Art with Alyssa: DIY Miniature Book

quotes 1 2419

It’s really fun to craft your own mini books. They make thoughtful gifts for birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and more, or a unique place to record your own ideas and quotes. There is lots of room for creativity with this art project. Use decorative papers or artwork for the front and back covers, and then personalize the inside with illustrations, quotes, notes or stickers. Friends and loved ones will treasure such a heartfelt, handmade gift. Here are directions on how to make mini books in two different sizes. 

SUPPLIES

For the miniature (1½” x 2”) book: 

  • Two pieces of cardboard 1½” x 2” (OK to use chipboard) 
  • One cardboard spine ½” x 2”
  • Two colored papers 2¾” x 2”
  • Long strip of construction paper or watercolor paper 1¾” x 22”
  • Scissors
  • Glue or glue stick
  • 1.41” wide Masking tape (3½” long) 
  • Popsicle stick
  • Colored paper for the covers—could be plain paper that you paint, origami paper or scrapbook paper
  • Decorative items: colored masking tape, washi tape, paint, stickers, markers, colored pencil, etc. 

Note: Colored paper for the covers could be plain paper that you paint, origami paper or scrapbook paper.

1 mini 2419

DIRECTIONS

      2 mini book 2419

  1. Place decorative paper face down on the work surface. Lay it horizontally (long side on top and bottom; short sides on left and right). 

  2. Spread glue on one side of the cardboard cover piece and place (glue side down) on the “wrong” side of the paper; one cover edge should be flush with one long side of the paper. For the smaller book this means you lay one 2-inch side of the cover along one long side of the paper. Press firmly. 
    Note: There will be three sides with paper extending past the cover. 

  3. Repeat these steps with second cardboard cover and piece decorative paper.

    3 mini book 2419

  4. Miter the corners (cut a triangle off the corners). This reduces paper thickness so it folds more easily. 

  5. Fold remaining paper sides over the cardboard edges and affix with glue. Repeat these steps with the second cover. 

  6. Lay the tape down on your work surface, sticky side up.

    4 mini book 2419    5 mini book 2419

  7. Carefully place the book spine (½” wide cardboard) on the tape, centered top to bottom and side to side. Place the covers adjacent to the spine leaving a small space between the cover and the spine. Press them down to adhere. Fold tape over the inside pieces and press firmly.

    6 mini book 2419

  8. Turn book over; carefully use the popsicle stick as a burnishing tool to adhere the tape to the covers and spine. Optional: cover plain masking tape with colored masking or washi tape to make the book spine more attractive.

    8 mini book 2419

  9. Using the book as a guide for size, make the first fold of your “accordion” pages with the long strip of paper. Fold back and forth slowly until you have no paper left to fold – each fold should create a “page” that is the same size (or slight smaller) than the book. If there is extra paper that isn’t the same size as the other folds, cut it off. 

    9 mini 2419

  10. It is easiest to draw or paint images on the pages now (before gluing them inside the book), but you can do it after the book is assembled if you wish. Consider choosing joyful quotes for each page of the tiny book. 

    10 mini book 2419.    quotes 6 2419

  11. Glue the “front page” (first fold of accordion) to the front cover and the “back page” (last fold of the accordion) to the back cover. Allow to dry if using liquid glue. 

    12 mini 2419    three books 2419
  12. Close the book and secure with a rubber band for a day or two so it stays closed.

SUPPLIES

For the larger (5”x5”) book:

  • 2 pieces of cardboard 5 x5” (can use chip board) 
  • 1 cardboard spine ½”x 5”
  • 2 colored cover papers 6”x 7”
  • Long strip of construction paper or watercolor paper 4¾” x 48¾” (piece together several sheets to get this length)
  • Scissors
  • Glue or glue stick
  • 1.41” wide Masking tape (9½” long) 
  • Popsicle stick
  • Colored paper for the covers—could be plain paper that you paint, origami paper or scrapbook paper
  • Decorative items: colored masking tape, washi tape, paint, stickers, markers, colored pencil, etc. 

DIRECTIONS

Follow directions for 1½" x 2" book above.

mini book 2419

Note: The art for the 5”x5” book was inspired by Planting A Rainbow by Lois Ehlert.

Alyssa Navapanich is a nationally recognized and award-winning art educator who is San Diego Family Magazine’s “Art with Alyssa” contributor. She teaches art to elementary school kids in East County. All photos above provided by Alyssa Navapanich.

