Bookmaking 101

Here are some great ways to make your own books for your child.

1. Ziploc Bag Books.
Best for: Babies.
Cut pictures of familiar objects, family members, other babies, etc. out of magazines or photographs.
Glue onto square pieces of paper.
Put each square of paper into a separate ziploc bag.
Tape all ziplocs bags together with sturdy tape to form a “book”.
(This was one of Logan’s favorite books as an infant… these were also the first words he started saying!)

2. File Folder Books
Best for: Toddlers, Preschoolers, Early Readers. (I got this idea from the Baby Read Aloud Basics book).
Cut several file folders apart.

Stack together and staple.
Cut off edges to make even.
(This is my new favorite way to make a book. I love how the book lays flat when you open it because of the creases in the file folder. If you don’t like the sharp staples, you can hole punch the edges and lace it up with ribbon or yarn.)
3. Construction paper and plain paper books.
Best for: Early Readers.
Give your child some plain paper and let them go to town making books. Unlined paper is best for early writers. It is also helpful to write the text on the left page and place the picture on the right page. This helps the child to notice text and also to establish left to right directionality in text.
Some book ideas (for reading levels 1-4, A-D):
I see a (color word) star. — child puts star on each page.
This is a (object name). — different pictures on each page.
I go to (McDonalds, Target, Walmart, etc.) — cut logos out of advertisements and paste in the book… FAVORITE of all of the first graders I taught.
Logan is (pictures of child doing different things- dancing, stomping, running, sleeping, etc.)
4. ABC books.
Best For: Preschoolers, Early Readers.
Put 3×5 index cards on a ring. Add letters to the book as they become known to your child. (known = identifies correctly by name, sound, word, or movement of the letter). Let your child choose a picture to correspond with the letter. These home made books are SO. MUCH. BETTER. than professionally produced ABC books especially when the child makes the choice of which picture to attach. You can even get FREE print outs here. If you print them out onto mailing labels, you can just let your child choose one and stick it in the book.
5. Mini books.
Best For: Early Readers.
NO gluing, stapling, taping required. All you need is paper and scissors. Check it out here.

6. Photo Books

Best For: All ages

I made this photo book at I based it off Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do you See? except I wrote, “Logan, Logan what do you see?” and added pictures of family members. There are many things you could do with the photo books– journals of summer vacation, for one. The best part was that I got my book for FREE + $1.99 shipping. If you wait for deals from time to time you can get Free books on several of the photo sites!

I will add to this post as more ideas pop into my brain.


  1. says

    I love the file folder book idea! I’m going to have to try that one. Also, I’ve seen photo books before, but the idea of converting the “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” into “Logan, Logan” is so clever! I think my son would love that too! Thanks for these great ideas.

  2. says

    My almost-1-year-old just started to *love* being read to, hooray! These are great great ideas, must go make one now!!