Glue-to Bookmaking: Teaser


Yesterday was an incredibly busy day – I finished researching and writing the lesson plan for the Arts and Crafts Cabin for Boothbay Region YMCA Camp Knickerbocker, I finalized some other paperwork, and then I began working on the image above before taking my stepdaugher to the eye doctor (which turned into a five hour escapade because it’s out of town and everything out of town takes hours upon hours…anywho…!).

I’m giving you a teaser because I want to explain why I did what I did . . .

Originally, I was going to surround each stamped image with a circle. After giving this some thought, I decided to go with straight lines. I thought the circles would look better in the book’s page designs . . . however . . . given that I’m working with grade three students and I don’t know their skills . . . they might work better with cutting along straight lines. I’ve worked with some 3rd graders who are pristine paper cutters, and others who have picked up scissors maybe two or three times in their lives. So, seeing as I have no idea what I’m up against, it’s best I keep it simple.

So, what I did was I created a template using each stamp’s block shape. Then, I stamped the image from each block inside. I made two templates just in case I messed up the stamped images or blurred them. The picture above looks like they came out lighter than they did. Once I finished, I photocopied the page so, when I go back to add color, the lines won’t smudge. I’m going to create a .pdf of this page so we can run off copies for each student. This is the simplest way I can think for each student to be able to use my stamps. Last time I attempted to bring stamps into a classroom, my stamp pads got ruined and the students fought over the stamps . . . it was the first and last time that ever happened. :)

I’m working through more of this project today!

Glue-to Bookmaking: Phase Two (the start)



While I was doggy sitting at my in-law’s from Friday after work (I had to substitute teach at Boothbay Region High School until 2:30pm Friday) until Saturday afternoon, I started working on “Phase Two” of the Glue-to Bookmaking project for Geiger Elementary School. Pictured above are basic materials I plan to do the following with:

  • Pocket and envelope templates: I’m going to create pockets and envelopes for the sample. Then, I’m going to use the template maker to create a .pdf so I can make copies for students.
  • Floral template: I’m using the edge of this to trace around the paragraphs of my fairy tale because I want it to have a varying edge. A look can be created using scissors with a patterned edge.
  • Rubber stamps and ink pad: I’m going to stamp these on to a blank sheet of paper, draw a circle around them using a compass, and then turn the page into a .pdf so I can make copies for students. That way, they can use these decorations within their decorative pages as well.
  • Crayons: because I know school budgets are tight, I’m trying to keep the art supplies used for this project to the basics – crayons, colored pencils and markers. These are typically found within the classroom.
  • Adhesives: I have two types of adhesives out to I can switch between each depending on if I’m making envelopes (the glue stick) or attaching items to the page (larger items will need the white glue, smaller items will work well with the glue stick). I’ll be bringing all the adhesives with me to the school because, in the past, this has not been found in classrooms.

Here is a basic pictorial of how far I got with the project:









Today, I’ll work on the rubber stamped images and I have plans to create some larger envelopes also. Then, I begin assembling the interior pages and presenting how they will look finished. While the preparation seems like a ton of work for students and way too much to do during a short period of time, it isn’t. A lot more goes into the “prep work” than what actually happens in the classrooms. So, that way, students can focus more on how the books are constructed, the envelopes are constructed, and how the books are decorated.

More to come!

Glue-to Bookmaking: Phase One

It’s time to share the first phase of the glue-to bookmaking process! I know, I know – you’ve been sitting on the edges of your seats waiting. Right? Humor me. Please. *winks* I’m sharing this process because, as I’ve mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been invited to teach a bookmaking class (through L/A Arts) at Geiger Elementary School.


The first step is simple enough. I grabbed a paper bag, cut open a cereal box, pulled the staples out of a calendar, and got out my paper cutter. Oh, and I couldn’t do anything without my coffee. J


I cut the cereal box into 5×9 inch rectangles. These will serve as the book’s cover.


Then I cut down each of the separated calendar pages down to 5×9 inches, as well. These will serve as the interior pages of the book.


Next, I cut the paper bag into pieces that are just about one inch larger than the cardboard pieces. This gives the cover a less “raw” look and provides a better “tooth” for decorating later on.


Gluing the paper bag piece down to the cereal box piece works well using a glue stick. I begin by creating a crease at the corners.


