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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How To Make Your Own Board Book

When my older sister and I were kids, my mom helped us make a special board book for our younger sister's birthday one year.  We cut out pictures in magazines, glued them to cardboard, and decorated the blank space around the pictures.  Our mom assembled our decorated pages into a board book that was much loved by my little sister for years.  I actually have the book now and my kids love looking through it too.

For Little Man's third birthday, I threw a "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" Eric Carle themed party since he absolutely loves the book.  Since he's also obsessed with tractors, I decided to create a special book for him that included his love for the book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See with farming. 

First, I gathered my supplies.

Cardboard: I used cardboard-not the heavy corrugated kind, but a cardboard that was just a little heavier than that used in a cereal box.  You can use a cereal box too, just glue together 2 layer of cardboard for each page instead of decorating both sides.  That will make it thicker and more heavy duty.

Ziploc Bags: I bought the cheap brand of sandwich sized ziploc bags.  Regular ziploc bags have writing on them and you'll need plain ones so nothing covers up the pictures.

Plain baggies

Yarn: The yarn is used to hold the pages together.  Pick whatever color you want :)  You'll only need about a yard of it.

Paper, pencils, scissors, hole punch:  To give the book more of a clean look, I covered the cardboard with paper and because I'm lazy resourceful, I printed my pictures on large shipping labels so I could just peel and stick.  I used colored pencils to color my pictures because I was almost out of color ink for my printer and it was important that the colors were bright.

I spent several hours coloring all the pictures for the book.  It would have been much faster to buy a new color ink cartridge for my printer.

First, I cut my cardboard down to fit inside of the ziploc bags.  Make sure you test the cardboard to make sure it fits before decorating the cardboard so you don't have to cut any of the design off later.  Leave about 3/4" on the side of the cardboard nearest the opening of the bag so you can punch holes in the ziploc bag later.

I found my pictures using a google image search.  I copied and pasted them into a word document so I could manipulate the sizes to where I needed them, and then printed them in both half page sizes (to fit inside the ziploc bags) and in miniature sizes for the last page of the book. 

The miniature pictures for the last page in the book.

You can decorate your cardboard pages or the paper you'll be using to cover the cardboard however you'd like.  This make a perfect project for older siblings to do for younger ones, just like I made for my younger sister.

I hand-wrote the words for each page, but you could just as easily do that before printing it.  I traced my cardboard onto the paper so I would be sure to get it the right size when I cut it out.   

Glue the paper to the cardboard pages.  If you're using cereal boxes for the cardboard, glue two pieces together to make it thicker.  Slide the cardboard pages into the ziploc bags and seal them, making sure to get all the air out.  Stack the ziploc bags in the order you want them and flip through them to be sure all the pages are right.

One bag at a time, punch two holes in each ziploc bag, about 1 1/2" from the top and bottom.  Stack the bags up again in the right order and thread the yarn through the top hole and then the bottom hole.  Continue to go through the two holes four or five more times so the pages are tied securely together.  Tie a knot in the yarn, being sure to keep it tight.  To make it more decorative, you can also tie a small bow and double knot it so it doesn't come loose.


Open to the first page

Little Man loves reading his book by himself.

Star loves the book too and can easily flip the pages by hersel.
If you're interested in making a farm/Eric Carle themed book like mine, here are the pages in order:

Green tractor, green tractor, what do you see?
     I see a brown horse looking at me.

Brown horse, brown horse, what do you see?
     I see a red barn looking at me.

Red barn, red barn, what do you see?
     I see a white sheep looking at me.

White sheep, white sheep, what do you see?
     I see yellow corn looking at me.

Yellow corn, yellow corn, what do you see?
     I see a black cow looking at me.

Black cow, black cow, what do you see?
     I see a blue truck looking at me.

Blue truck, blue truck, what do you see?
     I see a pink pig looking at me.

Pink pig, pink pig, what do you see?
     I see a gray silo looking at me.

Gray silo, gray silo, what do you see?
     I see a farmer looking at me.
Farmer, farmer, what do you see?
     I see a green tractor, a brown horse, a red barn, a white sheep, yellow corn, a black cow, a blue truck, a pink pig, and a gray silo looking at me.  That's what I see.

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