How to Make a Flag Book
Let's Make a Flag Book
A flag book looks tricky, but it's not really hard. These step by step photo instructions will teach you how to make a flag book that you can fill with whatever you want. It's sure to impress!
Need something to pass the time on a trip? Pull out a flag book and some new colored pencils. Let your child make a fun comic book on the flags. She is sure to love the action of the pages.
Directions for a Flag Book
For a flag book, you do need to start with a large sheet of paper. Here I have an A3 size (comparable to an 11x17"). Legal sized paper would work too, since the main thing you need is length. I almost always use cardstock for my minibooks simply because it holds up better.
I cut my paper to approximate dimensions of 18x6" or 44x15 cm.
The exact size of the paper does not matter. You can use any size of paper to do this; you just want a long rectangle.
Fold your rectangle in half and then open it up. Fold each side in towards the middle, shutterfold style. Now you've divided your paper (whatever size it is) into fourths.
This next picture is important. Now the folds on your paper neatly divide it into sections. The outer fourths are the covers and the center half (two fourths) becomes the accordion spine of your flag book.
Now begin to make your accordion spine by folding the center half into "mountain" folds. (They stick up like mountains, so they are called mountain folds.) I've made two mountains here.
Now I've taken one of those mountains and divided it into two smaller mountains. (I did have to turn some folds the opposite way from their original folds. That's okay.)
My goal here is to turn that entire center half into four mountains of the same size.
Now I'm done. I've got my two covers on the sides and four equal mountains in the middle. I've completed folding the base for the flag book.
Here is the base from a top view.
And this is what it looks like closed.
Here I hold it at a slightly different angle to show you the accordion folds inside.
Since the base of the flag book is complete, let's move to the flags!
Use the measurements of a cover (one of those original fourths we first folded our paper into) to determine the size of your flags. You need to cut four pieces of paper because in this example we have four mountains. Cut them slightly smaller than the cover measurement -- 1 cm smaller in width and length is about right. (For my tutorial, I chose to use two colors of paper to make the flags stand out. But you don't have to do that.)
Now cut your papers in half so that you've got eight flags. Four mountains need eight flags.
Here's a layout of all the pieces of our flag book. We've got a base folded with an accordion spine and eight flags --four for the top and four for the bottom.
Here is another very important photo. Study this. Maybe even mark your flag book like this. The marks won't show because you'll be affixing the flags on those areas. I wrote L for left and R for right. I look pretty silly, don't I, writing LEFT on the right side of the mountain? Actually, the flag affixed there, on the L, will point to the LEFT, and that's why I used an L.
I'm going to start with my bottom flags that point to the right. I simply affix a flag to the left side of each mountain fold on my Rs. Be sure to keep them all lined up neatly.
We are using Elmer's Glue here, but we've used rubber cement or double sided tape with equal success. Choose whatever adhesive you like best.
Now that my bottom row of pink flags are done, I can move on to my top row of blue flags. The procedure is the same, but attach them to the other side of each mountain fold.
Here is the completed book, closed.
And here it is if I open the cover without pulling out the spine. But that's boring!
Stretch it all the way out! Voila! Our flag book is complete.
If you'd like some printable directions, try these flag book directions in PDF. If my directions left some gaps for you, try these other sites with photo directions --Scrapbook Crazy, Explosion Book and My Studio.
In preparing for our upcoming school year, I made several blank books and simply store them until we need them.
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Flag Book Variations
Change the size of the flag book -- very long and narrow flags or chunky, fat flags.
Experiment with different shapes for the flags -- round the corners or try triangles What about octagons?
Use two rows, three rows, or even four rows of flags.
Vary the number of flags. Remember, for each mountain fold in the spine of the book, you will have one set of flags.
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