Zigzag books

book boxI’ve written before about the importance of containers in art therapy. Books are great containers for all kinds of expression. Fortunately, journals and sketch books, recycled books for altering, and paper for handmade structures are all readily available.

There are many easy ways to make simple books from one piece of paper. A basic zigzag (or accordion) book is just a long, narrow piece of paper, sharply folded back and forth in any shape or proportion. Any relatively sturdy piece of paper works for this.

zz examplesThe books can be used to display a collection of drawings or photos, or used as little journals. I glued a collection of  little mandalas on the pages of this 3X3 book.

mandala zzIf you want an accordion book to close, both side edges have to be secured somehow. I love finding different clasps and ties for these.

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cartoon zzYou can also work directly on a blank book, and the space, whether horizontal or vertical, becomes like a little mural. So this space is great for longer or wider designs, poems, graffiti, boyfriends’ names, etc.

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dots zz coverYou can use one or both sides of the paper. I put a cardboard cover on this one and lined the other side with brown paper, because I used Sharpies and they soaked through.

dots zz open coverKids love working with zigzag books, particularly if they are mounted (after completion) in small boxes, which can also be decorated. Boxes make them special, gift-like, precious. Any small box you can collect works well. I use photo corners to mount the book ends in the box, but glue works fine too.

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happy happy day

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zz3Whether or not you decide to make some zig zag books, please remember this important advice about life from illustrator Maira Kalman: