CREATIVE BOOKMAKING: Make a Mini Squash Blossom Book | Jeannie Hunt | Skillshare

CREATIVE BOOKMAKING: Make a Mini Squash Blossom Book

Jeannie Hunt, Artist and Bookmaking Teacher

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
12 Lessons (43m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Background

    • 3. Materials

    • 4. Tools

    • 5. Using a glue stick

    • 6. Folding the units

    • 7. Attaching the units

    • 8. Wrap and glue covers

    • 9. Bonus: Make a book pouch

    • 10. Thinking about decorations

    • 11. Ideas and inspirations

    • 12. Final thoughts


About This Class

Want to build a simple book and fill it with a personal message or holiday greeting? Learn how to make a squash blossom book with book artist Jeannie Hunt. Be inspired by her creative bookmaking practice and come away with many helpful tips and techniques from her 15 years of teaching bookmaking with children.

This hour-long class is broken into step-by-step lessons that will walk you through the process of building and decorating a small book for keeping or gifting. This simple book structure uses origami-folded papers that attach together in a chain. Hard covers are added on each end, and a ribbon keeps the book closed. You can add artwork and text, or just play with pattern and color.

In this class you will learn:

  • Some basic bookmaking skills like folding and creasing paper and wrapping cover boards
  • How to to get the most out of your glue stick
  • How to source inexpensive materials and tools
  • How to build the book structure and a matching book pouch
  • Many ideas and inspirations for creating your own unique book

A perfect class for beginners or more experienced bookmakers alike. Easy enough for children and a delightful project for a kitchen-table craft night during the holiday season. Great for artists, teachers, parents and homeschoolers as well.



