Teaching Materials - Exercise

Three ways of making books

Name of Artist Educator: Chan Pak Kin
Excercise Category: Technical exercise

A lot of people see art as something complicated. When we talk about how to make a book, there may be lots of presumptions, like books must be bound and typeset......

Concept / Inspiration:

A lot of people see art as something complicated. When we talk about how to make a book, there may be lots of presumptions, like books must be bound and typeset, that different software are involved in the process as well – from there on, we will question our ability as we don’t know how to draw, typeset and edit with software. However, everyone is capable of making art. It is just that not much effort has been paid in overcoming the obstacles. In fact, these difficulties can be easily solved by a leap of imagination.

This exercise hopes to change students’ presumptions about books; through experience and confidence, it is hoped that students can see art-creating as part of their life. Therefore, the materials and equipment of this exercise are easily and readily available, so that students can create anywhere anytime. As art is part of the daily life, the habit of creating art should be formed and practiced on a daily basis, and such is the spirit of learning.


  1. To let students make use of creativity to explore different ways of making books.

Materials / Equipment:

  • Colour paper, glue stick (applicable in Part One)
  • Stapler, colour paper, glue stick, cardboard, double-sided tape
  • Puncher, colour paper, cardboard, rubber bands, popsicle stick



Workshop Description:

Part One│40 minutes

Objective: To discuss how to define a book with students, in meantime to give them space for imagination and creativity to break hindering mindsets.

  1. After watching a selected scene of “3 idiots” with students, educator holds a discussion with students on the definition of a book using the movie characters.
  2. Guide students to discuss definitions of a book. They can answer: a book can be opened, a book can deliver knowledge, a book is written by an author, etc.
  3. Every student is distributed with a piece of paper. They are restricted to fold the paper three times to make a book without using any tools.
  4. A book is combined with a cover and contents. Educators remind students that the next step is to create the book content, therefore it is better to consider the direction of content arrangement in prior, as the arrangement might influence the direction of reading and the post-design process.
  5. Students begin to create contents for the book. They should imagine themselves as authors, and give definitions of books and the way of reading in their ways. To save time, they can clip and paste the pictures from magazines to create the contents. In the process of looking for materials, they only need to focus on images and to consider how to arrange the images into the book, in order to develop an experience of reading. Educators should remind students it is unnecessary to deal with the words in this stage, so as to avoid them feeling strenuous for handling too many tasks in meantime.
  6. Every student introduces his/her own book, for examples: Photography Guide, Profile Interview, Scenery Photobook, Ethnic Community Features, Novel, Memoir, etc.













Part Two│30 minutes

Objective: To share with students the simple ways to make a book, and encourage them to create various book production methods on their own.

Part One│ Folding

1. Fold papers of different colours and glue them together, a little book in accordion shape is formed.

Part Two│Self-binding

1. Make the front and back covers with cardboards and insert colour papers in between as the pages.
2. Cut the colour papers into the ideal size and bind it with stapler.
3. Turn the cover page inside out and glue it or tape it.

Part Three│Rubber band + popsicle stick

1. Make the front and back covers with cardboards and insert colour papers in between as the pages.
2. Punch the little book. Use the popsicle stick to bind the pages and fix it with rubber bands.

For more detailed instructions, please follow the images and videos below:

Bookmaking: Folding (Click to enlarge the below image)
Click the below image to view video:


Bookmaking: Rubberband and popsicle stick  (Click to enlarge the below image)
Click the below image to view video:


Bookmaking: ﹕Self-binding  (Click to enlarge the below image)
Click the below image to view video:
self binding


Session One – Ma On Shan Tsung Tsin Secondary School

Session Two: Lok Sin Tong Wong Chung Ming Secondary School

P1010977  P1010978


Reference Materials:

Other binding skills:
(Click to enlarge the image below)


Online video(Eng) [How to make a book by folding and cutting]

Online video(Eng) [DIY Portfolio Book by Sea Lemon]

Online video(Chi) [解密圖書DNA:手工書製作]