Making Books with Kids by Esther K Smith


cover of Making Books with Kids by Esther K Smith (Quarry Books)


I’m excited to share Making Books with Kids (Quarry Books), a new book by Esther K Smith, author, maker and one half of the dynamic duo behind Purgatory Pie Press, a letterpress printing studio in New York City. Esther’s latest book about making books includes 25 projects that are perfect for you to make with your kids. These are not traditional books that we read, but artists’ books — books that are considered to be art forms.

What’s great about this book is that chances are you already have many of the materials needed to make them, so you can get started right away. Depending on your child’s age, many of the projects are simple enough that they can manage with just a bit of help from you. Kids will have fun folding, glueing and doodling these 3-D booklets.

Here’s a few of my favorites from Making Books with Kids by Esther K Smith:



Face Pop-Up is a great way to introduce your kids to making pop-ups, and faces are fun to decorate! Download the instructions here. And doodle a variation with Esther here.




The Secret Pocket Accordion Book is perhaps the best for its creative potential. I would create a scene on one side and figures to play with, which can be tucked into the pocket for safe-keeping. Or put tiny treasures in the pocket and pass to your best friend to find.




Pop-Up Beaks & Birds & Beasts Book is another fantastic way to play with the pop-up format. You can make your birdies talk by gently opening and closing the sides of your book.


This is Esther K Smith’s fifth paper-crafting book; she specializes in artists’ books, and often collaborates with husband/partner Dikko Faust. I met Esther and Dikko when I lived in New York and worked with her when I was an art director at Potter Craft, publisher of her previous books. This is her first book for Quarry Books, known for their extensive list of creative titles.

With just a bit of effort, you can make any one of these special books, arguably more of a keepsake than a mere doodle. If you want to give it a try, I highly recommend Esther’s book!

All images courtesy of Quarry Books and Esther K Smith


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