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Lesson Plans

Books on books-opinions and references(long)

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Wed, 10 Mar 1999 10:49:39 EST

In a message dated 3/9/99 8:58:56 AM Central Standard Time,
Sue_Stewart writes:

<< Books, Boxes and
Wraps by Marilyn Webberley - Bifical Publishing, Kirkland, WA -
available through Daniel Smith Art Materials in Seattle and maybe It is a large format paperback with lessons meant to be
copied. >>

Hi everyone,
I have to put my two cents in here and hardily disagree. I bought the Books,
Boxes and Wraps with great anticipation through the mail and was thoroughly
disappointed! It is chock full of info, but is one of the most "user-
unfriendly" books on books I have read. The best book on books I got and the
one I recommend to my students is Cover to Cover (already mentioned by someone
else on this list). It not only has good explanations, but terrific step by
step illustrations that I haven't found in other books. I belong to a
BookArts list that is full of teachers and artists. Very similar to this list
in professionalism and wonderful information. I asked a similar question of
making different types of books on this list a while ago. Here are some of
the responses I got:

A good starter book for working with kids (and adults) for you to glean
from and pass on is Shereen La Plantz' Cover to Cover. She shows a wide
variety of book forms, with directions on how to make them, but none of
the techniques in the book is terribly difficult, nor do the projects
require much in the way of "bookbinding" equipment. There are hundreds
of books out there on the topic of bookbinding, many of them GOOD, do you know
what kind of books you want
to make? { A bonus of using Cover to Cover is that you get to see work
from some members of this list.)

Have you tried searching on There are a number
of good books on bookmaking projects specifically for kids - Susan
Kapacinski Gaylord has a wonderful book on multicultural books
to make with children.

Paul Johnson, I believe, also has a number of title on teaching literacy
through the book arts. I don't recall the titles of these books off hand,
but many should be available either through your local book store or

Susan is on this list and may respond to you directly. Ed Hutchins
who is also on the list may know of even more resources -- most of
those that I know about I got through him (thanks Ed.)

Paul Johnson has some books which you might find helpful. The ones I
know of are:
1. A Book of One's Own: Developing Literacy Through Making Books
2. Literacy Through the Book Arts
3. Pictures and Words Together: Children Illustrating and Writing Their
Own Books.

I also just purchase a book called Books for Kids to Make: Making Books
that Fly, Fold, Wrap, Hide, Pop-up, Twist, and Turn. (by Gwen Diehn).
Nothing in here which Paul Johnson has not covered, but I think it would
still be helpful. Hope this helps.


Below you will find the address to the moderator of the Book Arts list,
Peter Verheyen. He has a well maintained set of links to bookbinding
resources on the web which you should explore. I know Peter sends a
letter of introduction to new users, but thought you may have overlooked
the source.

The Johnson books recommended on the list look outstanding. Kevin Smith
has three books on Nonadhesive bindings you should look at, with the
context of the La Plantz book in mind. She has scads of photos and he
relies heavily on line drawing, but she takes many of her techniques
directly from him. His are standard reference works in the field. For
codex bindings try Aldren A. Watson's Hand
Bookbinding (title? pretty sure that is right -- there is only one.) It
has been reprinted by Dover recently, so is readily available. The less
traditional forms (some are traditional in other cultures) will be
better for handmade papers.

You're welcome. I see that there is another post on the book
arts list today that specifies the titles for the Paul Johnson
books. He has actually written many of them -- has started an
institute in England that is devoted to literacy through the book
arts (Manchester, I believe). He lectures worldwide on the topic.

I saw that the Shereen LaPlantz book was also recommended to
you -- while I think that book may be helpful to you personally in
your quest to make books, the other titles are better for teaching
books to children. I know that Susan Gaylord is an accomplished
book artist on her own, but has written a very accessible book with
a multicultural book arts for children slant (a way to teach them a
little history as well.)

Good luck. Hope you find what you need.


You are close enough to Chicago to visit the Columbia College Center for Book
and Paper. We have an outreach program called School Books which does just
what you are looking to do. You should contact the Center. 218 S. Wabash,
Chgo 60604, phone is 312-431-8612, fax: 312-986-8237

"Books, Boxes & Wraps...Binding & Building Step-by-Step" by Marilyn Webberly
& JoAn Forsyth. Great illustrations and easy to follow instructions. (ISBN
Webberley book has been out of print, but is at present being
reprinted. John Neal should know when it will again be available.

