Material on this page is copyright (c) 2016-2022 Dan Harper
Return to main Handwork page
A. Make a zine
How to make a zine booklet (with lots of binding options)
B1. Miniature Books
How to make a miniature book. All you need is a piece of paper with one blank side, a pair of scissors, some sticky tape, and a pencil. You can make four mini books out of one 8-1/2 by 11 inch sheet of paper. Then you can write a story for each book.
B2. Accordion Books
Another method: A nice accordion book project, albeit a little elaborate.
You can make an attractive scrapbook by purchasing “pressboard side-bound report covers” from an office supply store. These cost about $250 ea. (in 2016). They are reasonably attractive, accept any sheet with a standard 3-hole punch, and can hold more than 300 sheets of regular-weight paper. This large capacity means you could put in some interesting thicker materials, e.g., cardboard, wood veneer, fabric, etc. To see an example, click here.
For less than half the price, you can get Twin Pocket Portfolios with Fasteners (I’ve seen them as cheap as 68 cents each). Supposedly these will hold up to 100 sheets of paper, but the most I’ve gotten in is about 25 sheets — still more than enough for the typical scrapbook project. They’re kind of chintzy-looking, but the price is right. To see an example, click here.
Ideas for scrapbooks:
- A portfolio of work related to a topic
- An illustrated story (teachers can provide pages of text, children can intersperse these with illustrations)
A. Push-pin Mapping
For middle schoolers taking Neighboring Religions, obtain a large street map of the region where you’ll be doing class visits. Mount on a bulletin board. Use push pins to mark locations you visit. Then tie a string from the push pin to the side of the map, where you can post materials from the visit (order of service, pamphlet, etc.).
Push-pin mapping can be used for other classes, too. E.g., for the classes From Many Lands, and From Long Ago, you can obtain a large world map and each time you read a story place a push pin in the region that story originated.
B. Other mapping Projects
- Mapping Bible stories
- Mapping early Islam
Make a big timeline relating to the class’s curriculum. Use a roll of paper 24 to 36 inches wide, and as long as one wall of the classroom.
A. Paper making
How to make peace cranes from the Peace Crane Project
Something to glue the collage on (heavy paper, cardstock, wood, etc.)
Ideas for collage materials
Collages are most often made using a supply of printed images (old magazines, old calendars, old greeting cards, etc.). If you want to use specific images, you can find the images you want online and print them out. (Remember that the ink from inkjet printers may be water soluble. Glue sticks should not affect inkjet prints, but white glue such as Elmer’s Glue may cause blurring and fading.)
Tissue paper can be incorporated in collages. Some tissue paper is colored with ink that is water soluble, and a small amount of water can be brushed on the collaged tissue paper to cause different colors of ink to run together.
D. Note Cards
You can make holiday cards in Sunday school for children to give to family members. You can also make holiday cards to send to shut-ins.
Part One: Basic cards
Learn how to make a notecard and a matching envelope using scrap paper. You won’t need any glue or tape, and you don’t even need scissors. All you need is two pieces of scrap paper, some crayons to draw a design on the outside of the notecard, and a pencil or pen to write a message inside the notecard.
Part Two: Prettier cards
In part two, learn how to make a more attractive notecard, an attractive envelope, and a outer envelope that you can send through the U.S. Mail. You’ll need blank paper, an old magazine with attractive pictures, tape, scissors, crayons to draw on the notecard, a pen to write a message in the notecard and to write the address on the outside, and of course a stamp.
A. “Sun printing” or cyanotypes
For supplies and projects, try the Cyanotype Store online
Sun prints can be made into notecards (see above).
A. Potato prints
How to make potato prints from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
B. Stamp Art
Use rubber stamps to create collage-type art works.
Teens and older kids can create their own stamps from erasers. N.B.: this is a difficult project.
C. Transferring photocopies with wintergreen oil
This project is aimed at teens and middle schoolers.
Using wintergreen oil as a solvent, you can transfer photocopies made by traditional B&W photocopiers and some laser printers. By so doing, you can create a collage of images. You can also transfer photocopies onto non-paper media such as cork, wood, etc.
Warnings: Wintergreen oil is used in small amounts as a flavoring in food, but it should not be taken plain by mouth, and it is not safe to put on the skin of young children. Persons with an aspirin allergy may be sensitive to wintergreen oil. The smell is pretty strong and should be used in a well-ventilated area. In short, I would only use this with teens and adults who can heed warnings about not ingesting it. When I use it, I use it only in a well-ventilated room, and I wear gloves.
1. You will need wintergreen oil, a natural food additive, which can be obtained online or at places like health food stores, Walmart, Walgreen’s, etc. A typical price is $12 for a small bottle.
2. You will also need freshly printed photocopies or laser prints. I have had success using prints from my old HP LaserJet 1320. (Color printers or photocopiers do not work, in my experience.)
3. You will need the material you are going to print on
4. You will need a paint brush to apply the wintergreen oil. I find that inexpensive camel’s hair brushes work well. You don’t want to use a nice brush, because the oil is hard to get out. Since wintergreen oil is pretty expensive, you probably want to use as little oil as possible, so a narrower brush is usually better.
5. You will need a burnisher of some kind. Spoons and table knives work well — use the back of a spoon for large areas, and use the rounded handle of a steel table knife for detail work. If you can find a dry transfer burnisher, those are much more comfortable to use. Also pleasant to use is a bone folder, the type with a smaller rounded point at one end (so you can do fine detail if you need to).
Print or photocopy the B&W image you want to transfer. Use it AS SOON AS POSSIBLE; the fresher it is, the better it works.
Paint the wintergreen oil on the image. Experiment with painting directly on the printed side of the paper (may blur the image slightly), or on the back (may not penetrate adequately, so the image doesn’t completely transfer).
Once you have put wintergreen oil on the part of the photocopied image you want to transfer, turn it printed side down onto the material you’re going to print on. Now take your burnisher, and rub the back of the original.
You can check to see how well the transfer is going by clamping one corner of the work with the heel of your hand, then using the other hand gently lifting up a corner of the original until you can see the printed area. If you are rubbing unevenly, or have missed an area, let the original back down and rub some more.
The beauty of this printing process is that you can transfer whatever portion of the original you want. Plus you can print portions of the original right next to portions of another original (just be careful when you do this, as the wintergreen oil can loosen up images you’ve already transferred).
As you use the process more, you’ll find find ways to vary the quality of the image through varying your technique: the amount of oil used, the pressure on the stylus, etc.
Sure, you can do all this on your computer screen, then print onto a dry transfer sheet, and transfer onto whatever material you want. But the wintergreen oil process feels more spontaneous, and the handwork is more satisfying. In addition, you can transfer the image to materials other than paper. I’ve used this process to transfer images to wood, cork board, etc.