Students always ask me, “Is this how it’s supposed to look?” when we finish gluing all the corners. Yes, this is how it’s supposed to look – funny isn’t it? I think so . . .


Now it’s time to glue the rest of the sides down.


Here’s what the cover looks like before and after. It gives students a good idea of how recycled materials can go from “nothing” and begin turning into a little bit of “something” . . . moving forward . . .


. . . we the finished covers . . .


Now it’s time to glue the interior pages together. This is simply done by placing one folded page down on to your work space, adding glue to the top, and placing another page on top. Then, sandwiching another calendar page on top.


This is what the pages look like all glued together. This step of the process uses standard white school glue.


Next comes gluing on the book’s cover. All you have to do is use the same method as gluing the pages together – add glue, spread it out with your finger, and then stick on the cover.


Now we have a book with a cover!


This is what the book looks like assembled and in raw form. In the next post, I’ll share the steps I take for the next phase – covering over the pages and preliminary decorating. I’m going to let the book dry a bit longer before I begin working on that, though.

New Teaching Residency: Geiger Elementary School



I just posted this update on my Facebook account, so I decided to screenshot it because it best expressed my excitement about this upcoming teaching residency at Geiger Elementary School in Lewiston. First, I love working with students on these bookmaking classes – SO MUCH. Next, I love it when there’s a theme (remember the biomes book we worked on at Longley Elementary School last year?)! Plus, I LOVE FAIRY TALES!

*does a little dance*

Rather than choosing something expected like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast or Little Red Riding Hood . . . I decided to look deep into the archives and choose something that spoke to me differently. I chose The Butterfly by Hans Christian Anderson. Butterflies have always been my totem due to their trans-formative process, so it seemed fitting for the trans-formative process these little books go through (from recycled pieces of nothing into beautiful finished decorative books).

The Butterfly
Hans Christian Andersen

HERE was once a butterfly who wished for a bride, and, as may be supposed, he wanted to choose a very pretty one from among the flowers. He glanced, with a very critical eye, at all the flower-beds, and found that the flowers were seated quietly and demurely on their stalks, just as maidens should sit before they are engaged; but there was a great number of them, and it appeared as if his search would become very wearisome. The butterfly did not like to take too much trouble, so he flew off on a visit to the daisies. The French call this flower “Marguerite,” and they say that the little daisy can prophesy. Lovers pluck off the leaves, and as they pluck each leaf, they ask a question about their lovers; thus: “Does he or she love me?—Ardently? Distractedly? Very much? A little? Not at all?” and so on. Every one speaks these words in his own language. The butterfly came also to Marguerite to inquire, but he did not pluck off her leaves; he pressed a kiss on each of them, for he thought there was always more to be done by kindness.

“Darling Marguerite daisy,” he said to her, “you are the wisest woman of all the flowers. Pray tell me which of the flowers I shall choose for my wife. Which will be my bride? When I know, I will fly directly to her, and propose.”

But Marguerite did not answer him; she was offended that he should call her a woman when she was only a girl; and there is a great difference. He asked her a second time, and then a third; but she remained dumb, and answered not a word. Then he would wait no longer, but flew away, to commence his wooing at once. It was in the early spring, when the crocus and the snowdrop were in full bloom.

“They are very pretty,” thought the butterfly; “charming little lasses; but they are rather formal.”

Then, as the young lads often do, he looked out for the elder girls. He next flew to the anemones; these were rather sour to his taste. The violet, a little too sentimental. The lime-blossoms, too small, and besides, there was such a large family of them. The apple-blossoms, though they looked like roses, bloomed to-day, but might fall off to-morrow, with the first wind that blew; and he thought that a marriage with one of them might last too short a time. The pea-blossom pleased him most of all; she was white and red, graceful and slender, and belonged to those domestic maidens who have a pretty appearance, and can yet be useful in the kitchen. He was just about to make her an offer, when, close by the maiden, he saw a pod, with a withered flower hanging at the end.

“Who is that?” he asked.

“That is my sister,” replied the pea-blossom.

“Oh, indeed; and you will be like her some day,” said he; and he flew away directly, for he felt quite shocked.

A honeysuckle hung forth from the hedge, in full bloom; but there were so many girls like her, with long faces and sallow complexions. No; he did not like her. But which one did he like?