1. Introduction: Hello, My name's Jamie Hunt and welcome to my skill share class called How to Make a Squash Blossom Book. I'm a watercolor artists from western Massachusetts and I love to make books mostly our work with Children in school classrooms and in libraries, so that they will develop a love of books and feel empowered to tell their own stories. In this class, you will learn a simple book structure with easy to find materials, and you'll learn how to decorate it with a seasonal or holiday theme or with a special message for someone you love. All share tips from my 15 years of teaching, like how to get the best results from a glue stick, and before you know it, you'll be hosting a craft party at your own kitchen table and now my first skills chair class. In this class, you will learn simple bookmaking skills like folding, gluing, increasing paper, how to make a squash blossom book step by step. You'll get ideas and inspiration for decorating the book, and I included a bonus lesson so you can make a pouch to keep your book in. The lessons include gather your materials, the tools you will need how to use a glue stick, how to fold the blossom units, attaching the units together, adding the covers and ribbon and how to make a book pouch, materials for decoration and creative ideas for your book and a few final thoughts. By the end of the class, you'll have a squash blossom book and a book pouch. Your class assignment is to make and decorate a squash blossom book and to post photos of your process and your final book project. Then you can check out the projects of your fellow students and add some comments, so let's get started. 2. Background: Before we start, I'd like to give you some background. So what? So I mean by creative bookmaking. For over 15 years, I've been using bookmaking to explore my life in my world. I experiment with different books structures like this circular prayer book for the Children of the world. I tell stories about my childhood in my family. Like this car book about a trip we took to my grandparent's house. I record my travels in shape books like this suitcase book and these exploding map books. I explore world cultures like this carousel book, telling the story of weaving culture in a Guatemalan village, and I record the natural world in my nature journals. I'm also a bookmaking teacher. In my library workshops, I introduced multicultural arts like these Ethiopian Magic Scrolls, and we make fun projects like these pop up books in my classroom projects. I work with teachers to design integrated arts projects that include writing illustration and simple book structures. Here's a squash blossom book made by 1/3 grader with her own illustrations and poetry. And here's the more poetry by fifth graders in a book inspired by slack books from Southeast Asia in this project, students made accordion pop up books in both Chinese and English in which they compared themselves to animals. And in this three month residency, 1/7 grade class interviewed local immigrants and told their stories in house spokes and road books. And then they built neighborhoods in the City of Stories project. I hope these photos inspired you as we get ready to gather our materials and our tools and start on our projects, so let's go. 3. Materials: Okay, we're ready to gather our book ingredients. You will need three or five always odd number works. Best squares of colored paper. The easiest way to do this is to go to your local office supply store and buy a cube of note papers comes in lovely rainbow colors there 3.5 inches square. You can use other paper like copy paper for your copy machine or anything you could buy at your local print shop. The next thing is our covers. You'll need to pieces of cardboard that we're going to wrap in fancy paper. They should be two inches square, and they should be about as thick as cereal box cardboard. The third ingredient. I'm just using origami paper here, but you can use any kind of colored or patterned paper that will match with your color theme. He should be three inches square. The last ingredient is a ribbon on eighth to 1/4 inch wide and 18 inches long. You can get this at Joann Fabrics, your local Michael's or arts and crafts store. Okay, our next video will be gathering the tools you'll need to build the books structure 4. Tools: next we're gonna matter the tools you'll need to build your book. You will need some scrap paper, either newsprint or old copy paper. You'll need a glue stick. I let these you who glue sticks, but anything will work, and I'll talk more about how toe use glue sticks. In another video, you'll need a pair of scissors I prefer once that are pointed and a little on the small size so that I can control them. You'll need a folding tool. Bookbinders Use something called a bone folder because it's made out of phones. But you could use a craft stick, a Popsicle stick, and in a pinch, I use a Nolde credit card. The last thing you need is some squares of wax paper. They should be three or four inches square, and those air gonna be used when we do the gluing. Okay, we're almost ready to build our book. In the next video, we'll look at how to get the best results from a glue stick 5. Using a glue stick: Okay, you're ready for Genie's famous glue stick lesson. So blue comes in three varieties. Some of them are heat activated. This might be something like electric glue gun. Some work with evaporation like liquid glue. And then the third kind is what's called pressure sensitive glue. A good example of this are sticky notes and glue stick. So for glue stick to work properly, you need to add pressure. You could do this by putting it in a press or by putting it under a stack of books or the wax paper method, which I'm gonna demonstrate now for you. So I have a piece of scrap paper so my table doesn't get dirty. I'm gonna be gluing this square into one of my blossom shapes, and it will go right there. You can see it fits in the square with a small border around it, so always put your glue on, whichever is smaller. So in that case, we're gonna put the glue on the back of this hope sticker. Now you who glue sticks the lid screws off one of the issues without is Sometimes you get glue in these little grooves and the way I deal with that is I put a little vasselin on my fingers and just rub it in there. And that way the cap will go on and off smoothly. So you don't want to roll your glue stick up too high just a little bit. So I'm going to cover the whole back of this, my strokes air going out like the rays of the sun. Then I'm gonna take this and try to center it on my square paper. Now I can use this little square of wax paper toe add pressure, and I just do this by using circular strokes pressing as I go over the whole shape. This gets out any air bubbles or lumps and bumps of glue, and it adds pressure to make the molecules actually hooked together. Then when I'm done and cover