"Making Books by Hand" by Mary McCarthy & Philip Mama. Beautiful
photographs of book arts as well as instructions. (ISBN 1-56496-328-4)

"Pop-O-Mania...How to Create Your Own Pop-Ups" by Barbara Valenta. This is
a great book for children (and adults) as it is an actual pop-up book
showing how to make pop-ups. You can actually see what the project will look
like. (ISBN 0-8037-1947-7)

There is also a new book out by Kathy Blake that looked pretty
basic and seemed to have a ton of photos and step by step instructions.
I don't recall the title, something like Handmade Books.

Paul Johnson's books are A Book of One's Own (1992) and Literacy through
the Book Arts (1993). Both by Heinemann.

Tanya DiMaggio
Gregory Fisk
anthill href="">
Send me any information you'd like comments on and I'll send back my
directions for the origami star and accordion books. They're quite easy
and with a sample you'll see the intended product. Here is my mailing
address: Light of Day Bindery, 351 Pleasant St. Suite 142, Northampton,
MA 01060 I look forward to hearing from you. DEA

Dear Friends,
Here is a list of tools and materials that I wrote up for the teachers
I work with. Hope you find it helpful. It might not make as much sense
to you, as you haven't seen the specific books we're making. I try to
standardize the sizes. I have most of my paper precut by a printer. It
costs some money, but it's worth it. I was spending more preparing
materials than I was teaching. Even with improvements, I find the
packing a drag and am trying to organize it even more so I can put my
kids to work.

in good spirit,
Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord
Newburyport, MA

Paper Pleasures" by Faith Shannon ISBN 0-8021-1233-1
and "Cover to Cover " -Creative Techniques for Making Beautiful Books,
Journals and
Albums by Shereen LaPlantz ISBN 0-9333337274-81-X are both
excellent references



These are each in a clear plastic shoebox. In the studio, they're on the
shelf. When I travel, they are packed in a raised lid Rubbermaid box.
* Scissors

* Hole Punches

* Glue Sticks: I prefer UHU color. It goes on purple so it's easy to see
and dries clear. I buy the small size, .26 oz., from Staples in packs of
20 ($9.95) or from Quill Corporation, 1-800-789-1331, ( $.39 each for 20
or more). Quill carries all kinds of office supplies and has free
shipping on orders over $45.00. Ask the school office. They may have a
catalog or order from them.

* Sewing Sets: Ziploc plastic sandwich bags for each set of materials. I
find it's very easy to lose tools with all the pieces. The bags help and
I now put a printed list of the tools on cardstock in the bag. To make
holes, I use nails with wood as a hammer for Japanese bindings and push
pins and cardboard for pamphlet bindings.
1 size 16 Tapestry Needle (I purchase them at JoAnn Fabrics in packs
of 5 for $1.25.)
1 nail
2 clothespins
1 small pencil: for marking the holes.
1 push pin
1 small piece of cardboard about 2" x 4"

* Blocks of Wood: about 3" x 8" x 1" each. They are used in sets of two,
one to protect the table, the other as a hammer.

* Scrap Paper: for gluing. I use old phone book pages, old catalog pages
(watch out for underwear), or used 8 1/2_" x 11" paper.

* Rulers: Although I try to avoid measuring, I sometimes use them to
mark the holes for the Oriental sewn binding. An alternative is to make
strips of oaktag or cover stock to use as a guide. I make mine 1/2" wide
and the height of the book. I mark where I want the holes.


In the studio, I store my materials in plastic drawers that I purchased
in Walmart. When I travel, I pack the materials in Rubbermaid boxes with

* White 11" x 17" copy paper: I buy it at Staples or locally.

* Use full size for large sewn Oriental binding and 8 page booklet.

* Cut in half vertically (5 1/2_ x 17) for accordions.

* Cut into 4 1/4_ x 17 for triangle accordions.

* Cut into 1 3/4_" x 17 for wish scrolls.

* Colored 11 x 17" paper: for covers of sewn Oriental binding

* 5 1/2" x 17" Cover Stock, heavy weight paper, white and in colors

* Use full size for accordion books.

* Cut into 5 1/2_ x 5 1/2_ squares for triangle accordion covers.

* 1 3/4_" x 8" cover stock, I usually use white: for palm leaf and slat

* 4 1/2_" x 5 3/4_" cover stock in colors: for accordion covers


* Cutting Cardboard for Yarn and Ribbon: I use pieces of heavy
corrugated cardboard cut to the appropriate length for cutting yarn and
ribbon. I wrap the yarn or ribbon around the cardboard, then cut it at
the top and bottom.

