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

11 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!

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