How to Make a Doll Book

Three Methods:Small paperbackDollhouse hardbacksSmall accordion book

Doll books are miniature books that can be used for play or display with dolls. You can vary the size according to the type of doll you're making it for, but they will always be considerably smaller in size than those made for humans.

Method 1
Small paperback

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    Decide on the size for the books. They're best kept under 2.5cm or 1 inch height for the standard dollhouse but you may wish them to be taller or shorter. If the doll is much larger, simply increase the size of the paper to suit the doll's hand size.
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    Use printer paper for the inner pages. Cut this paper into lengthwise strips that are slightly smaller than the intended final size of the book. You don't want the pages to hang out over the cover. Use the first strip you've cut as template for cutting the remaining strips.
    • The amount of strips you use is up to you. The more strips you use, the thicker the book; the less you use, the thinner the book.
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    Fold each strip into even sizes to form a concertina length. Fold each strip exactly the same way.
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    Join the strips together with glue or double-sided tape. Always slip the new piece joining over the edge of the old piece, all the way along until all pieces are joined.
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    When they are all joined, glue together along the spine. Clip together with a binder clip while drying, to ensure that they join together very firmly.
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    Measure the outer cover. Place the glued-together stack of pages onto the patterned or colored paper. Cut out the cover to a size both wider and higher than the stack of pages, making sure to cut enough to wrap around the whole book, plus have flaps each side when folded in.
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    Remove the clip from the book pages. Wrap the new cover around the book. Ensure that it is evenly aligned all the way around the pages stack.
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    Fold the spine sides in neatly to fit the book exactly. Make the folds crisp and clean.
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    Gently fold the paper flap edges around the inner first pages of the pages stack. Keep this neat all the way around and don't press too tightly just yet. Remove the cover from the pages stack and make these folds firmly on the work surface.
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    Slip the cover back over the pages stack to check that it is fitting neatly. Make adjustments if needed.
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    Make the insert flaps for the spine ends of the book. Remove the pages stack again and hold it in the center of the cover you've just made. Mark the top and base edges of the spine on the inside of the cover. Measure in a little way up the spine and make a mark. Draw two long triangles each side of the spine to reach this mark. Then cut them out either side. You now have flaps for folding into the middle of the pages stack when it is reinserted.
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    Reinsert the pages stack. Fold the side flaps over the sides of the pages stack and the center flaps into the top and base of the stack.
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    Make any adjustments needed to ensure that the cover fits well. You may need to use invisible tape to hold parts together.
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    Decorate the outside cover of the book. This part is optional, but allows you to customize it if needed.
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    Done. The book is now ready for using with your doll or dollhouse.

Method 2
Dollhouse hardbacks

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    Decide on the size for the books. They're best kept under 2.5cm or 1 inch height for the standard dollhouse but you may wish them to be taller or shorter.
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    Measure the height you've chosen on plain white paper. Make the measurement just a little shorter than the book height, as you don't want the pages sticking out over the top.
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    Lay three pieces of paper one on top of the other. Cut a strip from the stacked pieces to the measurement you've just made.
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    Use the cut strip to continue cutting out strips of the same length all the way along the remainder of the piece of paper. This forms the start of the book pages.
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    Cut the strips into pieces that are twice the width of the finished pages. Cut in stacks of three, as before.
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    Fold the cut stacked three paper pieces in halves. These now form one set each of "signatures" that will be attached together to form the inside the hardcover book.[1]
    • The amount of signatures you have is up to you; more means a thicker book, less means a thinner book.
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    Align a stack of signatures together. Ensure that they are perfectly neat along the folded side (the bound side), so that it looks orderly. This side forms the spine of the book.
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    Paint Mod Podge down the spine. Fill in the gaps between the signatures with Mod Podge too; this helps to ensure a smooth surface and keeps the signatures tightly bound together.
    • Allow to fully dry before proceeding. It is a good idea to either put something heavy to weigh down the spine as it dries or hold it in a vice such as a binder clip.
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    Paint on at least one more coat of Mod Podge. You may find you need a few more coats; keep them all lighter than the original coat. Always allow for sufficient drying time between coats.
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    Prepare the hardcover part of the book. Measure the book cover to be slightly larger (higher and wider) than the pages you've just stacked together. Cut more rather than less, as you can always cut away any excess.
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    Paint a coating of Mod Podge on the inside of the hardcover and press it around the signature stack. Ensure that it is placed evenly around each side of the stack. Paint the entire cover with a thick layer of Mod Podge now, to both help it stay affixed and to begin strengthening the cover. Allow this layer to dry properly.
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    Add details to the spine of the book. Paint or attach stripes to the spine, just as for a real old hardback book. You can mark on any fine detail as wished; use real books to guide you.
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    Paint over the details with a layer of Mod Podge. Allow to dry fully.
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    Done. The hardback book is now ready for shelving in the dollhouse. Make many more and fill the whole bookcase.

Method 3
Small accordion book

This is ideal for a baby doll's book.

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    Decide on the size for the books. They're best kept under 2.5cm or 1 inch height for the standard dollhouse. However, if making for a baby doll, you'll need to make them much larger.
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    Measure the cardboard to the book size you're after. You'll need two pieces of cardboard at this measurement. Trace the lines on the cardboard, then cut them out, so that you have two separate pieces for the cover.
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    Measure the paper strip. Using printer paper, measure the strip to be slightly smaller than the cover you've just made. As for all the books in this tutorial, you don't want the paper insert to be larger than the cover.
    • The longer the strip, the wider the book will open and the more "pages" it will contain; and vice versa.
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    Fold the paper strip into a concertina. The folds should be slightly smaller than the width of the cardboard cover.
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    Cut the scrap fabric or colored paper to cover the cardboard covers. You'll need one piece for each cover, allowing for extra to fold onto the inside of the covers. Trim the corners to miter them for easy folding.
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    Attach the fabric or paper to the cardboard covers. Carefully align them so that an equal amount of fabric will be folded over onto the inside of the covers for each edge. Glue in place on the outside of the cover, then carefully glue the folded edges onto the inside cover.
    • The folded gluing is a little tricky, so take it slowly and work methodically around each edge until they're all intact.
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    Attach the accordion strip to the covers. Glue the outer last sheet of one end of the accordion strip to the inner side of one cover. Repeat for the outer side of the last sheet at the other end of the accordion strip, only this time gluing it to the other inside cardboard cover. Allow to fully dry.
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    Pull the book open. The concertina pages will open out revealing distinct folded pages. You can write or draw on these, or stick images or letters onto them.
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    Glue a little piece of ribbon onto the back cover. Glue another little piece to the front cover. Tie in a bow to keep the book closed when not in use.

Tips

  • Making small books is very fiddly. If you don't like making models and going slowly and patiently, this may not be a good hobby for you just yet.

Things You'll Need

Small paperback:

  • Printer paper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Glue
  • Patterned, colored or wrapping paper for outer cover
  • Invisible tape
  • Markers

Dollhouse hardbacks:

  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Quality white paper, such as printer paper
  • Colored cardstock
  • Mod Podge
  • Paintbrush for applying Mod Podge
  • Markers/paint and paintbrush

Small accordion book:

  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Cutting mat
  • Paper
  • Heavy cardboard
  • Scrap fabric or colored/patterned paper for the cover
  • Markers, pictures, etc. for adding images and text inside the book
  • Ribbon

Article Info

Categories: Books