Article Type Making Art Together Making Art Together Categories Bookmaking Theory and Resources

Preserving Past Projects

Ryan Murray
In the Art Studio, we like to keep collections of past Everyday Art Projects and gallery interactives in book form, so that both guests and staff can look back on projects that were a huge success, and take inspiration for future ones. Here are some examples of different ways that we bound the projects together. 

Crown Binding

One book contains examples from Paper on the Move, inspired by the exhibition On The Move with Eric Carle. Guests were encouraged to make 3D paper sculptures based on forms of transportation. Some projects ended up being more two-dimensional, which were fantastic nonetheless and easier to preserve in book form. For this book I used a technique known as the crown binding. With a single sheet of paper and a few careful folds, you can create your own book spine! I was careful to select a sheet that was the same length as the projects, so that they would fit snugly into the folds. I then glued them down so they would be secure. Not all of the projects are completely flat, either, which makes for some interesting pop-up elements! 

The Your Art Your Voice book with two hole punchers, a roll of string, and a single piece of string.

String and Rubber Band Binding

During the project Your Art, Your Voice, guests were encouraged to paint words and images that share change they’d like to see around them in the world, inspired by the exhibition Picture The Dream: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Picture Books. For these projects, a simple hole puncher and string did the trick. I punched two holes in the cover and two holes in each painting, keeping the locations of the holes roughly the same. Once I threaded the string through all of the holes, I tied a rubber band to both ends of the string to help keep the binding tight. 

The Picture the Dream gallery interactive book, open to the crease with the staples showing. A long reach stapler sits on top of it, holding it open.

Long Reach Stapler Binding

During the Picture the Dream exhibit, guests wrote down on Post-It notes their own personal definitions of freedom, activism and equality. I glued these down on colored construction papers which were folded in half, and stapled them together at the creases using a long reach stapler. This type of stapler is adjustable which is great for making booklets of any size. We have used this stapler in several Everyday Art Projects to prepare booklets, and even songbooks! 

The three books with string, two hole punchers, a crown binding, and a long reach stapler. The Your Art Your Voice book is open to the first page.
We hope this also inspires you to experiment with binding your own books at home! 


Picture of Ryan Murray

Ryan Murray

Ryan was an Art Studio Coordinator and Guest Services staff member at The Eric Carle Museum from 2016 to 2023, and is a local artist.