Monday, November 19, 2012

Comics Lab Giveaway and Coffee Filter Books

This is a neat pocket book idea using coffee filters

With the holidays coming up this would make a great keepsake that students could make for their parents.

The pockets are quite large and can hold lots of tags, bookmarks, and additional papers.

This would be a great format for research projects or subject reports, similar to the file folder books.

Before I give you the full tutorial on how to make the coffee filter book I want to introduce you to this week's giveaway.

"Drawing Comics Lab" by Robyn Chapman is the latest book in the lab series.
 Just like the previous lab books this one is full of practical information on how to draw comics.

It has 52 activity labs to walk you through the essentials like:
- how to draw basic figures
- how to build characters
- page building
- storytelling
- what materials and techniques to try
- and publishing
I have not been disappointed with any of the lab books.  Each lab activity is well thought out, with "how to" pictures and instructions.  This one also has a "Tips of the Trade" feature for every activity, giving you advice from other artists and ways to expand the activity.

Stay tuned to the end of the post for giveaway details.

Now back to the Coffee Filter Books.


- cone coffee filters, each one gives you 2 pages and a pocket
- cereal or cracker box, (chipboard)
- standard one hole punch
- any of the following for binding: o rings, jump rings, wire, binder clips, ribbon, string
- paper, cardstock
- glue
- scissors


Choose how many filters you want to use.  A good sized book will have 3 to 4.

It's a good idea to make a template to help cut your pages.  I know, I know it says coffee fitter but you know what I meant!  :)

Place a filter on the cardboard, trace around and cut out.  Now you have a template to use over and over again.

You need to cut 2 pages for each filter.  Using painted paper, cardstock, scrapbooking paper, or just plain old paper, trace out 2 pages.

Now your filter is not perfectly symmetrical.  There is a rounded end and a pointy end.  I like to have the pointy ends at the top of the book.  Just keep that in mind when you are cutting your pages, you might need to turn the template over for some pages.

Attach a page to the front of each filter and one on the back.

You can use a gluestick or regular glue.

You should have a pocket and a front and back page.

Do this for all the filters. 

I like a heavier weight cover for my book so using my template I cut 2 covers out of cereal box (chipboard).

 I painted them black and then added some paper that was cut using the template and then trimmed a 1/4" all the way around.  My covers do not have a filter so there is no pocket.

Now you need to punch holes in your pages and covers for the binding.

I start with the front cover.  Punch your holes.
place one of the inner pages under the cover, mark where the holes are with a pencil and then punch them out on the page.

Repeat with all pages and the back cover.

When I bind a book I do one hole at a time.  Feed the pages onto 1 ring, ribbon, binder clip, or whatever you are using.  Tie or clip and then do the other hole.

That's it.

For the pockets you can stuff in bookmarks, tags, etc.

You can also make extra pull out pages to stuff in.  Use your template and then cut the page slightly smaller.

You can add string or ribbon to help pull out the pages.

I try to vary the location of the pull.

I like using homemade painted papers when constructing my pages.

An interesting paper you can make is stenciling designs on wax paper.

Use acrylic paint as it sticks well to the slippery surface.  You then have a great patterned translucent paper.

I used it here in the SNOW scene.
I always attach translucent/transparent papers with Mod Podge.  It dries clear, no cloudiness to be seen thru the paper.

Another interesting variation is shown here. 

 I use a star shape sticking out from the page as the pull tab.

I punched 2 star shapes from glitter paper.

Then glue 1 star off the edge of the pull out page, add glue to the other star and glue it on the other side of the page, lining the stars up.

That eggshell tree was made using this method from a previous post.  It was an idea sent in by Stephanie Brown and her daughter from NC.

They took the eggshell mosaic idea and used it to make Christmas cards.  I think they turned out incredible!

I hope you give one of these coffee filter books a try.

If you are interested in winning your own copy of "Drawing Comics Lab" by Robyn Chapman please enter in one of the following ways:

- leave a comment on this post
- email me at
- like or comment on this post on my Facebook page

I will be making the draw Friday Nov 23rd so have your entries in by Thursday at 11:59pm.