my glue stick, fold my paper in half so I don't have a sticky paper for the next gluing, and I'm done. Occasionally you'll need to rob on the back, and I'll talk about this when we make our covers. And if you're using any kind of very thin, porous, like a handmade Asian paper, sometimes you need to put something between glue and the robbing, because sometimes the glue will seep up through the very fine paper. So that's my glue stick. Lesson. Liv Ex video will learn how to fold a squash blossom unit. 6. Folding the units: for the next part of the lesson will learn how to fold the units, so you'll need your three sheets. Each sheet is folded exactly the same way. Our first fold is to fold it in half horizontally and just give it a soft crease with your fingers or thumb. Turn it 90 degrees and fold in the other direction, making perpendicular folds and again use your finger or thumb to crease. So now you have two valley folds. Now we're gonna flip it like a pancake, and we're gonna make one diagonal fold from now. The last part is to lay it on your hand. Your diagonal fold will be a mountain fold and push in the centre until it pops up. Now these two come together Thies to come together and we give it one final crease. With our folding tool, I usually do both sides. All those creases are nice and sharp. You can see why it's called a squash blossom book because it looks a little like a blossom and these folds in origami. They're called squash Folds and Squash Blossom book. When you have all three units folded, then we're ready to move on to the next step, attaching the units together using glue stick. See you in the next video 7. Attaching the units: Now that we have are three units folded. We need to think about how to attach them together. I'm gonna use alternating colors blue, yellow, blue So it will make it easier to see. We also need toe. Alternate the direction of the folded units. The first unit, the blossom, will point up the second unit. The blossom will point down and the third unit again, the blossom will point up. There are two ways to glue the units together. Both of them need to alternate directions. The first way one unit tucks inside the unit next to it like this. And then this third unit, I would tuck in like that. The second way is for this middle of unit to glue underneath the first unit like this. And then the last unit pointing up will glue on like this. Now the yellow square will barely show. So you'll need your glue stick and your wax paper, and you'll need a piece of scrap paper for gluing. Okay, we're going to apply our glue to unit number one just in this bottom square. Now we'll attach this on the inside of this unit. Now I'm gonna use my wax paper and press as I rub. It's a little sticky at the edges, so I'm gonna use my scrap paper and add pressure, as I wrote, Okay, Now you can see when that gets folded back together, that there in alternating directions. Now we're gonna glue the 3rd 1 So this is going to slip inside there. So again, I'm gonna add the flu to the blue paper, do my best to bring it up to the edge, but not over the edge. Now, once again, try to make sure that the papers don't overlap the fold or they'll end up getting stuck in the fold. You couldn't even give this a nice crease with your folding tool. So this is your squash blossom book. And as you can see, you'll have yellow and blue showing when it's time to decorate. Okay, the second massive again. We have blue, yellow, blue, and we're gonna go up, down and up. But we're gonna be gluing the yellow onto the back of the blue and you have to make sure that they're in opposite directions. I'm gonna apply my glue to the folded unit, which makes it a little easier. And now making sure that one is up and one is down. I matched the edges carefully and glue them together. Use my wife's paper toe, add some pressure. It's also a good idea at this point to open up and give a little buff directly on the two layers rather than going through all those extra layoffs. Now this one is pointing down so the next unit will have to be attached pointing up. So that's my top. So this one is gonna point up. It's a little hard to see, probably in the video again. At this point, open the book up and give the glued areas a nice robing and then fold back up. As you can see, the yellow only partially shows the decoration space will be blue, so those are the two methods. One way to avoid getting confused is when you have some folded units. This won't show. Once the book is finished, make a little arrow on it, renting up that way. When you attach the units, it's easy to see that they're going in opposite directions. Whether you tuck them inside each other for attach them back to back in. Our next video will be learning how to attach the covers and the ribbon to our books structure 8. Wrap and glue covers: Okay, now we're gonna move on to the covers. So I've got all my ingredients, the book form. You'll need a glue stick and scissors and some wax paper. You need your to card boards and the two pattern paper squares for covering them. And you're driven. We're gonna use a piece of scrap paper for glue in. Turn your pattern paper upside down. Apply a layer of glue over the entire back of your cardboard. Don't worry if the glue goes off onto your scrap paper, start in the center and go out like the rays of the sun. Now we're going to center cardboard on the square, and for this one, it's easier to turn it over and rub on the reverse. Now we're gonna cut the corners of this. You don't want to go all the way up to the corner of the cardboard. You want to leave a little space, and I would suggest that you save these little corner cuttings because they make very nice little decorations. Now, when we glue the flaps, we're going to do to opposite first and then the other two opposite to start. We're gonna do these one at a time, so apply your glue in a straight line. Now we're gonna use the table to cover the edge like this. Wrap it around and then use your wax paper to wrap the flap. Now we'll do the opposite side. Roll it against the table and rub. Now, at this point, you have another job, which is to push down. You can use your fingernail your thumb now, or you could even use your bone folder. If it has a point on it, push it down flat against the edge of the board. Do that with all four corners. Now glue the other two sides again. Role and rob. Roll and rub. Now, if you want a pat down your corners, just make them a little rounded. It's a nice extra touch. Okay, that's the 1st 1 done. Now we'll do this second. Okay, there's your two covers. Now we'll get ready to assemble the pieces. We need our little paper snake, our ribbon and our two covers. The first step is to choose one of the covers Either one will do, and in a horizontal line, apply some glue. Find the center of your ribbon. I do this by holding the two ends and then using my finger, I apply that right in the