Make Your Own Books

Five-year-old Brooke offers kid-friendly tips and instructions on homemade books, vegetable stamping and other crafts.

| January/February 1986

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    Examples of Brooke's books, including watercolored books, tie-dyed books and vegetable-stamped books.
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    Guidelines on how to sew a homemade book together.
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    Instructions on how to miter the corners of a book cover.

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I'm Brooke and I'm five years old. Here's my story.

One day my friend Dawn and I wanted to make books. First, we just stapled pages together. Then I asked my mom to help me think of some other kinds of books to make. She told me about books that are sewn together, ones that have outside and inside covers, Japanese-style books, hardback books, and some others.

I decided to make books that had outside and inside covers and that I could sew together. And I decided to use three different kinds of art for the covers — watercolor, lazy-man tie-dye and vegetable printing.

Painting Watercolor Covers

Watercolors are special things. You can make hearts or rainbows with them, but I usually just dab the paint in big strokes and let the colors flow on the paper. I like to make pink and purple and to sing, "Rainbows, rainbows, all across the sky you flow" when I paint.

I like to watercolor a lot. We soak the watercolor paper for about 20 minutes and then put it on a board. Then I sponge it off with a clean sponge. I used a dirty sponge once. What a mess that made!

My mom mixes about a tablespoon of watercolor paint with a half cup of water in a jar (baby food jars are good). She mixes just the three primary colors — red, yellow, and blue — because I can make all the other colors from these.

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