DIY Wedding Challenge: Activity Books for Kids
Personalized coloring and activity books work great as favors and placecards for any kids at your reception AND they give the kids something to do. Be sure to make a few extra for the adult kids at heart! (community article)
There will be about 10 kids at our reception (siblings and wedding party kids) so I made personalized DIY coloring and activity books for them. I also made a handful of non-personalized extras for any kids at heart who might want to have a little fun doing crossword puzzles and such. They work as favors and place cards for all the kids at the tables.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS:
To Make the Coloring & Activity Pages
1. Use Microsoft Word to create the coloring and activity pages to put inside the books. Adjust your settings so that you’ll be able to print out two pages for each sheet of paper.
2. Design a cover sheet. For our books, I chose to write “Anna and Andre’s Wedding Activity Book” with the date underneath. I also inserted a clip art image of wedding doves below that.
3. Design your second page by personalizing each child’s name in bubble letters using Word Art and inserting clipart images. For non-personalized books, do something similar using something generic (I chose to write “True Love” in bubble letters for the non-personalized books).
4. Add coloring and activity pages. There are many sources where you can find these pages already drawn out online. However, instead of printing these pages directly from the websites, copy and paste them onto Word to get the sizing right. To add some variety to the books, I added some easy puzzles (such as connect the dots and color by name) to the coloring pages for the books for the younger kids. Some of the sites I used:
5. Add some challenging puzzle pages for the books for the older kids and adults. Options include Sudoku puzzles, personalized mazes with the names of people in our wedding party, crossword puzzles with hints about the couple and wedding party, word scrambles with secret messages, word searches with key terms relevant to our wedding, etc.
It was a little challenging weeding through some of the sites, but I was able to find some places where you can create a puzzle for free. For most of those puzzles, you’ll need to take a screen shot (Ctrl + Prt Scr/SysRq) and edit it on Paintbrush to make it fit onto Word. A little tedious, but well worth it! Some of the sites I used:
6. Continue adding pages to your book until you are satisfied. We ended up having about 10-15 pages for the books for the toddlers, but the books for the older kids and adults have about 20-30 pages.
7. Finish with a last page. I came across a last page I loved in one of the websites listed above: a little thank you note with a cartoonish bride and groom. You can easily design your own, though, using Word Art and clipart.
8. When you are done designing the pages, print them out. You should have two coloring/activity pages per sheet of paper so use a paper cutter to cut the sheets in half.
9. To bind the pages together, use a hot glue gun to add a line on the left side of each paper and stack them one on top of the other starting with the last page and ending with your cover sheet. Now the pages of your booklet are glued together and should look like a booklet.
I chose to use hot glue because I felt it held the strongest and added some girth to the “book” to make it look like a real book. However, you can also use a permanent glue stick or any other type of glue (the book will be thinner though). Just make sure to do a test run to see how strong the glue holds the pages together once they dry.
10. For now, set the glued pages aside and let them dry. It’s time to start working on the covers!
To Make the Covers
1. Start with a 12”x12” piece of white cardstock. Fold it in half and then make two more folds ¼” inch on either side of the middle fold. It is best to score the lines before folding so you get nice, clean lines.
2. Take a piece of colored paper and fold that in half. Again, make two more ¼” folds on either side of the middle fold.
3. Glue the colored paper onto the white cardstock but only along the three folds. It is important to keep the sides of the lilac paper unglued so you can decorate the covers later. This creates a nice ½” binder for the booklet making it look like a real book.
4. Cut off ¼” of the white cardstock off above and below the colored paper to get rid of the excess cardstock and make the cover really take on the shape of a book.
5. Next, glue your coloring sheet booklet from above into the cover using a hot glue gun to ensure the sheets will stay put! Pour a few thick lines of hot glue onto the middle binding of the book and the middle folds of the cover. Hold the booklet in place while applying some pressure while the glue dries (about a minute).
To Decorate the Covers
1. Now that the covers are nearly complete, it’s time to decorate the outside. To achieve the look I have on my covers, glue some ribbon and lace ribbon onto the left and top sides of the front cover. Leave an inch in excess about the top, bottom and sides so you can fold the ribbon into the inside cover.
2. Next, glue the excess ends onto the white cardstock on the inside cover UNDER the colored paper.
3. Use a glue stick to glue down the colored paper onto the white cardstock and ribbon. This gives the book a more finished look.
4. Finally, add any other embellishments to the cover of the book. I hot glued a bow made of ribbon onto the front. I also added each child’s name to their book cover that mocked our monogram. I added our monograms to the covers for the non-personalized books.
5. Decide if you want to add anything to the colored page of the front inside cover. On the inside cover of the kids’ books, we wrote a note to each of the kids on some linen paper we had leftover from the invitations about how much we love them and included a memory or two. We mounted the note on brown cardstock measuring 7.5” x 4.5” then added it to the lilac paper. The non-personalized books will just have the blank lilac sheet of paper.
6. Decide if you want to add anything to the colored page of the back inside cover. For the kids’ books, I put our monogram. I also considered adding a picture of us with whoever the book is for. The non-personalized books will just have the blank lilac sheet of paper.
7. Your books are now complete! Make sure to make one for yourself as a momento if you’d like one!