Let's Make a Flag Book
A flag book looks tricky, but it's not really hard. These step by step photo instructions will teach you how to make a flag book that you can fill with whatever you want. It's sure to impress!
Need something to pass the time on a trip? Pull out a flag book and some new colored pencils. Let your child make a fun comic book on the flags. She is sure to love the action of the pages.
Directions for a Flag Book
For a flag book, you do need to start with a large sheet of paper. Here I have an A3 size (comparable to an 11x17"). Legal sized paper would work too, since the main thing you need is length. I almost always use cardstock for my minibooks simply because it holds up better.
I cut my paper to approximate dimensions of 18x6" or 44x15 cm.
The exact size of the paper does not matter. You can use any size of paper to do this; you just want a long rectangle.
Fold your rectangle in half and then open it up. Fold each side in towards the middle, shutterfold style. Now you've divided your paper (whatever size it is) into fourths.
This next picture is important. Now the folds on your paper neatly divide it into sections. The outer fourths are the covers and the center half (two fourths) becomes the accordion spine of your flag book.
Now begin to make your accordion spine by folding the center half into "mountain" folds. (They stick up like mountains, so they are called mountain folds.) I've made two mountains here.
Now I've taken one of those mountains and divided it into two smaller mountains. (I did have to turn some folds the opposite way from their original folds. That's okay.)
My goal here is to turn that entire center half into four mountains of the same size.
Now I'm done. I've got my two covers on the sides and four equal mountains in the middle. I've completed folding the base for the flag book.
Here is the base from a top view.
And this is what it looks like closed.
Here I hold it at a slightly different angle to show you the accordion folds inside.
Since the base of the flag book is complete, let's move to the flags!
Use the measurements of a cover (one of those original fourths we first folded our paper into) to determine the size of your flags. You need to cut four pieces of paper because in this example we have four mountains. Cut them slightly smaller than the cover measurement -- 1 cm smaller in width and length is about right. (For my tutorial, I chose to use two colors of paper to make the flags stand out. But you don't have to do that.)
Now cut your papers in half so that you've got eight flags. Four mountains need eight flags.
Here's a layout of all the pieces of our flag book. We've got a base folded with an accordion spine and eight flags --four for the top and four for the bottom.
Here is another very important photo. Study this. Maybe even mark your flag book like this. The marks won't show because you'll be affixing the flags on those areas. I wrote L for left and R for right. I look pretty silly, don't I, writing LEFT on the right side of the mountain? Actually, the flag affixed there, on the L, will point to the LEFT, and that's why I used an L.
I'm going to start with my bottom flags that point to the right. I simply affix a flag to the left side of each mountain fold on my Rs. Be sure to keep them all lined up neatly.
We are using Elmer's Glue here, but we've used rubber cement or double sided tape with equal success. Choose whatever adhesive you like best.
Now that my bottom row of pink flags are done, I can move on to my top row of blue flags. The procedure is the same, but attach them to the other side of each mountain fold.
Here is the completed book, closed.
And here it is if I open the cover without pulling out the spine. But that's boring!
Stretch it all the way out! Voila! Our flag book is complete.
If you'd like some printable directions, try these flag book directions in PDF. If my directions left some gaps for you, try these other sites with photo directions --Scrapbook Crazy, Explosion Book and My Studio.
In preparing for our upcoming school year, I made several blank books and simply store them until we need them.
Making Books That Fly, Fold, Wrap, Hide, Pop Up, Twist & Turn - Books for Kids to Make
Flag Book Variations
Change the size of the flag book -- very long and narrow flags or chunky, fat flags.
Experiment with different shapes for the flags -- round the corners or try triangles What about octagons?
Use two rows, three rows, or even four rows of flags.
Vary the number of flags. Remember, for each mountain fold in the spine of the book, you will have one set of flags.
Your comments, questions, and relevant links are welcome.
(HTML is accepted.)
