Making a Book with Kids

Guest blogger Monique Palomares works with me on Mama Lisa’s World en français and Mamá Lisa’s World en español. Monique was also a 1st grade teacher for many years. Now she helps other classes on special projects and accompanies them on trips from time to time.

Background: Some classes in France take their students on a trip for a few days during the school year. The excursion will normally focus on a specific theme. This year, Monique accompanied a class on a trip to a book making facility. The week revolved around teaching the children how to make their own books. Here’s what Monique wrote about the process…

PRINTING A BOOK – Step 1 Making the Paper

Hand-made paper: this type is made with cotton cloth. The cotton is ground with water until reaching a thin consistency. You can see some dry sheets in the photo below…

Photo of Paper Making

Cotton pulp in the frame: The frame drains most of the water out, then you turn it over onto a piece of material (flax cloth) and alternate paper and cloth.

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We made about a dozen of pieces of paper before we put them under the press to take all the water out and then hanged them to dry like laundry.

Photo of Paper Making

Step 2 Marbling the Paper – A Decoration for the Front and Back Cover of the Book

Pour some water, a spoonful of milk, and three or four drops of three different marbling inks. Allow to spread, then gently blow to make them swirl. Take a thin stick and gently draw lines on the surface: from the center to the rim, or from the rim to the center, or a grid pattern. Softly lay a sheet of paper on the surface of the water and gently pat it so that the ink gets fixed on it. Remove the sheet of paper holding it by the edge (not the corners!), lay on a flat surface and gently blot the water. Hang to dry.

Photo of Marbling Paper

Photo of Marbling Paper

Step 3 Decorating the Inside of the Book – : Make a simple drawing and place a piece of thin cardboard (shoe-box type) below it. Then go over the drawing firmly. Go over it again on the cardboard so that it’s kind of carved into the cardboard.

Photo of How to Print on Paper

Step 4 Printing the Pictures: You need printing ink and an ink roller and an old cloth to protect your actual clothes since printing ink can’t be removed.

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To print, you have to lay a protective paper below your work (like a page of a magazine) so that the ink won’t get on the lower part of the press. Then you put down the inked pattern (inked part up). Next you put down the paper to print, then another piece of protective paper (another page of a magazine), then a piece of thin cardboard (shoe-box like), then you roll the printing roll back and forth.

Photo of How to Print on Paper

The printed page…

Photo of How to Print on Paper

Another way to make a template for printing an image: After “carving” the drawing, fill it in with glue until the “ditch” becomes a “hill” and allow to dry.

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Here is the result:

Photo of How to Print on Paper

Another way to print: Carving linoleum…

Photo of How to Print on Paper

…Inking it…

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…Raw print…

Photo of How to Print Images on Paper

…And after adding some paint…

Photo of How to Print Images on Paper

Step 5 Printing the Words:

The stories had been written at school. Each child had a printed paper with a map of the set of compartments to know where the letters were for printing the words.

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<p>Each letter is set upside down; the checking is done with a mirror.</p>
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Printing…

Photo of How to Print Typeset

A printed page…

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The younger kids made a stenciled cover…

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Covers hanging to dry…

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Step 6 Binding the Book:

Holes are drilled all the way through the book for the binding…

Photo of How to Bind a Book

The books were binded by “Japanese binding”: it’s done by sewing…

Photo of How to Bind a Book

Two of the Books:

Photo of How to Bind a Book

Time to read my brand-new self-made book!

Photo of Book

Many thanks to Monique Palomares for sharing this with us!

-Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Saturday, July 5th, 2008 at 5:38 pm and is filed under Arts and Crafts, Bookmaking, Books & Stories, Countries & Cultures, Crafts, France, Mama Lisa, Papermaking, Printing, Teaching, Traveling. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Making a Book with Kids”

  1. ophira Says:

    i am looking after the words of a song by a russian child in russian. the song starts…pousigda budu…maybe someone can help? thanks anyway and lots of happines and calm.

  2. Lisa Says:

    It looks like you might be able to use acrylics on water to marbleize paper – but I haven’t tried it. Check out Suminagashi.

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