* Yarn: best for Chinese slat book (36") and palm leaf (12"). I buy it
at K-Mart or Walmart.

* Ribbon: I am always keeping my eyes open for cheap ribbon. I can
usually find 10 yard rolls for 2/$1.00 at Walmart. JoAnn Fabrics and the
Ribbon Outlet occasionally have 3/$1.00 sales. Buy lots when you can.

* For accordion ties, I use 1/8" ribbon 24" long.

* For threading it through accordion with slits, I use _" ribbon 36"
long. I don't use the wrapping cardboard method for these. It is easiest
to thread the ribbon through the slits if it is cut on an angle.

* Crochet cotton:

* For Oriental stitched binding with 8 _ x 11 paper, I use 36".

* For Oriental binding with 11 x 17 paper, I use 40".

* For wish scroll, I use 36".

* Pony Beads: for palm leaf books and wish scrolls and to have fun tying
them onto any book. I buy them at Walmart.

* Film Containers: I use empty film containers for the wish scrolls from
Ethiopia. Places that print photos on the premises usually have lots
that they recycle. They should be willing to give you quantities for


* Collage Papers: I cut up any interesting colored paper-wrapping
paper, paper bags, origami paper, art papers, etc.- into squares of
about 3". I find that the smaller size wastes less paper and seems to
stimulate creativity in a way that large pieces of paper don't.

* Rubber Stamps: Rubber stamps are fun sources of imagery. They can be
used for pictures or for pattern in borders. They provide an alternative
for those lacking in artistic confidence. They are expensive, but I
think worth the investment. However, kids can make a mess of them
quickly as the ink from the stamp pads gets on their fingers and then
onto everything else. I cover the top of my stamps with clear contact
paper before I let anyone use them. I sort my stamps by theme- Flowers
and Leaves, Animals, In the Sky, Dinosaurs, Patterns, etc.- and keep
them on plastic plates. On each plate, I put a label with the Theme and
cover it with clear contact paper. I store each plate in its own Ziploc
bag with a label covered with clear contact paper.

* Stencils: Dover Little Activity Books has a series of Fun with
Stencils books. They are 4 3/16" x 5 _" and have 6 pre-cut stencils.
There are ones on Dinosaurs, Flowers, Northwest Indian, Pirates, and
many more. I've seen them in bookstores, card shops, and toy stores. I
also buy letter stencils and other plastic stencils. I have made
stencils by tracing cookie cutters onto poster board, cutting the image
with an exacto knife, and protecting them with clear contact paper. I
also made a series of sea life stencils by tracing pictures from books
and transferring them to poster board. I received a suggestion to use
plastic container lids for a more durable stencil, but I haven't tried
it yet.

* Markers: I like markers for writing and for the vibrancy of color in
drawing. However, they can bleed through so I test the marker first on
an extra piece of paper if I am going to be writing on both sides of the
paper. Because a lot of the pages are small, it's good to have some with
smaller tips. For the writing, it may be helpful to write the text
lightly in pencil, proofread it, and then go over it in marker. Whiteout
should be used cautiously. Test it first with the marker on scrap paper.

* Colored pencils: Colored pencils are a good choice. While they won't
bleed through, some care should be taken to not press too hard when
writing on both sides of the paper. Drawings can be made in colored
pencil or with a dark marker and colored in.

1996 Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord

A good book about bookmaking, written in a children's book style but very
informative and complete is, How A Book Is Made by Aliki published by
Thomas Y Crowell in New York.
Also, if you contact a printer, sometimes they have instructional
pamphlets to educate their clients. Bigger printers may be more inclined
to have these.

"Paper Pleasures" by Faith Shannon ISBN 0-8021-1233-1
and "Cover to Cover " -Creative Techniques for Making Beautiful Books,
Journals and
Albums by Shereen LaPlantz ISBN 0-9333337274-81-X are both
excellent references.

The author of Cover to Cover is Shereen LaPlantz. It is a must have. Two
other resources on handmade books are the Center for Book and Paper Arts, 218
South Wabash Ave., 7th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604 and Minnesota Center for Book
Arts 24 North Third St., Minneapolis, MN 55401. I make one of a kind artist's
books and would be happy to answer any questions you may have or just talk
about books!

-Lee in Milwaukee, WI