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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

Accessibility Information

Visit the carle


Making Art Together

Family Thank You Books

The holiday season is fast approaching and it's the perfect opportunity to share with friends and family the happy memories of the past twelve months and wishes and goals for the new year ahead. It's also a time to give thanks for love and support from friends and family, or acknowledge all the good happening in your life.  What better way to record your family's gratitude all in one place at your next family dinner in a simple-to-make book.

You probably have all the materials you need already on hand:

-several sheets of 8.5" x 11" white printer papers cut in half (8.5" x 5.5"), one page for each of your friends/family members

-1 or 2 sheets of 9"x 12" construction paper cut in half (about 9"X 6", or trim to the same size as copy paper)

-single-hole punch

-Heavy duty pliers

-a couple twigs collected from outside (or a craft popsicle stick)

-small ruler, a pencil with eraser, one rubber band and 2 paper clips

There is no folding to make this book, just sandwich the white copy paper between the two construction paper covers. We used purple and orange, but choose what colors you like best.

Next, measure 1/2 inch from the edge  of just one of your covers on the 5.5" side and draw a line across.

Then measure 1-inch in on each side of your pencil line and make two circles. This will be your punch guide.

Punch a hole through the two pencil marks you made on your cover.

You will use the cover as your template to punch through your other cover and the white papers. Paper clip up to 3 papers at once under your template to hold them in place as you punch. If you punch too many papers at once you may jam your hole punch.

When all of your papers are punched and clipped together sandwiched between your covers, choose a twig and with the help of an adult trim it just longer than the distance between your two holes. You could also use a wooden craft stick.

Thread part of your rubber band from the back of your book towards the front.

Pull the top of your twig through the rubber band loop and stretch the other end of your rubber band down through the second hole so you can wrap the second loop around the bottom of the twig.

Your book is ready to decorate!

Children old enough to write can add a title to their book.

Younger children can draw a picture of their family instead.

Or work together as a family to cut out letters from old magazines and collage them on the cover. The "stick and rubber band" book format is also great for nature journaling and sketch books because you can take it apart and replace or add pages very easily. We often make this book format with young children in The Studio's outreach Bookmaking classes. For other fun bookmaking activities, click on the "Bookmaking" category on the right side bar of this page.

Everyone here at Making Art Together wishes you and your family a very creative and peaceful holiday :)


Making Art Together is generously sponsored by the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority



We enjoy exploring materials and ideas in the Art Studio, and we’re excited to share our process with you! Please consider the following factors when adapting these posts for your learning environment: 

We facilitate a variety of programs within the Art Studio for a wide range of age groups. Please carefully consider the age appropriateness of each individual activity in your own learning environment.

Our projects are always done with adult supervision and proper safety precautions. Be sure all of your projects are overseen by adults who likewise follow proper safety precautions. The adults overseeing your project must also be responsible for handling or assisting with any potentially harmful equipment or materials. 

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is not responsible for any damages, injuries or liabilities that result from any activities contained within this website, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility or liability therefor. From time to time, we reference materials that we have found to be particularly important in our projects. We do not receive any monetary compensation for recommending materials. 


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