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Make a Book for a Kid Today!

Craft & Design Paper Crafts

Since I’m expecting a baby in a few months, assembling the proper library has been at the front of my mind, even if it will be a few years before it gets put into use! So I was delighted to see this roundup of children’s books over at Design*Sponge the other day (even better was seeing one of my all-time favorite picture books, Miss Rumphius, mentioned several times in the comments).
I’ve always felt that children’s literature didn’t get the attention it deserved…how many of us have vivid memories of the books we read as kids that far outshadow most of the books we’ve read since? These books have an incredible impact on the rest of our imaginative lives. The stories inspire, but so do the pictures; I can clearly trace my aesthetics to the beautiful illustrations of Errol Le Cain, Kate Seredy, Edmund Dulac, and even Arthur Ransome (the author of the Swallows and Amazons series, who so disliked the illustrations in the early editions that he redid them all himself!). I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
How does this relate to DIY? Well, aside from the inspiration you can draw from the pages of almost any children’s book (both life lessons and home decorating ideas), I must say that one of the books I treasure most was made for my by my godmother. There weren’t many words, but each page was a beautiful collage, and I was the heroine of the adventure. I can still see those pages, 25 years later! (I wish I could share some of the images here, but the book is carefully packed away at my parents’ house, and I haven’t unearthed it yet.)
I strongly urge you to make a book for a small loved one. If writing isn’t your strong point, then use a classic fairy tale as the base; if you don’t usually paint or draw, then collage or use photographs!
Simple stab binding is a great way to make sure the book stands the test of time. Check out our Japanese Stab Binding tutorial from Volume 05.

Look Inside >> 
Volume 5

Or, if you want to get even more ambitious, you could adapt the Keepsake Wedding Book project from Volume 10 to make an amazing interactive kids’ book!

Look Inside >> 
Volume 10

4 thoughts on “Make a Book for a Kid Today!

  1. Katie says:

    For my niece/goddaughter’s first (or was it second?) Christmas, I made her a book of all the things we had done together through that year of her life. She’s almost 4 now, and she still looks at it every once in a while, but I think she’ll get a kick out of it 20 years from now especially :)

  2. Elizabeth says:

    That is a great idea and one I *kind of did when my now-12-year-old was tiny. Here are two tips from someone not too many years out –
    One: Take notes about your baby/kid. I kept mine in a spiral notebook and she loves flipping through it and reading little bits about herself. (Her mispronunciation of certain words is a favorite.) Plus, they change every day and you’ll forget. Would I have remembered the “tropical bird noises” or that her favorite plaything at 8 mos was a Tupperware container full of babyfood jar lids? Probably not. When she was about 3 or 4, we started taking excerpts from the journal and making books that she would illustrate. I let her have those, so they are *very beat up. I still keep notes about her but not daily.
    Two: When I was given a baby shower, the hostess asked if I needed anything in particular. I suggested she put on the invite that the guests give the baby their favorite children’s book. It was a wonderful mix (no duplicates!) and all the guests ended up leafing through the books and talking about them. We got everything from “Pat the Bunny” to “Eloise” to “Harriet the Spy.” (Harriet the Spy was my favorite since I loved that book so much, myself, I named my daughter Harriet.)

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