A few weeks ago I realized the 7 year old hadn’t done an art project at home in quite some time and he seemed to need something. So I turned to our copy of Play, Make, Create by Meri Cherry to get an idea of an invitation to set up for the afternoon.
After flipping through a few pages, I found the perfect solution: an Art Book! I sliced a few pages out of an old spiral bound drawing book I had, folded them in half, and punched holes down the center with an awl (just eyeballing that they were roughly evenly spaced). To make it easier for little hands to do the sewing, I started by passing both ends of the string through the first hole and then threading each end onto its own needle.
From there, he took over the sewing. I had to help occasionally when he got confused or mixed up with which direction he was going or the string got tangled (or jumped out of the needle toward the end).
I had him go one side at a time to make it easier to see where he was going with which string. While he was working on that portion, I set about making a hard cover for it, because he had asked once before when we were making a regular art book (just paper with staples down the spine) how we could make a hard cover book.
I salvaged a sturdy box from the recycling bin and cut two pieces that were about a quarter inch bigger than the folded papers and connected them with some duct tape, leaving space between each piece to act as a hinge.
Once he sewed up both sides, I had him choose a fabric to cover the hard cover. He picked a plain green. I laid the cover flat on the fabric, cut a piece with two inches all the way around, and Mod Podged it to the outer surface of the cover. After letting it dry a while, I trimmed the corners diagonally to about an inch from the corner of the cardboard. Then I folded the edges and Mod Podged them down as well.
Once that had dried, it took me a little while to figure out how to glue the inside in. Finally, I realized it would work the best if I were to use two different pieces of paper, folded in half, and glued to the front and back covers and the glued to the paper part of the book.
We ended up finishing it just in time because, although we had originally started out just wanting to make a hardcover book, it ended up being perfect for him to make a book of animal drawings for his dad’s birthday.