One Sheet Wonder: Make a Mini Book

Figure 1:  Hamburger Fold - short sides together.  Hot Dog Fold - long sides together.

People have been making books for a very long time. Early Egyptian books were created on long scrolls made from sheets of papyrus glued together and wrapped around wooden spools for storage. Books eventually changed to the shape we are now familiar with which is called a codex. Chinese and Korean bookmakers were using woodblock printing techniques to create books long before the invention of the printing press, credited to Johannes Gutenberg, around 1436. Small publications, called chapbooks, were easy to print and sold for pennies in the colonies of America. Once printing became mechanized and more people learned to read, book publishing grew by leaps and bounds.

Last October, Shore Cultural Centre hosted Play On Words, a popular event where children experienced different ways to tell and listen to stories. Activities included movement, drawing and cartooning, black-out poetry, and book making. Children really enjoyed making their own small books from one sheet of paper. With so many kids at home, we thought we'd share the instructions for this easy activity. There are no special tools or papers needed. Any size paper will work – the smaller your sheet, the smaller the book will be. This basic idea can be adapted to suit all kinds of projects from books to zines.

Basic Folded Book

Materials & Tools

one sheet of rectangular paper


writing and drawing supplies

Step by Step

  1. First fold your paper in half with long sides together (a hot dog fold).

  2. Open your paper out and fold it again, this time with short sides together (a hamburger fold). Figure 1 shows both folds

  3. Leaving your paper folded, bring the top paper edge to the center fold at the right. Crease well.

  4. Turn your paper over, and repeat with the other side.

  5. Open your paper out. You should now have 8 sections as shown in Figure 2.

  6. Refold your paper in the hamburger fold and cut a slit on the fold line in the center as shown in Figure 3.

  7. Open your paper out and refold into a hot dog fold. With the crease on top, push both ends toward the middle. Wrap the two outer sections around the book to form the cover and pages.

  8. Now for the fun part. Write or draw your own stories. Make books and share with friends.

If you do make some books, share them with Shore Cultural Centre on our Facebook page. Use the hashtag #onesheetwonder. We'd love to see your creations.

Shore Cultural Center is located at 291 East 222nd Street, Euclid. During the Coronavirus outbreak, please visit the Shore website at for the latest information about our facility and hours of operation.

MP Monaghan

M.P. Monaghan grew up in the Euclid area.  After living in various cities around the country for almost thirty years, she is delighted to be back in beautiful Euclid again.

Read More on Arts
Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 4:26 PM, 04.01.2020