Several months ago my daughter came across an easy way to add a cardboard backing to paper and I thought the technique would be perfect. I also had dozens of pieces of large brown, heavy weight card stock on hand that works perfectly for the
backing. I have plenty of staples and glue, too. The only thing I needed was the paper.
OfficeMax/Depot (whatever the new merged company is called) had cartons of paper for $29.99 get $20.00 back in MaxPerks rewards. I had gift cards I had earned from earlier purchases so I was able to buy a carton for zero cash. I think that should cover this year's boxes (and maybe the next). I will use the $20 back towards an ink cartridge. So I will be making these for free.
There are dozens of places online to find free coloring sheets to print. And with such a large variety I can make them to match the theme of my boxes. I save the picture to my computer, reduce the size, add two to a sheet leaving about 1" space at the top and print them. Some of them are sideways in the book. I am putting about 10 to 12 coloring pages and then at the back I am adding 10+ pages of plain paper. The final product fits perfectly inside the bottom of an Operation Christmas Child shoe box.
|Image from my computer using Publisher.|
Like I said, this is something new for us this year. We will have to see how much work it really is making them for all of our boxes before we decide to do it every year. But since I have all the supplies this year I plan to commit to making one for each of my boxes. Thankfully my husband has access to a paper cutter and a strong arm.
I was trying to figure out how to add a nice cover to the coloring book and finally decided I'd just make a generic cover. I also designed one for the plain paper pads for the older kids. I included both words and illustrations -- so even if they don't speak English they will get the idea of what it is intended for. We will include crayons with the Coloring Books, colored pencils with the Drawing Pads and hopefully some drawing pencils with the Sketch Pads -- if not at least colored pencils.
|2 to 4 year olds|
|5 to 9 year olds|
|10 to 14 year olds|
How To Make a Coloring Book or Sketch Pad
Printer & Ink Cartridge
Card stock (upcycled cereal boxes work, too)
Stapler & staples
Printed Coloring Pages (below are two sources -- but when Googled, lots of "Free Coloring Pages" come up)
- Editing to add: Crafting for Shoeboxes Colouring Pages
- There are several all ready to print per age group of shoebox recipients.
- She also has images of two other ways to use them.
- They are ready to print on UK or US standard paper sizes.
- Be sure to find the correct ones you need on the list.
- Twisty Noodle -- lots of worksheets, too
- Educational Coloring Pages -- lots of themes and learning sheets, too
Prepare 24 individual sheets to include in your book (this is how many I found I could staple in with the heavier cardstock -- you may want to experiment and see how many you can include).
For Coloring Book:
- Save the images to your computer.
- Using the computer program of your choice insert the images two to a page leaving 3/4" border along one of the 11" sides -- this will be the top.
- Design a cover page or use mine if you'd like to.
- Print two to a sheet leaving 3/4" along 11" top side for stapling.
- Print pages.
- Cut in half (I added a light grey line to mine to cut along).
- If you want some blank pages at the back cut those in half, too.
- Design a cover page or use mine if you'd like to.
- Print two to a sheet leaving 1/2" along 11" top side for stapling.
- Cut paper & cover in half.
- Cut card stock 5 3/4" x 10 1/2" (this will be big enough for a small edge to show around all sides -- I am hoping this gives some protection to the edges of the papers.
- Fold down the narrow, top edge of the card stock 3/4" and crease. You will be folding towards the FRONT of the piece.
- Fold over again on itself and crease well.
- Open it back out.
- Lay the stack of cut sheets, with the cover sheet on top, FACE DOWN on the BACK of the card stock piece--the side that the folds fold AWAY from.
- Center the stack lining up the top with the top edge of the card stock. All other sides will have a little card stock showing around them.
- Staple in three different places, including the center near the edge. Be sure to stay within 1/2" of the edge.
- This holds the pages in place
- Flip the book over
- Using the first fold as a guide staple two times close to fold.
|This shows how the "double fold" folds back over itself.|
- Apply glue on card stock between folds and down almost another 3/4"
- Fold the card stock on the first crease over the staples--fold it up over the glue, not the glue down over it or your other glue will be on the table :-) .
- If you want you could just put glue on the first part and after folding it glue the second part.
- Press firmly.
- Fold over again.
- Press flat and place something heavy on it while it dries.
When packing it in the shoe box, place it on the bottom with the pages down -- this will protect them from getting "dogeared."
These are perfect for making themed coloring books. They also would be nice to make with learning sheets: math, matching, letters. I hope you find many uses for these simple to make pads.