How to Make a Flipbook

Two Methods:Making Flipbooks from ScratchUsing Your Computer

Flipbooks are such fun! They're like your own personal movie or slideshow. They're also a a great way to have fun and learn how animation works, too! They can be funny, they can be thoughtful, and they can be amazing. There are several ways to make your own flipbook, and many different things you can do with them. If you would like to make your own flipbook from scratch, skip to Step 1; if you would like to use a computer, skip to Method 2.

Method 1
Making Flipbooks from Scratch

  1. Image titled Make a Flipbook Step 1
    Get a stack of paper. You can use notepads, post-it notes, notebook paper, printer paper, or even the corners of a book! Thin paper is generally better, as it's much easier to "flip." Thicker paper will do in a pinch, but your flip will probably be jerky or slow.
    • How much paper do you need? The more frames (pages) per second your flipbook has, the more realistic the movement by characters or objects will be.
    • Motion pictures generally have between 24 and 30 frames each and every second—which would be a lot of drawing, even for a 3-second flip! For a flipbook, somewhere between 5 and 15 frames per second will work fine.
  2. Image titled Make a Flipbook Step 2
    Choose your subject. Start with a design or character that you want to animate. You don't have to be a great artist, and your flipbook can be about anything you like. Your main characters could be stick figures, people, animals, or anything you'd like to see move such as a car, a plane, a boat, etc.
    • Inanimate objects can work well as flipbook also; something as simple as a bouncing ball can be a masterpiece.
    • Flipbooks don't have to be animated; you can use photos as well. Use your imagination!
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    Keep the sticky notes or notepad together. If you separate them, the flipbook might not work or might even fall apart.
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    Locate the very bottom sheet of the pad. Draw the figure or object here first. Use a pencil so that you can erase mistakes. You can outline your pencil marks in pen if you wish to make it more visible later.
    • You can also start at the top sheet, but it will make it more difficult to achieve smooth animation since you won't be able to reference or trace the preceding image.
    • You can add a background too, if you wish. It could be a static scene, like a house or something that doesn't move from frame to frame, or it could be something that's moving too—like clouds, or an airplane.
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    Turn to the next "frame" (the next sheet from the bottom). You should be able to see your original drawing through the sheet. If not, the paper may be too thick or your lines too light, so start again, as it's important that you can see through just enough to get a relative idea of where to draw the object.
    • If your subject is going to be moving, draw it in a slightly different location this time.
    • If not, draw it in the exact same place.
    • Bigger changes in the subject will appear as faster motion when you flip. Smaller changes will seem slower.
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    Repeat the process. Keep drawing the character or object over and over until you run out of slides. Each time make slight adjustments so that the character or object is starting to change position or move. How much you want the movement is up to you but you should plan each movement according to the amount of pages you have so that you can fit the move in.
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    Try it out! Test the end result to see if you have an animated character or object you like. If it doesn't seem to change much, go back and make a few changes to help increase the sense of animation.
    • Once you're satisfied with it, you can outline the pages in marker to make it easier to see.
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    Be creative. There are lots of things you can do with a flipbook. Start out small, maybe with a bouncing ball, or a frown filled face that turns into a smiley face. You can even expand on something you started, and make it something else.
    • For example, if you started with a bouncing ball, you could go over it again, and add arms and legs and a face that "pops out" every time the ball bounces.

Method 2
Using Your Computer

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    Open a graphics program. Something like Photoshop, Elements, GIMP, or other graphics application that has layers.
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    Create a new document. to make it "sticky note" sized, make the document 800 pixels square, and 300 dpi so it will look good.
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    Set the background layer to white. If you want, you can also draw in a static background on this layer that will appear in every frame.
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    Create a new layer. This will be the first "page" of the flipbook. We'll use a simple face drawing for this example, and move it from a serious face to a happy face.
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    Duplicate the first layer. When you're done drawing on Layer 1, duplicate it, and then set the opacity of Layer 1 to 20%. It will appeared grayed out, making it easy to see your drawing on the next layer.
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    Click on the new layer. Erase out the parts of the first layer you don't want to keep, and draw in the new positions for those elements. In this example, we erased the eyebrows, pupils, and mouth, and made small changes in each.
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    Duplicate the new layer. Repeat the process of erasing the moving elements, and drawing in the next step in the motion until you reach your final frame.
    • When you're done with your tracing, make sure you set the opacity of every layer to 100%
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    Make a flipbook! There are a couple ways you can turn your drawing into a flipbook. The first is to make only one layer at a time (plus the background) visible, print it out, and then switch to the next layer. When you have all the images printed out, trim off the excess paper, staple the pages together, and flip.
    • Trimming the paper is an important step, best accomplished with a paper cutter, not scissors. You will want every page to line up exactly on the "flipping" edges, so your flips work.
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    Make a movie! Instead of using paper to make a flipbook, you might be able to make a little mini-movie. If your drawing program has the option to create animation, check out the user guide for the best way to accomplish that, but the basic process is this: create a frame for each step of the animation, and turn on only those layers you wish visible for that frame.
    • In this example, we enabled the background layer for every frame, and set each frame to a single other layer: Layer 1, Layer 1 copy, Layer 1 copy 2, etc.
    • Set your loop count as desired—once, 10 times, endlessly—however long you want to enjoy your animation.
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    Export your flipbook. When you're done, use the export function and save your flipbook as a video file that you can put on YouTube for the world to see!


  • The more slides per second you have, the more realistic your film will be.
  • Draw your flipbook in pencil first. You can always outline in pen later. Just remember that you cannot erase pen. There are erasable pens available, but it is not ideal because chances are that you are using thin paper and the friction required to rub the ink out will crease and ruin your work.
  • Think of your design before you start.
  • Remember that by starting at the bottom, you get a better idea of where to draw your pictures.
  • You can start at the top if you wish, but may be harder.
  • You can use a phonebook to create longer flipbooks. Just make sure to either write on the border of the pages, or use a black marker on top of the pages.
  • A way to preserve your flipbook (and drive yourself absolutely insane) is to photograph each page in such a way that allows you to put them more or less, similar to a stop motion.
  • Once you understand flipbook Animation, traditional animation and if your feeling fancy! Try flash or toolroom!


  • Never draw your film with sticky notes that are separated.
  • Your flipbook could wear down with use and begin to "skip."
  • Never draw in pen first.
  • Be sure to use paper that won't wear down in a hurry.

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