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How to Make a Flag Book

Updated on June 8, 2015

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!

Use it as a minibook for lapbooking something you learned in homeschool, or use it purely for fun!

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.

Making Books That Fly, Fold, Wrap, Hide, Pop Up, Twist & Turn - Books for Kids to Make

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.

Have you ever made a flag book?

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Your comments, questions, and relevant links are welcome.

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    • profile image

      graham 4 months ago

      what is a flag book

    • profile image

      Chloe c 5 months ago

      great instructions and pictures! real cool. love it. the instructions are so easy to follow. I will defintitely

    • profile image

      Rosemary 5 months ago

      You make it sound easy. How do you make an accordian fold?

    • profile image

      jjuujjj 20 months ago

      That's cool :)

    • profile image

      Christine 22 months ago

      This is a lovely tutorial. What sort of items would you use a flag book for? Would you write on only one side of the flags, or both sides?

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 4 years ago from South Africa

      It is fantastic that you actually took us through the process step-by-step with your concise instructions and photos. I have never seen a flag book before, let alone made one... I am SO impressed. Blessed x

      If you would care to add your lens to the Plexo for My November Blessings, I would be honored!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for the great pictures! Wonderful directions.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Wow! We've made tons of different kinds of mini books, but this is the first time on this type. Looks really cool! We'll give it a try. Thanks, Jimmie! =D

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nice I Was Finding Some Good Websites But This Is The Best I Understand Everydetail ... G Thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I will definitely try this - great instructions and pictures!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      thank you SO much for the fantastic job explaining how to make Lapbooks. I have wanted concise and understandable directions for a year now and finally found my way to your site. Thank goodness. I don't know why people like you take the time to do this but it's a priceless help to our home education for our 3 kids. THANK YOU!! Great photos, great step by step directions.

    • clemency lm profile image

      clemency lm 8 years ago

      Great lens with really clear instructions. I will be making one with my daughter - she will love them!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thanks for the directions, and many many thanks for the lots of photo's to go with it. For some(like me) directions without pictures simpl doesn't help.

    • Chris1392 profile image

      Chris1392 8 years ago

      Well done, easy to follow instructions, 5 stars

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 8 years ago

      Super share! I love your visual step-by-steps...a picture is worth a thousand words.

    • Rich-H profile image

      Rich 8 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      Great tutorial. It's always useful to have a step by step guide. 5*s

    • rewards4life info profile image

      rewards4life info 8 years ago

      Great lens Jimmie! This step by step, photo illustrated guide looks too nice! Well done! 5*

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 8 years ago

      I just love this. The photo step by step makes it so doable. I am a scrapbooker. I see a lot of possibilities with this. Excellent.

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 8 years ago

      Great directions!!! Thanks for sharing! 5*

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 8 years ago from Idaho

      Awesome tutorial on making a flagbook, I had not heard of these before now!

    • Wendy L Henderson profile image

      Wendy Henderson 8 years ago from PA

      very cool.

    • JacquelineM LM profile image

      JacquelineM LM 8 years ago

      I love it! So informative and you make it sound very easy. It's a great project for the little one and I to tackle on our next snow day. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Sensitive Fern profile image

      Sensitive Fern 8 years ago

      Awesome tutorial lens. That pictures are superb. Lensrolled and 5*. :)

    • profile image

      topstuff 8 years ago

      Great lens and great instructions, nice and easy to follow, 5 stars

    • Andy-Po profile image

      Andy 8 years ago from London, England

      Great lens. Very well explained and illustrated.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      Love it! And if I were an angel, this would be blessed! ;)