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one sheet book one sheet book

Share Joy with Simple Homemade Books

With a little time and creativity you can brighten someone's day by sending them a handmade book. You can feature your own artwork or writing, or incorporate your recipient's favorite poems, quotes or souvenirs. Whether you make simple books or try more complicated structures, book making is fun to learn and requires minimal supplies. You probably have most of what you need around your house.

One-Sheet Books

A single sheet of 8.5" x 11" paper can be folded and cut to make a book from 8 pages to 12 pages or more. There are many tutorials on the internet but I like the two here because they're clear and easy to follow.

one sheet book

I love the illustrated instructions from Paula Beardell Krieg's website. She has a variety of other simple book making projects beyond just the origami pamphlet so be sure to give her site a look.

Book artist Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord calls this structure a "hot dog booklet." Her video tutorial shows you how to make this simple book and shares ideas on ways to expand the book structure to allow more space for content. Check out Gaylord's website for more simple book making instructions.

Accordion Books

accordion book

Spring Wildflower ABC, Peter & Donna Thomas, TSCPL Permanent Collection 2009.37

While the accordion book structure is the easiest to make, the possibilities are endless in terms of content and design. You can fold one sheet of paper to make your book or cut the paper in half and glue the ends together to make a longer book. Folding the bottom up along the length of the book gives you pockets to fill with little drawings, poems or other small souvenirs that are meaningful to you.

3-Hole Pamphlet Stitch Books

3-hole pamphlet stitch

A pamphlet stitch book looks like a real book. You'll need something to poke holes with (a thumbtack will work), embroidery floss and a blunt needle.

  • Fold four pieces of regular paper and one piece of decorative cover paper in half all together.
  • Poke holes in the middle of the spine, and about 1/2" from the top and bottom of your book.
  • Thread your needle and take the needle from the outside of the book to the inside through the middle hole. Leave a tail, you'll need to tie a knot later.
  • Go up to the top hole and take the needle from the inside to the outside.
  • On the outside of the book skip the middle hole and put the needle through the bottom hole.
  • Go back to the middle hole on the inside and take the needle to the outside.
  • Tie a knot with the two ends of thread and you have a book!

More Book Making Fun 

With your library card you have access to hundreds of tutorials on all kinds of craft topics, from crochet to cake decorating in Creativebug. My favorite book making classes are:

  • Accordion Photo Album
  • How to Make Zines
  • Painted Single Page Books

Here are some of my favorite book making ebooks:

Whether you make simple books or try your hand at more complicated structures, book making is fun and easy to learn, and doesn't require a large investment in tools and materials. You probably have most of what you need around the house already. So jump right in and make some books!

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