What a challenge and a thrill it is to complete and read your very own book–about a subject you are interested in. You may not have the time, the know-how, or the inclination to get a book published, but you can make a book or a booklet as a school project.
The best thing about making books and booklets is that you can make up a story, share information about your favorite subject, or delve into researching a subject you want to learn more about.
Your first step will be to decide on the subject of your book or booklet. Be careful to choose a topic you are excited about. Choose a subject you want to write about or something you want to learn. The following are some examples. If you can’t come up with a topic that interests you, choose from the following idea list or one your teacher has assigned.
Topics for Homemade Books
- Story – what you did this summer
- Story – your pet
- Story – your vacation
- Story – your unique family
- A place you’d like to explore (The Grand Canyon, New Orleans, Mt. Rushmore, Ellis Island, Chicago, a meadow, a river, etc.)
- An animal (tigers, bears, camels, bison, horses, etc.)
- A sport you are interested in (soccer, football, gymnastics, swimming, skiing, etc.)
- A Foreign Country
- A career you find fascinating (journalism, military, teaching, computer science, medical jobs, inventing, glass making, advertising, photography, graphic arts, etc.)
- A Coloring Book for Kids (get your crayons, find your creativity, print out coloring pages, start coloring, make a book of coloring pages with all your favorite coloring pages etc.)
Book Assembly Styles
Next, you must decide on a style of a book. You can choose a premade bound style, use brads or metal ring fasteners and stiff paper for covers.
- Use a presentation book. The books are sold at office supply stores and in variety stores which sell office and school supplies. The cover is plastic which you can decorate a page for and insert into the sleeve. The spine of the book can also be labeled. The pages are sleeves into which regular 9 ½ by 11 inch pages are inserted. You will finish with 12 to 24 pages of work, counting two per insert depending on the size presentation book you choose.
- Ring bind a book. Use index cards with a hole punched in each upper left-hand corner or cut rectangles of card stock or other stiff paper. Write on the cards and run a metal fastener ring through the hole and fasten it. Two rings can be used, but take up more space.
- Staple a book. The pages are finished by simply stapling the left edge together to form a spine. The covers should be laminated or cut from card stock or poster board.
- Hole punch a book and fasten with brass fasteners (brads). This method is a simple and inexpensive solution. Pages can be added or removed or rearranged without spoiling the book. Choose large size brads and be certain to leave enough space so that the holes do not obscure words in the bound side’s edge. Make your holes far enough from the edge to prevent pages from tearing out. If you can use a heavier paper type for your cover or laminate the covers to strengthen the book.
- Tie a cover with ribbon or string through holes punched in the left margins. Raffia ribbon is sturdy and gives a unique flair to your book.
Illustrating the Handmade Book
Decorate the covers and pages of your book. You can draw and color borders and backgrounds for your book, or illustrate the parts of the story or how-to with your own artwork or drawings. Another option is to cut pictures from an old magazine or calendar to decorate the cover and pages.
Use acid-free paper, if possible, to make your drawings last. Acid-free inks and colored pencils and markers are also available. Sharp colored pencils are a good option as they can fill in small spaces in pictures and are more controllable than markers or crayons.
Bookmaking is an educational project that calls for imagination and creativity Make books or booklets to bind and decorate as a school project. Choose a topic and a style for your book. Decorate and bind your book. These keepsake books make nice gifts and nicely preserve your work.