books for autumn, Halloween
- Making Books Monthly
from Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord
delivered on or near the tenth of each month
It's that time of year, when pumpkins signal both the harvest and Halloween. I know fall is here when I see the bright orange globes at the farm stand. And I look forward to Halloween pumpkin carving. I love the process of selecting pumpkins: do I want a round Cinderella pumpkin or a tall skinny one? Or should I give that truly weird looking one a home? Carving the pumpkin is a true joy. After all the careful, slow work I do on my artwork, it's such a treat to poke that knife in and quickly carve away.
Here are some book projects you can do about pumpkins.
Pumpkin Seed Design Book
Use the directions for the accordion book at
You will need:
Paper for the pages (1 long piece to be folded into fourths)
Cover and tie are optional
4 pieces of clear contact paper a little smaller than the size of the folded pages
The Accordion Book has four pages, covers, and a tie. You can simplify the project by leaving off the cover and tie. Use orange or black paper for a Halloween feel and brown or orange for harvest. Recycled grocery bags will also work well. The pumpkin seeds can be used plain or roasted for a darker color. The roasting wouldn't work for me; I couldn't resist eating all the seeds.
Peel the backing off the contact paper and compose a design on the sticky side with pumpkin seeds. You can make faces, geometric designs, or pictures. Remember that your design will be reversed when you place it on the paper. Place the contact paper on one of the accordion pages and smooth down. The tackiness of the contact paper will hold the design in place. You can also use glue but it will take more skill. Make sure the glue is dry before you move the book.
Fold the paper into an accordion. Cut the bottom and top to make a pumpkin shape. Do not cut the sides or else you will have four individual pumpkins instead of a book. I make pattern for the kids to trace. I always make the pattern a little bit wider than the folded pages so that they can't trace around the sides. Use the pumpkin seeds to make faces.
Color the pumpkin seeds before making the designs.
If you are studying symmetry, have the children make symmetrical designs.
Set requirements for the designs: they must be made with an even or odd number of seeds, multiples of 2, 3 , or 5, etc.
Life Cycle of a Pumpkin Book
Use the directions for the hot dog booklet at
The Hot Dog booklet is a simple book made from one sheet of paper. You have a front and back cover and six interior pages. You can use one interior page for each of the six stages: seed, sprout, vine, flower, green pumpkin, orange pumpkin.
There are some simple drawings at
If you cut around the pictures (leave off the words), you can glue them to the pages of a book made from 8 1/2" x 11" copy paper. Or better yet, have the children draw their own.
Some Websites about Pumpkins
Kids Pumpkin Info
Informative page written for kids with pumpkin science, fast facts, history, and the legend of the Jack O'Lantern.
Pumpkin history, facts, education links, and recipes from the University of Illinois Extension Service
A website devoted to growing giant pumpkins. There's even a email list about it.
Making Jack O'Lanterns
All about pumpkin carving with a history of the Jack O'Lantern, tools and techniques, and tips for extending the life span of your carved pumpkin.
Virtual jack O'Lantern
Create your own virtual jack O'Lantern with a selection of shapes.
Bibliography of Books about pumpkins
Pop-up Books Across the Curriculum
Center for Global Learning
Framingham State College
Saturday, October 29
Inspire students to write and research with exciting three-dimensional formats to display their work. In this hands-on workshop, you'll learn how to construct Museum Books, which close like a book and open to form a structure that is like a building with four rooms, in both small and large sizes as well as more traditional book structures with pop-ups. For more information, http://www.choosefsc.org/global/workshops.htm
Bookmaking Workshop: Japanese Binding
Newburyport Adult Education
Newburyport High School
Thursday, October 27, 7-9 pm
Do you have photos, poems, drawings, or recipes that are looking for a home? Would you like to make your own journal? If so, this workshop is for you. Learn how to make simple soft cover books with a side-stitched Japanese binding. You will make one basic book to learn the technique and then make a second with your choice of materials. Materials will be provided, but please bring any papers or threads you'd like to incorporate into your book. No art experience is necessary. Adults, teens, and children 8 and over with a parent.
I am booking Student, Teacher, and Family Workshops for the next school year. Contact me to schedule a visit to your school at skgaylord@.... Information about School Visits is available on the website: http://www.makingbooks.com/schoolvisits.html
Coming in January: A New E-book- Gung Hey Fat Choy, Making Books For the Chinese New Year.
And this is a good time to plan ahead for the holidays.
Festivals of Light : Making Books for the Holiday Season is available in both e-book ($6.95) and spiral bound ($15.95) formats and contains six projects, two for all the festivals and one each for Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Diwali.
The Spirit Book Series
October 23-December 18, 2005
Opening Reception: October 23, 2:30-4:30
Gallery Talk and Hands-on Viewing (a chance to meet the artist and handle the books): November 20, 2:30-4:30
Spirit Book DVD
My son Brendan and I are working on a short documentary film about the Spirit Book series this summer. It will be available on DVD in 2006.
If you enjoy Making Books Monthly, please forward it to
friends and colleagues. It comes to you once a month, on or near the tenth,
from educator, author, and artist Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord
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©2005 Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord
Making Books Monthly
from Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord
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