_____________

Halloween Bingo Scavenger Hunt

Halloween Bingo Scavenger Hunt

It’s not bingo, and it’s not a traditional scavenger hunt, it’s a Halloween bingo scavenger hunt! Get the kids together for a Halloween party and walk (or drive) the neighborhood, looking at H . . .

Read more

DIY Halloween Treats

DIY Halloween Treats

These not-so-spooky treats are sure to delight your child’s friends, neighbors and classmates. Click the links below to download FREE printable bag toppers for Spooky S'mores, Jack-o-Lantern Teeth a . . .

Read more

13 Halloween Party Games for Kids

13 Halloween Party Games for Kids

Host the best kid’s Halloween party with these lucky (or unlucky) 13 games.Planning a Halloween party for the kids? Here are fun party games that thrill trick-or-treaters of all ages. Need an extr . . .

Read more

Art with Alyssa: Mini Halloween Piñatas

Art with Alyssa: Mini Halloween Piñatas

As an art teacher, I love connecting arts & crafts to literature and recycling. This Halloween craft is a great way to repurpose cardboard toilet paper tubes. If you want to link your mini piña . . .

Read more

Greedy Ghosts Game

Greedy Ghosts Game

What to do with all that leftover Halloween candy? Toss it into the open mouths of these three greedy ghosts, and it becomes a fun game for one or a whole party! Supplies: Cardboard box (at least 1 . . .

Read more

Beastly Bags for Halloween

Beastly Bags for Halloween

Use paper bags and craft scraps to scare up some spooky decorations this Halloween! Supplies: Brown or colored paper bagScraps of paper, yarn, fabric, craft foam or feltAssorted buttons, bottle c . . .

Read more

Tissue Box Lanterns

Tissue Box Lanterns

How can you turn a sneezy, sniffly nose into something fun? Save that empty tissue box and craft a cute and creepy Halloween lantern! The easy technique of papier-mâché and a little imagination ar . . .

Read more

Make a Ghostbusters Ghost Trap

Make a Ghostbusters Ghost Trap

With next year’s premiere of “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” (March 2021) why not have a little Ghostbusters fun making ghost traps? This recyclable project requires toilet paper tubes and shipping . . .

Read more

How to Make Candy Land Yard Decorations

How to Make Candy Land Yard Decorations

These pop art candy decorations were made to create an amazing Candy Land-themed house in Clairemont Mesa (San Diego). They’re inexpensive to make and have multiple uses as they can also be used a . . .

Read more

Halloween Door Decorations for Families

Halloween Door Decorations for Families

Whether decorating at home or school, our Halloween doors are to “DIY” for! Not very crafty? Try the “mummy and me” door for beginners. More experienced crafters can try our “fear the waking . . .

Read more

Art with Alyssa: Halloween Tabletop Cornhole

Art with Alyssa: Halloween Tabletop Cornhole

This DIY Halloween craft offers lots of room for creativity, such as creating beanbags and cornhole boards inspired by your favorite characters. As an art teacher, I love connecting arts & craft . . .

Read more

Día de los Muertos Door Decoration for Families

Día de los Muertos Door Decoration for Families

Whether decorating at home or for your child’s classroom, our Día de los Muertos door decoration is sure to make your guests (or students) feel welcome. Click here for instructions on how . . .

Read more

Art with Alyssa: Dia de los Muertos Nichos

Art with Alyssa: Dia de los Muertos Nichos

Celebrate Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) by creating a personal nicho. A nicho is a small shadow box filled with items that are special to the person who creates it (small photos of . . .

Read more

Art with Alyssa: Skeleton Craft for Día de los Muertos

Art with Alyssa: Skeleton Craft for Día de los Muertos

Skeletons (or calacas) seen during Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) often represent the happy afterlife of loved ones who have passed away. The skeletons are whimsical, fun and are usually show . . .

Read more

Art with Alyssa: Skull Craft for Dia de los Muertos

Art with Alyssa: Skull Craft for Dia de los Muertos

Create a beautiful calavera (skull, in English) to celebrate Mexico’s Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Traditionally, skulls are created out of sugar or clay, elaborately decorated and place . . .

Read more

San Diego Family Magazine Logo

Be Family Informed – Sign up for our Newsletters below!