Flag Book Guestbook
RoadMonkey on August 25, 2019:
I am totally amazed at the variety of books available to make. Your instructions are very clear.
logan on April 24, 2019:
it is fantastic!
Troy on February 14, 2019:
i was wandering how to do it
DINOMITE. on February 04, 2019:
I LOVE IT.
TJ Rogers from David, Panama/Knoxville Tennessee on May 26, 2018:
I use these all the time in my homeschool in Panama! They are great for organizing ideas on unit studies.
Faith Secula on May 04, 2018:
i cant make it mine was a total flop( aka a total fail)
cool on December 14, 2017:
i love it
raegan workmen on December 12, 2017:
that was cool
chloe.d. on December 01, 2017:
thanks this helped so much.
graham on April 11, 2017:
what is a flag book
Chloe c on February 23, 2017:
great instructions and pictures! real cool. love it. the instructions are so easy to follow. I will defintitely
Rosemary on February 22, 2017:
You make it sound easy. How do you make an accordian fold?
jjuujjj on December 09, 2015:
That's cool :)
Christine on October 08, 2015:
This is a lovely tutorial. What sort of items would you use a flag book for? Would you write on only one side of the flags, or both sides?
Donnette Davis from South Africa on November 01, 2012:
It is fantastic that you actually took us through the process step-by-step with your concise instructions and photos. I have never seen a flag book before, let alone made one... I am SO impressed. Blessed x
If you would care to add your lens to the Plexo for My November Blessings, I would be honored!
anonymous on June 29, 2012:
Thank you so much for the great pictures! Wonderful directions.
JoyfulPamela2 from Pennsylvania, USA on January 05, 2012:
Wow! We've made tons of different kinds of mini books, but this is the first time on this type. Looks really cool! We'll give it a try. Thanks, Jimmie! =D
anonymous on September 14, 2011:
Nice I Was Finding Some Good Websites But This Is The Best I Understand Everydetail ... G Thanks
anonymous on June 02, 2011:
I will definitely try this - great instructions and pictures!
anonymous on October 19, 2010:
thank you SO much for the fantastic job explaining how to make Lapbooks. I have wanted concise and understandable directions for a year now and finally found my way to your site. Thank goodness. I don't know why people like you take the time to do this but it's a priceless help to our home education for our 3 kids. THANK YOU!! Great photos, great step by step directions.
clemency lm on March 27, 2009:
Great lens with really clear instructions. I will be making one with my daughter - she will love them!
anonymous on February 01, 2009:
Thanks for the directions, and many many thanks for the lots of photo's to go with it. For some(like me) directions without pictures simpl doesn't help.
Chris1392 on January 22, 2009:
Well done, easy to follow instructions, 5 stars
clouda9 lm on January 20, 2009:
Super share! I love your visual step-by-steps...a picture is worth a thousand words.
Rich from Surrey, United Kingdom on January 19, 2009:
Great tutorial. It's always useful to have a step by step guide. 5*s
rewards4life info on January 19, 2009:
Great lens Jimmie! This step by step, photo illustrated guide looks too nice! Well done! 5*
eclecticeducati1 on January 18, 2009:
Great directions!!! Thanks for sharing! 5*
Linda Hoxie from Idaho on January 17, 2009:
Awesome tutorial on making a flagbook, I had not heard of these before now!
Wendy Henderson from PA on January 17, 2009:
JacquelineM LM on January 17, 2009:
I love it! So informative and you make it sound very easy. It's a great project for the little one and I to tackle on our next snow day. Thanks for sharing this!
Sensitive Fern on January 17, 2009:
Awesome tutorial lens. That pictures are superb. Lensrolled and 5*. :)
topstuff on January 17, 2009:
Great lens and great instructions, nice and easy to follow, 5 stars
Andy-Po on January 17, 2009:
Great lens. Very well explained and illustrated.
Mihaela Vrban from Croatia on January 17, 2009:
Love it! And if I were an angel, this would be blessed! ;)