The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

How to make a children’s book with construction paper

January 1, 2016

Children making a book using construction paperWhether you need a rainy-day activity or want to share a fun craft idea with your child, a great way to connect and share can be by writing and illustrating an original story.

The following step-by-step instructions explain how to make a children’s book with construction paper, which can be tailored to any age. Older kids could make the book themselves, although they may need your guidance. Even toddlers who haven’t yet learned to write could help to create a storybook that you’re both sure to treasure.

You’ll Need:

  • Construction paper
  • Poster board or cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Markers, paint, pens or crayons
  • Decorations – such as beads, glitter glue, stickers, and similar (optional)
  • Lamination machine (optional)
  • Ribbon, yarn or twine
  • Lots of imagination!


Step 1: Fold the construction paper into shape

  • Decide how many pages you want the book to have.
  • Fold a sheet of construction paper in half, so that each sheet has four potential sides on which to write and illustrate.
  • Fold as many sheets as needed to form a book that has as many pages as desired.
  • For the cover, use construction paper or, if you want it to hold up better over time, use a sheet of poster board or cardstock, cut to size so that it folds and wraps around the assembled pages.
  • Make two or three holes along the book’s “spine,” using a hole punch, for when it’s time to assemble the book.

Step 2: Write and illustrate the story

  • Let your child’s creativity shine! Select whichever writing and coloring media you or your child prefer, such as paints, crayons and/or colored markers.
  • Based on the number of desired pages for the book, you will know how much space to allocate for writing and illustrating your tale.
  • You or your child could create a simple outline of your story ahead of time, or dream it up as you go along.
  • Allow younger children to “dictate” the story to you, so that you can use their words to weave the saga.
  • Don’t skimp on the pictures. The book’s artwork can set the mood and tell the story, so focus your child’s efforts on the art and on expressing himself or herself. Let your child create the art freehand, using whatever media – from glitter glue and stickers to pictures cut from magazines – to make the book anything that he or she would like.
  • Some children’s book covers are elaborate and others are minimalistic, to draw attention to a compelling theme. Have your child think about the book cover accordingly.

Step 3: Assemble the children’s book

  • When the story is finished and the paint is dry, it’s time to assemble and secure the pages together by feeding ribbon, yarn or twine through the punched holes.
  • If you plan to laminate the pages, do it before securing the pages together.
  • For tying the pages together, the sky’s the limit. Some ideas:
    • For a two-hole book, lace one continuous thread through both holes and secure it with one knotted bow.
    • For two- or three-hole books, use multiple strands of material to loop through and tie each hole separately, then secure with simple bows or other embellishment.
    • For a spiral-bound effect, punch a lot of holes along the spine and then weave a long length of yarn through them in a “spiral” manner.
    • For a snazzy look, string beads that are age-appropriate for your child onto the threads or strands before tying them, or use glitter pipe cleaners, twisting each to fasten.

The assembling of your book can greatly personalize it to correspond with the story’s theme, so give it some thought.

With this entertaining yet simple craft, you and your children can create and share all kinds of unique books, for memories for years to come. The next time that they’re in an imaginative mood and you’re in wonder at the stories and art they produce, try it!

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Categories: Parenting Tips
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