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Make It : Autograph books

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I want to share an easy end-of-school-year autograph book project that I did with my son's kindergarten class. To make the books, the kids "sewed" a stack of paper and cardboard together and knotted it on the outside. Then they decorated the cover with markers.

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Since I needed to make 24, I wanted to use inexpensive supplies. Recycled corrugated cardboard boxes made perfect rigid bookcovers. If possible, cut against the corrugated lines, so that they run vertically on your book cover. This will make it really easy to fold. I folded twice in the very center to make a spine for the book.  All I had to buy was some copier paper, Velcro, and a few plastic needles for the kids to use to sew their books together. I cut the copier paper in half the long way. This took a little while but it helps to do a small stack at a time. If you have a paper trimmer it goes even faster.

Take a look at the photos in this gallery below for some pictures of the process...

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I cut strips that were around 5

1 I cut strips that were around 5" x 13", using a utility knife and ruler.

Using an awl I punched though the whole stack in two spots in the spine. Then I affixed the peel-and stick Velcro to the inside cover and inside back cover so the book would stay closed.

2 Using an awl I punched though the whole stack in two spots in the spine. Then I affixed the peel-and stick Velcro to the inside cover and inside back cover so the book would stay closed.

I pre-cut some old ribbon and cord scraps to around 13

3 I pre-cut some old ribbon and cord scraps to around 13" long.

My younger son wanted to try one while I was preparing. His is titled

4 My younger son wanted to try one while I was preparing. His is titled "Big Scary Monster"

Ready for crafting! (on top is a finished example)

5 Ready for crafting! (on top is a finished example)

Each kid has a plastic needle and unbound book and some ribbon/cord to choose from.

6 Each kid has a plastic needle and unbound book and some ribbon/cord to choose from.

Artists at work!

7 Artists at work!

I love this one!

8 I love this one!

This one too!

9 This one too!

Great work guys!

10 Great work guys!

The kids really enjoyed it! They collected their friend’s signatures and doodles and they learned a little about (very simple) bookbinding.

Comments (3)

  • [...] totally active imaginations and loved to play outdoors and do crafts (my kind of kids!). When I saw this craft today on The Crafts Dept., Martha Stewart’s craft blog, I thought it would make an AWESOME [...]

  • These are really cool. Once I saw this I helped my niece make one and she loved it. She went around and had everyone sign it.

  • I love this!! I'm gonna take my mini cereal boxes out of the recycle and do this with my lil' ones! I love Jodi Levine and miss the KIDS magazine soooooooo much!

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