Canadian or US residents only please.

Thanks to my friends at Quarry Books for sponsoring this giveaway.

See you soon.


  1. Pick me!
    I wish I were still doing elementary writing, sometimes. These are fantastic!

  2. This book looks great and my kids love making comics! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  3. I would love to win this! I'm working toward becoming an art teacher this would be great to add to my library.

    coolwhip715 at hotmail dot com

  4. I love the coffee filter books! I would also love to win the book!

  5. Pick me please! I am currently queen of the stick people.

  6. My three boys would love this book! I do want to try making some small books with them over the holidays.

  7. I can't keep up with your awesomeness. LOVE LOVE LOVE the coffee filter book--would have left a comment to tell you regardless of the give-away (*which is also awesome). :D

  8. I would love to try this book out with my son... He is drawing all the time, especially comic type drawing!
    nybeca at yahoo dot com

  9. Enjoyed your post today (not that that is different from any other post). Drawing Comics" would be a much used in my home.

  10. My 6th graders LOVE comics, and I would love to add this book to my classroom art library! :)

  11. Those coffee filter books look like a lot of fun. And I'd love to win the book.

  12. Looks like an awesome resource. Thanks for the chance to win.

  13. I always love your ideas! Your step-by-step instructions make it easy to deliver a super art lesson every time!

  14. Hello Gail, I love your coffee filter books. I also love the lab book series. I borrow them from the library but have yet to see this one on comics! I would love to win this one it would be a great way to start my collection of lab books. I have not yet been able to afford them so it would be the coolest thing since coffee filter books to start my collection with the comic series. Thank you for sharing and thank you Quarry! Take Joy ~ Diane

  15. My daughters would like the book. Thank you!

  16. I would love to win the book - My Wee Picasso would love it.
    Looking forward to trying out this project.

  17. My boys would probably love this book!They spend hours drawing comics and stories for each other. Thanks for the chance!

  18. I love the coffee filter books ideas. My daughter is just starting to learn to to draw and loves it. I would love to win this book for her. Melissa L. racky (at) carolina. rr (dot) com

  19. I love your works !!! Thanks for sharing ;-)) xoxxo

  20. This looks like the perfect tool to get my "art resistant" 9 year old going. Fun! fingers crossed...

  21. This would be a great idea for Writing class as it reminds me of "the Jolly Postman" books.

  22. Coffee filter books are such a fun idea! I love it!

  23. I absolutely love the lab series books and would love to add this to my collection!

    I love the idea of making coffee filters into pocket books... I have a bunch of unused coffee filters that need attention. :)

  24. Thank you for posting how to make the book! Great idea for all ages.

    Love to have the "Drawing Lab" book as a resource for working with kids. :)

    Have a great week.

  25. Oh my! The coffee filter books are amazing! ALso would love to win comics...I have some boys in my class that would be so into that!

    Chickadee Jubilee

  26. Thank you for another great tutorial... I can't wait to try that with my Girl Scouts! And please enter me in the drawing. I would love to get my hands on that book.

  27. Love the coffee filter books! So cute, fun and easy! It would be awesome if I won the drawing comic lab book!

  28. What a gorgeous book. Fab idea!! I also looooove the look of the comic lab :)

  29. Oh those coffee filter books are great! My son is totally into comics right now and I know he would love the comic lab book. Thanks for the chance to win :)

  30. Wow! Would love to win a copy! Thanks!

  31. I love all your book ideas and so do my fourth graders. Here in Washington state, fourth grade is a HUGE year for writing so I am always looking for another way to sneak in some writing and make it super enjoyable.

  32. Thanks for the chance! (danainalaska at yahoo.)

  33. These books look like a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to creating them with my students.

  34. these are lovely! I bought coffee filters a while ago,not sure why. Now I'm going to use them on this lovely project. thanks

  35. I look forward to making these with my grandchildren, hopefully this weekend, after we paint pumpkins.