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 ISSUE 28   •   8 APRIL 2007  
   This issue: books


1. Editorial
2. Simple snazzy bookmarks
3. Marvelous mini magazines

4. Brilliant book bag
5. Fabulous photo story book
. This issue's featured subscriber's blog

1. Editorial

I've been reading a great book called Reading Magic by Australian author Mem Fox which is all about children and literacy. Among other things she writes about the important connection between loving books and learning to read:

"Too many homes have no books. How can books become attractive if there aren't any lying around to flick through or become absorbed in? Without books, how will children expand their understanding of the world in the way that it needs to be expanded?"

There are lots of different ways that kids can interact with books and reading is only one of them. There are books for drawing, books for writing, books for collecting, books for painting, books for pasting, books for admiring and books you can make yourself. All help children to develop valuable pre-reading skills and most importantly, foster a love of books and an interest in reading and writing.

I hope that you enjoy these fun book crafts – we certainly did!

I'd like to say a special hello to all my new subscribers from the past fortnight, many of whom found out about Kids Craft Weekly through this lovely article about great kid's craft sites on Suite101.

Thanks for your support and if you enjoy the newsletter please keep spreading the word.

Happy crafting and I'll see you next time!

Amber Carvan

2. Simple snazzy bookmarks

These simple bookmarks are quick and easy and they make nice presents for family and friends. Younger kids will be happy to create their bookmark using coloured markers and stickers. Older kids will have fun exploring contrasting colours and different shapes.

You will need

• cardboard
• hole punch
coloured markers and/or stickers to decorate


1. Cut cardboard into bookmark lengths. Then decorate them as you please. Here's what we did:

Arky drew on his bookmark. Then Ella helped him to add stickers.

Ella used two different sized hole punches and two different colours of cardboard to make a dotty pattern.

Then she used a frame design for her second bookmark.

2. When you've finished, punch a hole in the end of the bookmark and knot on a piece of ribbon.

3. Marvelous mini magazines

We haven't made one of these for a while and had forgotten how fun they are! This is a genuine all ages craft. Preschoolers will enjoy flicking through magazines and choosing pictures to cut out and paste. Toddlers will enjoy sticking the pictures after you've cut them. Imaginative big kids may like to write and illustrate their own story or comic.

You will need

several sheets of paper
old magazines


1. Fold sheets of paper in half, then stack them and
staple down the side. You may wish to have a different coloured piece of paper at the front to make a cover.

2. Use your imagination to make a book. Cut pictures from magazines and stick them in. Maybe use some old photos or draw your own images. Possible themes include zoo animals, pets, people, places and food.

3. Add some descriptive words or a simple story and there you have it!

I can guarantee that this will become the favourite book in the house – for at least half an hour!

4. Brilliant book bag

Kids as young as eight will enjoy learning to sew on a sewing machine and this simple book bag makes a great first project. We had no big kids handy so we worked on our bags as a joint mummy/child project.

If you're not into the idea of sewing your own, look around for a cheap pre-made canvas bag for your little one to paint on.

You will need

• a long rectangle of calico or canvas (roughly 70cm by 30cm)
fabric paints
sewing machine
webbing or herringbone tape (two lengths of 30cm each)
four buttons, needle and thread (optional)


1. Stick the fabric onto a covered surface and paint on it. Older kids will be happy to paint away but younger ones might need some guidance. If paint brushes aren't working well, try hand prints or stamping the paint on using half a potato.

2. Allow fabric to dry.

3. Fold the length of fabric in half with the right sides facing each other. Iron the fabric, then iron a hem on the short ends of the fabric. Do this by folding the fabric down about 1cm and ironing.

Then fold it again and iron. Do this on both the short edges of the fabric (ie. the top of the bag).

4. Sew down the hems using a sewing machine.

5. Then sew the sides of the bag together, still with your right sides facing each other.

6. Fold about 1cm of the end of the 
herringbone tape, then fold again and pin to the top of the bag. Repeat until you have pinned on both the handles. Make sure that the handles line up and are in the centre of the bag.

7. Sew on the herringbone tape and turn the bag inside out to reveal the finished product! If you don't like the look of the stiching on the handles, hand sew some buttons or other embellishment just under the handles.

5. Fabulous photo story book

We recently bought a cheap laminator and have been having heaps of fun making our own sturdy books using photos. The kids love helping with this and they adore the books that we've made together. It's also a great way of recording family stories and of reinforcing themes and values that are important to you.

Some topics might include: our holiday, my birthday party, things around our house, when I was a baby, our pets, my family, before I was born, our neighbourhood, my friends or my ancestry.

You will need

• thin card
laminator and plastic sleeves
hole punch
shower curtain rings


1. Cut equal sized pieces of card. Then, once you've decided on your theme, take some photos or sort through some old ones and glue your selected photos onto the card.

2. Add words, and laminate each of the pages.

3. Punch holes into each of the pages. Then put the book in the correct order and join together using shower curtain rings.

Here's a view of the cover of our latest photo story book:

And a shot of Ella's favourite page:

6. This issue's featured subscriber's blog


"Musings from domesticity, creativity and motherhood

To have your blog featured in this section just send in your web address and I'll add you to the list.


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