How to "Unsucessfully" make a Tot Book

I recently tried to make a few Tot Books for Michaela. I figured she was still a little too young for these but it wouldn't be long before she could really enjoy these. I wanted to get a head start so I sat down to make a few the other night.

Here is the end result. It took awhile to get here though!
Let me tell you what not to do so that if you ever want to make them you won't have to make the same mistakes!

First things first. Head over to 1+1+1=1 to get the PDF's. Carissa so graciously allows you to use her exsisting PDF's instead of having to create your own. Print them out. I used regular paper but I did notice that she suggested using cardstock. This apparently helps to keep them from ripping. (I'll probably wish i would have done that once she actually uses them.)
Gather your supplies. You will need:
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • 1 Manilla Folder
  • Marker
  • Stickers to decorate (optional)
So did you notice that I had 2 manilla folders? This was my first mistake. I thought I needed 2 folders. You only need 1 and you cut that one in half.

Take the two pieces and tape them together in the center so that your folder opens up like one of the science project boards we all used when we were younger.
Start to arrange your elements inside of the book. I used the same format Carissa used but you could always be more creative and change up the layout if you wanted. Either way you have to be careful when you are taping down the accordian element. I didn't realize it was going to matter at first. I taped the last piece straight to the folder. Mistake!
When I started folding the colors I got to the end and it didn't line up. The front square was backwards. I took off the squares and added a blank one at the end. This time it lined up correctly.
I also was trying to be frugal and print the on the fast draft setting on the printer. Mistake. Usually it doesn't matter if the color isn't as bright as possible but when you are trying to teach a young person colors it helps if they can really tell the difference. I noticed that the orange and the yellow were very similar. I had to go back and reprint the color page in the normal setting. In my attempt to save ink I acutally used more!
Eventually I did complete the book but it took a little longer then expected. I've made a few more since then and the process was a lot easier!

Final Prouct:


2 Responses to "How to "Unsucessfully" make a Tot Book"

Our Little Family (visit their site)

Isn't it funny how God leads you to something you need to see (well, maybe this is a trivial little thing to Him but it's big to me!)?! I worked ALL NIGHT LONG (seriously, it's been at LEAST 4 hours) of printing and cutting and laminating and gluing components to make our first tot books. My back is aching, I'm out of lamination sheets and I have YET to create ONE book. I was SO ready to trash it all, but you've inspired me. I need to plow through, learn from what you did, and finish them tomorrow.

I love the thought of them but geesh! They are TIME CONSUMING!!!

And well, maybe I should've just done ONE at a time and not get overly excited and print components for like, I don't know, five. Ha!

Amanda (visit their site)

I didn't realize how time consuming they would be either! I thought I could knock it out in less then an hour. WRONG! I think now that I know what I'm doing it may take less time though. You probably feel the same way.