Spring went by, and summer drew towards its close; autumn came; but he had not decided. The flowers now appeared in their most gorgeous robes, but all in vain; they had not the fresh, fragrant air of youth. For the heart asks for fragrance, even when it is no longer young; and there is very little of that to be found in the dahlias or the dry chrysanthemums; therefore the butterfly turned to the mint on the ground. You know, this plant has no blossom; but it is sweetness all over,—full of fragrance from head to foot, with the scent of a flower in every leaf.

“I will take her,” said the butterfly; and he made her an offer. But the mint stood silent and stiff, as she listened to him. At last she said,—

“Friendship, if you please; nothing more. I am old, and you are old, but we may live for each other just the same; as to marrying—no; don’t let us appear ridiculous at our age.”

And so it happened that the butterfly got no wife at all. He had been too long choosing, which is always a bad plan. And the butterfly became what is called an old bachelor.

It was late in the autumn, with rainy and cloudy weather. The cold wind blew over the bowed backs of the willows, so that they creaked again. It was not the weather for flying about in summer clothes; but fortunately the butterfly was not out in it. He had got a shelter by chance. It was in a room heated by a stove, and as warm as summer. He could exist here, he said, well enough.

“But it is not enough merely to exist,” said he, “I need freedom, sunshine, and a little flower for a companion.”

Then he flew against the window-pane, and was seen and admired by those in the room, who caught him, and stuck him on a pin, in a box of curiosities. They could not do more for him.

“Now I am perched on a stalk, like the flowers,” said the butterfly. “It is not very pleasant, certainly; I should imagine it is something like being married; for here I am stuck fast.” And with this thought he consoled himself a little.

“That seems very poor consolation,” said one of the plants in the room, that grew in a pot.

“Ah,” thought the butterfly, “one can’t very well trust these plants in pots; they have too much to do with mankind.”


As I progress through the creation of this sample book, I’ll share pictures. I’m so excited to get started!



Quiet, but Busy: Bookmaking

I’ve been quiet, but I’ve been busy! I’m in the process of making another book – not writing one, mind you. I’m still working on my existing projects, so it wouldn’t make sense to pick up a new project at this point. I have two existing manuscripts, as well as a ghostwriting project to finish before starting a new one. Therefore, I have to keep my idea file on the back burner . . . as difficult as that is right now. Each spring my mind always awakens with new and exciting ideas. Anyway, back to the point of the post – bookmaking!

I’m working on a sample (or a final listing – I can’t decide yet) for an envelope book I’d like to add to my collection. In addition to envelopes, of course, it also contains an assortment of papers, punches, and other goodies. Here is the beginnings of the book:

I started off with what I call the “whites” of the book. During the stage, I don’t look at the patterns of the papers at all because I’m just making cuts and measurements. Then, I sort all the stacks out:


I started (with two of my kitties by my side) by choosing an envelope, taking it apart, and using it as a tracing template.


Next, I cut out all the tracings. I kept all the scraps so I could use them later in the project.


There were strips of perforated paper along the tops of each piece of patterned paper that I also tore off and saved for later in the project. Once everything was cut and tore off, I separated it all out into piles so I could move on with the next part of the project.


Before I could move on, though, I had to decide which punches I wanted to use in the envelope book. I decided on a 1 1/4 square punch, a tag punch and an oval punch.


I used the square punch in the smallest scraps.



Then, I used the tag and oval punch in the larger scrap.


These are all the finished pieces.


Next, I picked out the papers I wanted to go inside the envelope book. I planned on using invisible tape to assemble the book initially, and then glue the book together more firmly together with glue and paper strips.


First, I assembled all the envelopes.


Than I cut down all the paper, and stacked the pieces along with the envelopes.


Then, I taped everything together.


I cut all the paper strips to size, and reserved the smaller strips for later in the project along with all the punches.


Then, I glued in all the paper strips to create a sturdy binding.

I still have a lot of work left to do on this envelope book, but I think it’s coming along nicely. :) I’ve enjoyed the process – especially considering I haven’t had much time to work on any art or creative work in so long.

For those of you who may be wondering, I’m still participating in The Documenting Life Project. I have to catch up, and I will! When I do, I’ll share those pages here! In the meantime, what have YOU been working on?