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.

_____________

Make Potion Bottles for Halloween

Make Potion Bottles for Halloween

If you’re into decorating for Halloween, making potion bottles is a fun project to do with the family or at a Halloween party. The Harry Potter-inspired bottles can be crafted into spooky (or not- . . .

Read more

Art with Alyssa: Halloween Luminaries

Art with Alyssa: Halloween Luminaries

Supplies Something to cover your workspace (opened large paper bag, placemat or plastic cloth) Glass jars such as jelly, pickle or small yogurt jars and/or mason jars; cleaned and dried. Sponge . . .

Read more

Make a Schultuete for the First Day of School

Make a Schultuete for the First Day of School

Now that the kids can actually GO back to school, there's never been a better time to celebrate the first day! Have you ever heard of a schultuete (pronounced shool-too-tuh)? The "school cone" is a . . .

Read more

Art with Alyssa: Paper Bag Memory Books

Art with Alyssa: Paper Bag Memory Books

Create a unique memory book to save special keepsakes and photos—and to reminisce about all the fun you had this summer!Discussion Points for Parents/Teachers Talk about your favorite summer me . . .

Read more

Art with Alyssa: Alebrijes, Mexican Folk Art Sculptures

Art with Alyssa: Alebrijes, Mexican Folk Art Sculptures

Alebrijes, familiar to those who have seen the movie “Coco,” are brightly colored Mexican folk art sculptures—mythical creatures with body parts from varying animals. Making them is a fun way . . .

Read more

Ice Painting

Ice Painting

Creating art with frozen paint cubes (ice painting) is a super fun summertime or warm-weather activity. It’s also a great party activity for a Frozen-themed birthday party (or any winter-themed ce . . .

Read more

Art with Alyssa: How to Make a Nature Journal

Art with Alyssa: How to Make a Nature Journal

Creating and maintaining a nature journal is a fun, relaxing and educational activity for children (and adults) that encourages time outdoors and connection with nature. There is no right way to kee . . .

Read more

DIY Instruments for Kids

DIY Instruments for Kids

Get creative and have a festive backyard parade with these beautiful homemade musical instruments! Local artist Emily Dolton shares step-by-step instructions on how to make a Melon Maraca, Citrus Dr . . .

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

How to Make a Campfire Crown

How to Make a Campfire Crown

Nothing says camping like a gooey s’mores goodness, so it’s only fitting that kings and queens of the campfire wear s’mores-themed crowns. Here are instructions to make campfire crowns for you . . .

Read more

DIY Kiddie Car Wash

DIY Kiddie Car Wash

This fun, do-it-yourself kiddie car wash keeps kids and their ride-on toys cool and clean. Add a spray hose, mild dish detergent and a bubble gun for hours of outdoor playtime. Total cost of materia . . .

Read more

Art with Alyssa: Nature's Paintbrushes

Art with Alyssa: Nature's Paintbrushes

Create beautiful outdoor art using homemade paintbrushes from plants and items found in nature.Tips for Teachers/ParentsTeach children to respect living plants and only use found or discarded flower . . .

Read more

San Diego Family Magazine Logo

Be Family Informed – Sign up for our Newsletters below!