How to Make a Mix and Match Book

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Turkeys, Penguins, & Dinosaurs, Oh My!

Surely your little one is a budding artistic genius, right? Are adorably abstract turkeys, penguins, cats, and dinosaurs laying claim to every available surface? Do you feel a little heartless herding them up and burying them in the recycling bin? Yes? Then making your own mix and match flip book is a great way for you and your child to put both your school portraits and those abundant masterpieces to a fun, silly new use. 

Not only are segmented family flip books a great way to spend some time getting crafty with your kid, but they also make terrific, one-of-a-kind thank you notes!

Reuse & Recycle: Making A Mix and Match Photo Book

First, round up at least five shining examples of your child’s artistry. Look for pieces drawn on similarly-sized sheets of paper. Standard copy paper works perfectly, but any size will work, as long as the pages are equally sized. Next, line the edges up carefully and staple the sheets together along the vertical edge. If you’re feeling particularly crafty, you can bind the book with brightly colored yarn. Then, carefully cut the pages into uneven thirds.

While creating your own flip book is far from an exact science, keep these proportions in mind: think of the top portion as the head (smaller third), the middle the body (larger third), and the bottom (medium third) the feet.  Be sure to leave approximately a ¼-inch margin between your cut and the stapled binding.

Now, grab that stack of beautiful school portraits and trim off the background, leaving only your child’s cherubic face  behind. Using a glue stick or Elmer’s glue, affix the image to the top third of your book, lining it up as best you can with the body portion. If you can’t spare five portraits, feel free to improvise: using embarrassing pictures of Mom, Dad, silly siblings, extended family, and goofy pet pictures. It’s a great way to round out your segmented flip book and keep your extended family within arm’s reach.

Starting From Scratch: Customized Flip Books

And if, for some strange reason, your house is art free, let your child’s inner Picasso loose! Fold at least three sheets of copy paper in half to create a portrait-oriented book. On each page, lightly sketch lines and shapes where you will cut your book into thirds and where the artist will be free to create. This will make it easy for your child to draw the bodies and feet of dinosaurs, birds, monsters, and zoo animals on the correct segment of the page. Glue those portraits and family pictures onto the top third of each page, lining the photographs up to the bodies as carefully as possible.

Next, dig up the glitter, stickers, feathers, and sequins and add some bling. Doodle horns, halos, antlers, or hats atop each face. After the glitter has settled and the glue has dried, slice your book into thirds.

Have Fun!

Don’t fret if your heads and bodies don’t line up precisely or if your kid is more of a scribble-scrabbler than a Van Gogh. If your child hasn’t mastered the art of drawing representational critters, don’t worry, have fun!

Finally, start flipping and get giggling at the sight of your child starring as a bedazzled dinocat, fluffy turkeymonster, and sequined zebraduck.