Introduction: Longer Storybook (#3)

About: Grandma Van uses the Instructables website to share little print-and-mail books. Once in a while, she has other fun things to share.

The original story M-bot story starred my grandson Malcolm, but I have removed his name from the book and left a blank space so that you can write in a child's name. "Grandma" also originally appeared in the book, but you can also personalize the adult in the story.

When I first planned this book, I thought I could just delete all of the ""Malcolm's" and "Grandma's" and just give you a PDF with blanks. But the resulting PDF was really confusing.

So I added steps 2-9, which have red and green boxes indicating where all of the names go.

Step 1: Download and Print the PDF.

All of Grandma Van's Print and Mail stories fit on standard 8.5 x 11 inch letter-sized paper.

Step 2: Personalize Pages 16, 1, 12 and 5.

This M-bot story has two characters. Use the illustration above to help you place a grown-up's name where each GREEN BOX appears and a child's name in each RED BOX. The third RED BOX on page five works best if you put in a pronoun (she or he) instead of the child's name.

Step 3: Personalize Pages 2, 15, 6 and 11.

Again, write a child's name in each RED BOX and an adult's name in each GREEN BOX.

For the last green box on page fifteen, use "He" or "She."

Also on page fifteen, a third name can be added in the BLUE BOX.

Step 4: Personalize Pages 14, 3, 10 and 7.

Write a child's name for each RED BOX.

Write an adult's name for each GREEN BOX.

Step 5: Personalize Pages 4, 13, 8 and 9.

Again, write a child's name in place of each RED BOX and a grown-up's name for each GREEN BOX.

Step 6: Personalize Pages 32, 17, 28 and 21.

Two times: put a child's name where each RED BOX appears in the illustration.

Put a grown-up's name where each GREEN BOX appears in the illustration.

Step 7: Personalize Pages 18, 31, 22, and 27.

RED BOX = Child's name.

GREEN BOX = Adult's. Third green box can be a pronoun instead of the name.

Step 8: Personalize Pages 30, 19, 26 and 23.

RED BOX = Child's name.

GREEN BOX = Adult's

Step 9: Personalize Pages 20, 29, 24 and 25.

RED BOX = child

GREEN BOX = adult

Special note from Grandma Van:

The story sounded just great when I wrote it with Malcolm and Grandma as stars. Replacing the names with blanks spaces and then red and green boxes got just a bit confusing. Please contact me if you see an error here. I TRIED to get it right. Next time I will use a better method!

Step 10: Cut the Pages Apart.

Cut the pages apart, as shown in the illustration.

Step 11: Sew Two Separate "folios."

Arrange the pages into two piles. Pages 1-16 should be in the first pile and pages 17-32 in the second.

Using strong thread or dental floss, sew the pages as shown.

Each of these piles, when folded and sewn, becomes a folio.

Step 12: Glue the First Folio Into the Binding.

Cut a binding from overweight paper. The best size is 11.5 by 4.5, but you can also use 11 inch paper and trim the pages down later.

Fold the paper. Run a strip of hot glue slightly to the left of the fold.

Glue in the folio for pages 1-16.

Step 13: Glue the Second Folio to the Binding.

Run a second line of hot glue slightly to the right of the fold.

Place the folio for pages 17-32.

Step 14: Fold and Trim.

Trimming is optional. (Whether or not you trim depends on the degree of "perfection" that you desire!)

Any time a folio of made of folded pages, the inner pages will stick out more than the outer pages.

For a "temporary" book, or one that will have a very short life cycle, you may just want to leave the pages untrimmed.

But if you have more than one folio, and if you want a tidier finished product, use a sharp-bladed knife and a metal-edged ruler and trim the edges.

Step 15: Add an Image to the Cover

Write the name of the story on the cover and sketch a little picture.


Make another copy of the title page, trim it, and glue it on the cover.

Step 16: Share Your Grandma Van Print and Mail Story.

This is the third (and most ambitious) Grandma Van title.

Storybook #1 is a simple black and white 16-page M-bot story.

Storybook #2 is a a version of the "Little Red Hen" story that can be personalized.

If you like these books, please add your comments!