Friday, December 8, 2006

Peace Around the World Ornament Book

In the Christmas story, angels proclaim, "Peace on earth, goodwill toward men." This is a time of year of both holiday bustle and quiet and reflection. And it seems a time to wish, hope, and work for peace. This month's project is a Peace Around the World Book that can function as a book or be hung as an ornament on a tree or a branch.


The Peace Around the World Ornament Book joins four Hot Dog Booklets to make a small book which can display "May peace prevail on earth" in 24 languages. The text is available at Small flags for printing can be found at

* 1 piece 8.5" x 11" copy paper cut into fourths so that each piece is 2.75" x 8.5". You could also use 9" x 12" construction paper.
* 2 pieces of 12" yarn
* 1 bead. I like pony beads which are plastic and have a large opening. If you use a narrower cord than yarn, you can use a bead with a smaller hole.

* Scissors
*Glue stick and scrap paper

Making the Book:
1. Make four Hot Dog Booklets.
2. Put glue on the top of one folded booklet and place another one on top. Repeat until all four are glued together but do not put glue on the top.
3. Fold one piece of yarn in half and thread folded end through the bead. Leaving a loop for hanging, tie a knot with the bead inside the knot.
4. Place the bead on top of the book and separate the two ends of yarn. Place one on along the outside spine of the book and the other inside along the center of the book.
5. Tie a double knot at the bottom of the book.
6. To make a small tassel on the bottom of the book: Cut the other piece of yarn in half. Thread the two pieces under the knot, make the ends even, and tie them together with a double knot.


Peace Pole Project
The Peace Pole Project website has information about the creation and "planting" of peace poles as well as Peace Pal activities for children.

Dona Nobis Pacem
This will be our 28th year of attending the Christmas Revels, a winter solstice celebration, in Cambridge, MA. One of the highlights is always a group rounds singing of Dona Nobis Pacem (Give us peace).
About the Revels
Words and music to Dona Nobis Pacem

Christmas Eve Letter from Fra Giovanni Giocondo (c.1435-1515)
"No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace!"
I've used portions of this letter in Christmas cards several times and shared it in book format as well. It was read at the Revels in the past by the late Robert J. Lurtsema.

Adapted from the December 2006 issue of Making Books Monthly
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Friday, December 1, 2006

Medieval Book Project


Start by making the hot dog booklet. I like to use 11" x 17" copy paper or 12" x 18" drawing or construction paper but you can use standard size copy paper for a smaller book. Measure the size of the finished hot dog booklet and get a piece of stiff paper for the cover. I use cover stock that I get from a printer but you can also use cereal boxes, cut up file folders, or oaktag. Cut the cover paper so that it is twice as wide as the folded pages plus 1/2" and 1/2" taller. (Example: 11 x 17 paper makes pages that are 4 1/4" x 5 1/2". I use covers that are 6" x 9".) A ribbon tie makes a nice addition but is not necessary.

1. Fold the cover paper in half.
2. Lift up the top page of the book and stick a piece of scrap paper inside. This will protect the rest of the pages when you glue. Cover the entire top surface with glue.
3. Take out the scrap paper and fold it in half with the glue inside so that nothing will stick to it.
4. Wrap the ribbon around the spine of the book and adjust the two ends so that they are even.
5. Put the book inside the cover so that the spine of the book rests on the fold of the cover. Smooth to help the glue adhere.
6. Insert scrap paper and put glue on the back page. Pull ribbon across, close cover, and apply pressure.

You can print out dragon and unicorn patterns to glue on the cover.

Hands-On-History: Middle Ages: 20 Enchanting Art Projects and Other Creative Activities That Illuminate and Enrich Your Study of the Middle Ages

For more activities and information related to the Middle Ages, check out the book I published with Scholastic in 2002. Hands-On History: Middle Ages has eight sections about life in the Middle Ages: Who They Were, How They Lived, What They Wore, What They Ate, How They Worked, How They Played, How They Learned, and How They Worshipped. Each section has teacher hints, informational text written for children, and hands-on activities.


Leaves of Gold
A thorough site, written for kids with a section on how manuscripts are made, a slide show of manuscript pages and descriptions, a glossary of terms, and directions to make your own medieval manuscript.

How to Draw a Medieval Border from Cari Ferraro

Lego Castle Tour
Learn about castles and medieval towns by touring a Lego construction. For anyone with kids who like Legos, this will be an inspiration.

Medieval Cooking
Recipes and information on preparing a Medieval feast.
Well organized and clearly displayed links to Medieval resources.

from Making Books Monthly, November 2006