Board books repurposed to make new books.

Altered Board Books

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Contributor: Andrea Mullarky

Description: Create your own custom books.


  • Board Books (discarded)
  • Sharpies
  • Catercolor Paint Set
  • Paper Towels
  • Heavy Books or other Weights

Number of People: 5-20

Target Audience: All Ages

Prep Time: 1 hour

Program Time: 1 hour


  1. Gather board books. Children’s librarians often have discards they can set aside for you.
  2. De-laminate them as follows: peel the shiny part off the pages by getting a fingernail under a couple layers of paper at the corner and pulling back gently but firmly. This is the most time consuming part of the project. Some board books peel back quickly, others are more resistant. Not all board books will allow the pages to peel in one sheet and I simply give up on some of the tougher ones.
  3. Using Sharpies draw and/or write in the pages of the book.
  4. Using watercolors, paint over the writing and drawing to illustrate the pages. Experiment with different techniques for painting and writing.
  5. When one page is complete layer some paper towel between the pages before turning to another or else the colors will run and bleed.
  6. Repeat steps 2-4 until all pages of the book are done.
  7. Stack some heavy books or other heavy objects on top of the book and let it dry overnight. (This step was not required but if you do not do this the pages of the board book will warp some).

Source: BAYA Member Jill Russell

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