Hand Binding Books with 1st Graders

In a previous post on making collages with kids, I mentioned my visits to P.S. 142 and the wonderful students I worked with there.  A few weeks ago, I made my last visit to two 1st grade classes, and we completed our book projects by binding them together.

The binding method I did with the children is a very simplified version, using just paper and yarn.  I prepped by taking the students’ writing/collage projects home and punching holes in the margin beforehand.  I also cut lengths of yarn and knotted one end and taped the other end to form a blunt point for “sewing”.

Then, we bound the books together in class.

a bound book

The children loved having a hand-made finished product at the end!

To bind papers together to make a book, you need:


Large Paper Clip

Hole puncher




1.  Punch holes in paper along left margin.  It helps to keep all the pages aligned by holding the stack together with a large paper clip.  Keep it on until you’re finished binding.

2.  Cut a length of yarn that is twice as long as the length of the margin side of the papers.

3.  Tie a knot on one end.  Wrap a piece of tape on the other end to create a blunt point that can be threaded easily through the holes.

4.  Bind the pages together following the steps below:


Filed under Art Related, Uncategorized

16 responses to “Hand Binding Books with 1st Graders

  1. Hi Melissa, I think it’s so wonderful of you to share your knowledge with 1st graders. This looks like a lovely art project. 🙂

  2. JB - Rowan student teacher

    Thank you for sharing this process! I have a first grade class on Saturday mornings for 2 hrs and wanted to trying book making with them for Parent-Child day. I have been searching for a tried and true method that would be simple enough for first grade! This is perfect!!!! Thank you!

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  5. Love this post! Handmade books are so much fun and really encourage kids to write, draw and be creative in a format that they can share with others.

  6. Great post. Would it be okay if I reblogged this?

  7. Reblogged this on Darlene Beck-Jacobson and commented:
    A perfect craft for beginning writers to keep their stories in book form.

  8. How fun, I love the instructional pictures…nothing like IKEA’s hair pulling illustrations, they are simply to follow. Happy book binding!

  9. Wendy

    Thank you for posting this article and tutorial. It was just what I was looking for to give me an idea on how to string bind my childs first book (they are just older than 4) pictures, letters and lots of stickers done by them. It worked great however I used a needle as it was constructed out of light card. The instructions were clear and concise, the pictures perfect. Now they want more. 😊

  10. Alex Pearson

    Really great. Thank you thank you.

  11. Adam

    Thank you for sharing this. Used it to bind my PhD thesis 🙂

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