DIY Little Books

Have your students create these simple, hard bound books, without having to use an expensive binding machine or anything other than paper and a teeny bit of glue!

Items to Gather:

  • construction paper, 2 pieces, any color
  • cardboard or tagboard
  • white 8.5 x 11 paper
  • stapler
  • scissors
  • glue (I prefer Elmer's® Rubber Cement


Step 1: First, using the white 8.5 x 11 paper (standard copy paper works best), create a little booklet where the student's story will be written.  You can put as many pages as you would like, however include at least one extra sheet of paper as this will be used to bind the book together in later steps.

Step 2:  Cut the paper.  You will need two cut pieces of each piece.  The tag board (orange in the picture) is 9" x 6".  The green paper is 24" x 6".  The red paper is 18" x 9".  Again, be sure to cut TWO of each sized paper.

Step 3: Place the tag board in the center of the long green paper.  Fold the bottom up and then the top down, so as to create a little covering around the tag board.  This must be TIGHT!  Repeat with the second piece of tag board and green paper.

Step 4: Place the green "package" that you just created FACE DOWN onto the middle of the red paper.  Fold the red paper over by tucking it into the sleeve between the green paper and the orange tagboard.  Be sure that this is TIGHT!  Then do the other side.  Repeat with the other green package/red combo.

Step 5: You now will have two "packages" that will become the hard covers of your book.  Using the white insert you created in Step 1, slip the first page into the opening on one of the "packages". 

Step 6: Repeat step 5 with the other "package". Now your book is almost complete.

Step 7: Glue the white part into the "package".  This will give the book some stability and staying power. 

And now you have a completed book!  

   Other Tips/Suggestions:

I like to have the students write their story on the white paper before they go to bind it.  That way, they don't have to keep opening it up to do the writing.  It gives the books a longer "shelf life".  I also have the students create the books (paying extra attention to the parts where they have to pull tight).  However, I teach upper grades.  I have made these books as low as 3rd grade with the students.   

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