to each end of your accordion binding.
You now have the basic skeleton of your book: front and back covers as well as a binding. Super easy, no?
Now, you can add words or artwork to create three-dimensional content for your book. Here are some fun variations:
To make a fun pop-up garden scene, just cut thin strips of green cardstock for vines and glue them at random on the accordion binding. Cut out some freehand paper flowers and glue them on the vines.
POP-UP PICTURE STORY
This is by far the most popular variation at my house. Kids can draw pictures that go together in some kind of a scene or story (these are an elf, his house and pets), cut them out and then paste them into the book on short strips of paper (so that they will stick out when the book is opened). This variation would be great for doing a diorama related to a science or history project.
If the order of the day is more words than pictures, this is a good way to go about it. By cutting and gluing strips of paper onto the accordion binding, you create a writing surface that is still three-dimensional. Great for telling a story, writing a poem or sharing facts on a special topic.
Annie Riechmann is a full-time multi-tasker and part-time special education teacher who blogs about creativity, parenting, cupcakes and inclement weather conditions at Bird and Little Bird