Book Binding
October 8, 2004 6:22 AM   Subscribe

Book binding: I want to make some one-off children's books for my daughter and her friends, and I'm trying to determine the most cost-effective way to make something extra-durable. These kids are all about 2 years old; my own daughter has been known to rip pages out of favorite books as a sign of enthusiasm. My current thought is laminating two-sided color pages and spiral binding it, but to me that's only about a 6 out of 10 on cheapness and durability. Other thoughts?
posted by blueshammer to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
channel binding. cheap enough, and better than spiral.
posted by trondant at 6:55 AM on October 8, 2004

print via transfer onto t-shirt thickness cotton, then sew pages together?
posted by seanyboy at 7:01 AM on October 8, 2004

If the books are small, you may want to print two pages at once [or four double-sided] on one normal sized sheet of paper, laminate it, fold it in half, punch some holes in the middle and then sew or otherwise connect the pages that way. This will leave less of a spirally thing to chew on and possibly unravel and stick in your eye. What I'm suggesting is sort of a variety of this book. If you've got an enthusiastic book shredder, I would also recommend reading this story which, though somewhat dark, always amuses me.
posted by jessamyn at 7:17 AM on October 8, 2004

In my experience (as the parent of a two-year-old), the most important thing is the binding. Hardcover books last much longer than papercovered books, even if the pages inside are made of exactly the same kind of paper. So, yes, laminated boards -- but not a spiral binding, which is easy to tear and will come apart in no time. If it really bothers you, I would suggest making two copies, one to keep safe in a drawer, the other to be read and loved to pieces.

Nothing will stop a two-year-old if they feel the urge to tear up a book -- and even the sturdiest book will eventually fall apart if it's read and handled again and again. Don't worry about it. The most important thing is to ensure that your child feels at ease with books and feels free to turn the pages without the fear that Mummy or Daddy will suddenly swoop down to snatch the precious volume away. Believe me, that is worth any number of torn pages, sellotaped spines and dogeared corners.
posted by verstegan at 8:03 AM on October 8, 2004

You can buy blank board books online, and then add your images to them.
posted by agregoli at 10:13 AM on October 8, 2004

I used to make books for my younger brothers and sisters, later on for my boys.

I found that oilcloth, sewn together at the 'binding' and written on with permanent marker was best for the 'keepers', the ones you wanted them to have later on, to look back on.

Okay, 'oilcloth' is archaic, try any fabric/plasticised tablecloth type fabric to make them out of.

I also made them blank books. It was up to them to put the stories into these books. A blank book and a box of crayons and you will have peace and quite for at least 10 minutes!

The blank books were made with newspaper grade paper, folded and stapled together. 10 sheets = 20 pages, usually more than enough to get them to create a story of their own and teach them the wonder that is a book.

My older son created comic books, the younger son; books about dinosaurs or American Indians.

When they started making their own, they'd do the 'flipbook' animation books. Those were fascinating, just seeing what they would come up with to animate.
posted by kamylyon at 11:33 PM on October 8, 2004

I wonder if you could make pages out of Tyvek. That stuff is almost indestructible.
posted by Tubes at 9:24 AM on October 9, 2004

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