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What Do I Need to Get Started With Lapbooking?


Stocking the Lapbook Cabinet

If you're ready to take the plunge to use lapbooks in your curriculum, you should evaluate your resources:

Do you have what you need to do it well?

Where do you store your craft and art supplies?

Do you have the essentials for lapbooking?

Do you know about some extras that can make your lapbooking easier or can make you lapbooks POP?

Simple or Elaborate? It's Your Choice

Lapbooking can be what you want it to be -- fancy or simple, time consuming or quick. If you're just starting out, make a few lapbooks with what you have on hand before investing in special supplies.

Later if you decide that lapbooking is a perfect fit for your children, you buy more tools, papers, and extras.


No homeschool family could possibly be without markers and scissors, right? You'll need a good assortment of basic drawing supplies -- pencils, erasers, a ruler, markers, and a hole punch-- the things you already have. Assemble them together in some sort of caddy or basket that's ready at a moment's notice.


To make your minibooks , you have a choice -- use regular copy paper or use a thicker cardstock. Personally, I prefer the look and feel of cardstock. Almost all our minibooks are made with it. Books made with cardstock last longer as they are opened and reread over and over.

Most printers can print on cardstock without any problem.

File Folders

After You've Made a Few Lapbooks

and you decide that lapbooking is the way to go, slowly build up your supply cabinet each week or month (depending on how payday comes!) with some extra tools.

You'll find that resources are great for many learning projects, not just for making lapbooks.

Guillotine Paper Cutter

Fancy Stapler

I highly recommend you buy either a long arm stapler or a swiveling stapler like the blue one pictured. If you are going to make a lot of minibooks, it will be an often used tool.

Your Favorite Lapbooking Supply



Tape or glue? This question comes up often among lapbookers. The faithful Elmers white glue often leaves projects lumpy, and so is not a great option. Rubber cement is a better alternative.

Many people, myself included, like to use double sided tape to affix the minibooks to the lapbook base. Others claim that glue dots are the only way to go!

To be honest, the only way to know what works is to try them out and see.



We have a laminator that we use for lapbooking. Although by no means an essential tool, a laminator can add a bit of durability to your lapbooks.

Die Cuts

This Cuttlekids Die Cut is a handy personal sized machine for cutting uniform shapes from paper. You can use the shapes for decorating minibooks and lapbook covers as well as for scrapbooking or general crafting.

The machine is used with sets of dies that you buy separately. For a slideshow of pics of this product from another homeschooling mom, visit this link.



Paper Fasteners

When a lapbook gets really indepth, it gets FAT. And it's sometimes hard to close. No worries. There are many methods you can use to keep the lapbook together.

Paper fasteners are a great resource. Put one on each side of the opening. Tie a string to one of them. Wrap the remaining string around the other brad.

Or simply punch holes in both sides and use ribbon to tie the lapbook shut.

Paper fasteners or brads are essential for making fan books and wheel books. And you may want to use them for keeping hefty lapbooks shut. Now paper fasteners are available in various colors and shapes. Choose stars for an American history related project, fish for an ocean theme, and multicolor packs to match any color scheme you've chosen.

Lapbook Storage


Find a way to store your lapbooks that will keep them tidy but will also keep them at arm's reach for frequent re-reading. We've found that not only are lapbooks fun for reminiscing previous years of schooling, they are also great reference sources. We often refer to them for answers to things we've studied but can't quite remember.

The Wayzley Academy has a clever idea for storing lapbooks using recycled cereal boxes. Cheap and creative!

Lapbooking Supplies Guestbook

mlquicke on April 04, 2012:

This looks like so much fun! I can't wait to implement some of these ideas in my classroom:)

RobinDM on February 01, 2012:

Very nicely done! Can't wait to get started!

lilgirllapbooker on November 23, 2010:

Oooooooh can't wait!!!! My Husband is buying me a laminator and a paper trimmer for Christmas (my Birthday is Dec 23rd, so it is joint!) Thanks for the lense! Will be emailing a link to the husband!

JeffMcRitchie1 on September 20, 2010:

@marsha32: They aren't very expensive to order online. Here's a decent one:


JeffMcRitchie1 on September 20, 2010:

Wow, you are really organized! Great lens, what a fun use for a laminator. Do you use a hot or cold laminator? Cold ones are safer to use around kids since the outside doesn't get hot.

julieannbrady on September 14, 2010:

Ah, my dear ... you do such a fabulous presentation on all the lapbooking. I'll bet you dream about it too? Hugs.

gods_grace_notes on May 03, 2009:

I love the way you have your supplies organized... your projects are always superb, so it's nice to see the thought processes behind your creativity. Yet another great lens!

anonymous on April 29, 2009:

Well throughout lens. Thank you for posting the handy dandy links!

marsha32 on January 26, 2009:

I looked for a laminator at Walmart today, they used to sell small ones. Apparently they no longer carry them. I wonder how much of an expense this would be. I also make bookmarks so it would be put to good use.

anonymous on October 05, 2008:

This has been tremdously helpful!

LilliputStation on September 13, 2008:

This is a great lens, Jimmie. Very good info, especially for beginners.