Spring, the sweet spring, is the year’s pleasant king ~ Thomas Nashe
In spring, our thoughts often turn to poetry. What better way to display it than in a PoeTree? Small books, each with a poem, hang from gathered branches. In the early days of spring, they may be brown twigs. Later in the season your PoeTree can have sprouting leaves and flowers. Children will surely enjoy this seasonal craft. You may choose some treasured favorite poems, and share time with little ones seeking out new verses.
For the Tree
Covered can or vase
Stones or marbles to hold branches in place
For the Books
Sheets of copy paper cut in half for larger books, cut in quarters for small books. This is a great opportunity to use paper with writing on one side only from the recycling bin.
Yarn or ribbon or old cassette tapes (I do love to recycle) in pieces about a foot long or four times the height of the book
Pony beads or any bead with a large hole
Small scraps of paper for decoration
Art supplies for writing and drawing
To Make the Books
Fold the paper in half lengthwise. If it is has writing on one side, the writing should be on the inside.
Open the paper.
Fold the paper in half the other way and crease. The writing should be on the inside again.
Take the top layer of the folded paper, flip the edge back to meet the fold, and crease.
Turn the paper over so the unfolded layer is on the top. Repeat the last step with this side: flip the edge back to meet the fold, and crease.
Place the paper so that there is mountain in the middle.
Holding the mountain in your hand, cut through both layers along the center fold to the next fold. Be sure you go all the way to the fold or the next step won’t work.
Hold the mountain on either side of the cut.
Turn your wrists to the sides. You will have an open book with four sections.
Bring three of the sections together.
Fold the last section behind the other three so that you have a flat book.
To Make the Hangers
Fold the yarn in half.
Thread the fold through a bead and pull it through so that you have a loop.
Tie a knot so that the bead is inside the knot, leaving the small loop for hanging.
Place the bead on top of the book. Place one strand of yarn in the center of the inside of the book and one strand on the outside.
Tie the two ends of yarn in a double knot at the bottom.
The books are now ready to be filled with poetry and decorated as you wish.
Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord is an artist, educator, mother of two grown children, and the author of Handmade Books For A Healthy Planet. She shares her love of making books, her art, and celebrations of the seasons on her website.