I have been making gift bag books with my students for years. They are so easy and so much fun to make. I thought since the holiday season is upon us, this would be a great time to share some ideas for gift bag books in your classroom. I love to use gift bag books to make class books to display in the room. Because they have a handle, it is easy to hang them up on hooks under your boards. The kiddos love to read and they will go to them over and over. Download your free instructions below!
All you need to make a gift bag book is:
- a gift bag
- clear packing tape
- 2 sheets of white card stock
- binding combs
- and a binding machine
Pick the bag you want to use. I selected this Santa gift bag because it had plenty of room on the front to write a title and it was a nice size.
You will need to cut the gift bag in half. Open the bag up and begin cutting in the middle of the side seam.
Next, I laid the two sides flat with the flaps folded in. I glued a sheet of white cardstock over the flaps and secured them on all sides with clear packing tape. This gives the cover extra strength and makes the inside of each cover look neat and clean.
In this demo, I added clean white pages, but you would want to add the student pages. I then punched the holes on the sides of the covers and the inside pages with a binding machine and then inserted the combs. Remember to insert the front of the book lengthwise with the handle on the right and the front side up. Insert the back cover into the machine with the handle on the right and the inside side up!!! If you don’t do this, you will have holes on the wrong side of your cover!
If you are using student created pages, you will need to cut the pages to fit BEFORE you give them to the kiddos to write in. Be sure to have them leave some room on the left side of the page for binding!
If your school doesn’t have a binding machine, you can take it to a copy shop. I have also seen teachers staple along the sides. I used the school’s binding machine for this project, but a couple of months ago, I purchased my own small binding machine to bind some weekend booklets for out of town guests for our son’s wedding. I bought it from Amazon, and I have loved it!
So there you go! Easy peasy!
These are some other class books I made. I don’t write on the covers, but you could easily do that. I love the cow for writing about farm animals, or to go along with the book Click, Clack, Moo, Cows That Type. I thought the ambulance would be good for learning about community helpers or taking care of our bodies.
I haven’t made anything with these bags yet, but wouldn’t they make adorable class books about pirates and trucks?
This gift bag would make a great gift bag book when comparing a book to a movie. When I made this book, I had to cut the interior pages into circles. A bit more prep, but what fun!
This is a set of gift bags I picked up at the local dollar store. The small ones came in sets of three for a dollar and the medium bags were two for a dollar. You can’t beat that. The kiddos LOVE the smaller bags and I thought they would be adorable for making Christmas ABC books or Christmas counting books for the littles. When I make the mini books, I like to have each child make his/her own book.