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Make a "Zine" and share a message in this small publication folded from one piece of paper - an art plus mission lesson possibility

This art method is great for memory verses and for making mini-books to retell stories in six small pages (plus the front and back covers make eight pages).

An artist friend of mine shared this technique with me. She paints a piece of 8.5x11" paper, writes scripture or another message on it, makes color copies so she has bunches to give away, and leaves them as an extra tip for waiters in restaurants and hands them to people as the Spirit moves her. Here is Jeanie's zine for 1 Corinthians 13:


Here it is flat. You can see she just used paints to wash colors on the paper (note that color copies do not go all the way to the edge of the paper, so make sure your artists plan accordingly). Once the paints were dry she used a pen to add the text, made copies, and folded the booklet.


Note the page number configuration below - folding the paper first and giving the students a schematic will help them get the pages in the correct order.


The internet is full of sites with instructions for folding and decorating zines. Here are instructions from children's author Celia C. Perez that include suggestions for writing and illustrating a book with collage and other materials, if you don't want to photocopy and distribute book copies.

Here is a video that demonstrates the folding and then filling the pages using markers:

Here are slightly different folding instructions from Printablee (which also has a page template you can print):


Bible stories that you could use this art technique for:

  • Creation - each of the seven days gets a page + the cover = 8 pages
  • Parables - a wonderful way to retell and share the stories that Jesus told. Have the class work together to outline the story for retelling in six or seven pages and then let them illustrate their book. (Stick figures with word balloons are fine!)
  • Favorite Psalms (8, 23, and 100 are good places to start). Have a box of scraps of ribbon and stickers and jewels and buttons and magazine pictures to cutout for students to use as illustrations. For younger students the words can be pre-printed on the paper and they can fold and decorate.
  • Any Bible story you want the students to practice retelling.

Have fun making and sharing books!

(Thank you Jeanie Liehe for sharing your creative idea and process!)


Images (5)
  • JeanieZine
  • JeanieZineCover
  • JeanieZineFlat
  • blankZine
  • foldable-mini-book-templates_327956
Last edited by Amy Crane
Original Post

Caterpillar books, also called explosion books, folded squash books, and accordion books

Want to try a different book-making technique? Here is another format folded paper book that has been shared with a lesson on Jesus and the children.


The technique is explained in detail here.


Images (1)
  • caterpillarbook
Last edited by Amy Crane

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