Introduction: Make Cardboard Booklets With the Kids

Looking for things to do with the kids during long days of remote schooling and being isolated in the house and yard? Or perhaps you just need a recycling project, something to do with all that cardboard packaging in the bin?

Make booklets out of simple materials that you probably have around the house right now.

Many years of teaching elementary school has made me latch on to projects that use simple inexpensive materials and involve recycling or repurposing. This is one of my family's and my students' favorites.

Just wait until you discover all the things you'll do with your booklets: ( a student-brainstormed list...)

*So many games have need of paper for scoring or whatever. Fill your game boxes with some of these.

*grocery lists *car trips expenses and mileage

*secret password book *letter boxing (look it up if you don't know) journal

*scratch paper for math class *exercise journal


Step 1: Gather Tools and Materials

Tools for this project include:


a permanent marker

a stapler

a hot glue gun with glue sticks

You'll also need the materials of:

1. cardboard, lots of cardboard for front and back of booklets

(cereal, cookie, cracker and any food boxes are especially good)

2. paper, (while in my classroom I could gather all the paper that gets wasted by printers and copiers)

I used 8 1/2 inches X 11 inches, but you can adapt any size for inside booklets

3. colored tape... I used hockey tape that I got for free from my local sports/hockey supplier who was going to throw them out but you could easily use duct tape

Step 2: Cut Cardboard (pics 1-6) and Paper (pic 7)

CutCardboard for front and back of your booklets-

1-We cut and saved the large sides off our collected boxes.

2- Went from about 9 cubic feet of box space to way less than 1 cu. ft. Recycled leftover pieces.

3- Put large pieces in the bin from which you'll choose your favorites.

4- Used discarded cardboard to cut two different templates- for different sizes of booklets you'll be able to make.

5-6- Choose cardboard pieces you'll like for your booklet, trace template, cut out and recycle extra pieces.

Cut Paper for inside booklets

7- For 8 and 1/2" X 11" paper, we cut it in half the short way for large booklets and in quarters for small booklets.

To make one booklet for either size booklet, you'll need 16 pieces of cut papers.

Step 3: Assemble Paper Signatures

Fold four sheets together in half of cut paper -whatever size you are using.

Staple at least one staple along the center line of the center fold of the four sheets. Now you have one signature.

Make at least three more signatures to create one booklet.

Step 4: Make Your Booklet!

Heat up the hot glue gun.

While you are waiting for the glue gun, gather four paper signatures of whatever size booklet you are making.

Put those together and add the front and back covers you've chosen. (See pic 1)

Cut or tear a piece of tape (the width should be about an inch) the length (or a little shorter) of the booklet's spine. Set it aside.

Okay, your glue gun is all heated up, so pick up the cardboard and signatures between them and focus on the spine. (See pic 1 again) Cover the spine of the four signatures and cardboard cover edges with hot glue. Try not to burn yourself, but if you do know that it only hurts for a second.

Working quickly, take the tape and trying to center it on the spine, tape it to the hot glue and let tape fall over the edges so that the amount of tape is balanced on either side.

That is all there is to it!

Step 5: Repeat and Make More!

Both sizes come in very handy.

Check out the brainstormed list at the beginning of this Instructable for ideas for uses.

Get creative or not! Some cardboard packaging have interesting cuts/holes in them. Or use logos from one package and tape it to your front or back covers to make them more interesting.

Step 6:

Cardboard Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Cardboard Speed Challenge