center of the glue. I won't try to wax paper this because there's all kinds of extra glue there. So now I'm going to apply a layer of glue stick on one of the ends of your book pages and center this up against the layer. Remember, when we apply glue, we apply it to the smaller of the pieces. In this case, the square of the book is smaller than the cover. Now, when I rob this, I'm gonna open this up so I can get in there. You could just kind of see the edge of the ribbon there. Now we're gonna leave this piece on the table, apply the second layer of glue and this time will put the cover on from above and now robbing. Now we can buy a nice bow toe, hold the book closed, and when we open it, here's our completed book with covers and ribbon. Now, on to some tips about how to decorate your book 9. Bonus: Make a book pouch: If you'd like to make a bonus project, I'll show you how to make a small pouch that you can put your little book in. You will need to. Pieces of paper colored paper or pattern paper would be nice. 5.5 inches square. You will need a small piece of bamboo or thin stick four inches long for you will need a ribbon about 12 inches long. For tools you will need. You're folding tools and a paper punch. Okay, let's get started. The's larger square papers are gonna be folded the exact same way as we made our blossom units so we'll make two horizontal folds perpendicular to each other. Then we will flip the paper over and make one diagonal fold. Turn it over. Pop the center until it pops up Britney's two together and then all four corners together. And now use your folding tool. Okay, to crease it flat. Good. Now we'll do the other paper. Okay. When both papers air folded, there's one more step. So in each of our squares, fold over a flower and match it to the corner. Just the top layer folded over matched the corners. Increase this gives you a small power. The's true pouches can be fit together. You put the back flab, one back flap under the other, and when you push them together, you want to tuck thes two little triangle shapes into the other pouch. So this side, well, look like alternating colors, and this side will just be one color. One more step. We're gonna pull these two up and punch some holes with our paper punch. Turn your punch so that the whole is showing up so you can see where you're punching. Don't punch to close to either edge. We're gonna make two holes about equal distant from each side and from the fold. Now, you can either use your little piece of bamboo and go in one hole and out the other. Or you can thread the piece of ribbon through anti a bo. Now let me show you how to fit the book. Inside the pouch. Close the book up, let the strings dangle. Put the book in one of the flaps and center it. Leave the ribbons to dangle now put one back flap under the other and put the two triangular flaps on top of the book. When you slide them under and push the units closed, then you can keep it closed with your stick for Ty. Another ribbon and that's it. 10. Thinking about decorations: now, The last step for our book is where your creative juices come in. We have our finished book. Now let's look at it. With a three unit book, you get 1234 square spaces where you can add decorations and then all these triangular spaces on the edge. You also have to more square spaces on the back. I print up sheets of small decorations. You could also use rubber stamps. Another option is ANSI papers, origami papers or wrapping paper. You want to cut these decorations to about 1.5 inches square tickets or flags, and I'll show you how I use those. I hang them off the triangular pieces. I only put glue on half of the little flag, and then I put one pointing down and one pointing up. I do the same thing with the little squares on a diagonal. I would only put glue on half like a triangle shape of glue, and then this gives you mawr square spaces. In your book, you can see I've made four flags made out of these words love, hope, peace and joy. I have given you a sample sheet you can download it. And then you can create your own little drawings and decorations. Have fun. Take some pictures along the way and post them on the skill share project page. I can't wait to see all your creativity with your squash blossom book. 11. Ideas and inspirations: Let's talk about how work on the decorate yearbook, Gather all your materials and let's start. Choose your color things. Download the blank rid so you can have small squares to glue into your book. Add some bold drawings. Add bold text. This is a small book, so bold lines work better. You can use a single word on each square. You can add photos, work slipped part. Gather some old magazines and cut out some pictures. Try some rubber stamps. Watch the video about how toe add flags if you want to try watercolor Used £90 weight. How about a holiday grieving? A birthday wish. A special message to someone you're thinking of. Explore the folk arts of a certain culture part of the world. Make a prayer book for yourself or someone else. Gather some favorite lines of your poetry and add them to your book. I always get inspired by the natural world. Use your book for personal artistic expression. How about a craft party at your kitchen table? Invite a few friends and you can all work together. Here's a book I made for winter holidays. I included some prayers for peace from different faith traditions. Here's a book I made as a valentine screening. You're fine, Be mine. I used watercolor on the central squares and then made my own candy hearts. This is a birthday greeting. Swish, fish, birthday wish cake. Delish. I used a green and blue watery theme for my book structure and some of my decorations. In this book, I used bold African colors with graphic designs from Ethiopian traditional healing arts. In this book, I was just having fun with circles. The yellow circles are glued flat down the middle, but the red and blue circles are attached as flags. In this book, I played with two hand carved rubber stamps and I just played with color and design. Don't forget to decorate your pouches. Okay, let's see what you can make. 12. Final thoughts: just a few final thoughts before I sign off. Remember, download the instruction sheet and keep it handy as you gather your tools and materials. If you want to start folding right away, download the size template. You can cut out the squares and start folding. When it's time to decorate, download the grid of blank squares and start drawing. The grid is available in three different formats. Pdf pages and Doc Ex. Be creative and have some fun. You can adjust the size is proportionally and make a bigger book. Send a gift to someone special. Everyone loves to get a package in the mail. Invite some friends to join you and you can have a craft party. Please post photos off your process and you're finished. Book on the project page. Thanks for taking my class. Look for me online.