If your kids are anything like mine, they love to draw and “write” in and on everything. It can be rather frustrating when you buy them a new notebook, and it’s completely destroyed in a couple of days. So I started making my own little “Smoosh Books” for them. The name Smoosh Book comes from the fact that it’s made by Smooshing paper together as a final step. These literally take under a minute to make (I can do them in 30 seconds) and require only ONE sheet of printer paper.
You can make them super simple or super fancy depending on what you’re using it for. If it’s just a way to hush my kids, I’ll keep it simple. If it’s for a special occasion or for personal use, I’ll usually go a little fancier. I’ll also add that you can make larger books by simply using larger paper. Once you see how simply these are made, you’ll want to make a ton of them. It’s really one of the easiest paper crafts there is! So without further ado, here is how to make your own Smoosh Book or Mini Journal.
Please note: For the basic booklet, ALL you need is 1 sheet of normal printer paper. No other materials are necessary. But I’m going to take you through a somewhat fancier version. If you want to make the better version, here’s what you’ll need:
4 sheets printer paper
1 sheet construction paper OR felt
pens or markers
To begin, take your sheet of printer paper and fold it in half length-wise. This is called a “hot dog fold.”
Now, unfold the paper so that it is a full page again. Fold it in half once more, but the other way. This is called a “hamburger-fold.”
Next, keep the paper in the hamburger fold and fold it once again, lengthwise. This is called a “burrito-fold.”
Now it should look like the photo above. You’ll notice it’s in a sort of V-shape. On one side you have the fold and the other you have two pages sticking up. You want to work with the folded side. Take a pair of scissors and cut on the middle fold up into the page, stopping halfway.
Now, unfold the entire paper. You’ll see a slit right in the middle of the sheet. The paper will have 8 rectangular sections formed through your folds.
Now, fold the paper in half, lengthwise again (hotdog-fold) with the slit on top. You’ll see that it forms a little square or diamond shape.
Now comes the fun part – the SMOOSH! Holding the book by the outer two flaps with the diamond in the middle, push the paper toward the middle. It will look like a plus sign or cross. Keep pushing and fold the outer pages inward to form your smoosh book!
That’s it! Now you have a four page book to use! It could not be simpler. Of course, a four page book doesn’t last very long in the hands of a toddler, so I like to create a thicker smoosh book with more pages. If you want to do this, as well, simply fold as many smoosh books as you like (I usually stop at 4) until you are satisfied.
Next, place each book inside the next at the center and staple them together in the center fold.
You can use construction paper or felt or any other material for your book cover. Just cut it out and staple it on the outside of the book!
These little books measure about 2.75 ” x 4.25 ” so be sure to double the width and leave extra space around for the cover. I usually cut mine out with an extra half inch of height and width (6″ x 4.75″).
And that’s it! You can add details with markers or other materials. You can be as creative as you like!
Check out my video so you can see the process in action. It is SUPER fast and simple! Enjoy!