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How to Make a Booklet

by Christina HamlettUpdated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Computer with Microsoft Word

  • Printer

  • 8-1/2x11 inch paper

  • 8-1/2x11 inch card stock

  • Stapler

A homemade booklet is an easy and inexpensive way to share information, such as poetry, recipes, short stories or how-to tips. If you're an instructor or a guest speaker, a booklet might contain recommended reading lists, excerpts from articles, graphics, photographs and supplemental text that you knew you weren't going to be able to cover in your speech. Last but not least, a booklet can be a mini-activity book for children on a family road trip and contain puzzles and games to keep them occupied in the back seat.

Decide what your booklet is going to be about and whether it's a subject that can be contained in three or four double-sided pages. This is the easiest size to work with for a homemade booklet; if you add more pages than that, it's not only not going to lie flat when it's folded in half, but it will also require you to trim the right edge so the pages aren't cascaded. For the purposes of this article, the project for the booklet is going to be a children's one-act play, but the principles of assembly will apply to any type of booklet you want to create.

Open a new document in Microsoft Word. Define the page layout as "Landscape" so that it is in a horizontal format. Go into "Columns" and select "2". If you make note of the top ruler, you'll want to adjust the right margin in Column 1 so that the arrow is on "4". In Column 2, the margins can stay the same. The inch-wide gap you have between the two columns is where the staples will go when the booklet is folded.

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Save this document and create seven additional copies of it before you start doing any writing. Open one of the files you have saved and start writing your play. The first page should be the title of the play, the second page will contain the list of characters and the setting. Pages 3 through 11 will be the play itself. Page 12 will be for production notes such as costumes, props and music. It's critical as you type your script that you don't have any breaks in dialogue or that a character's name isn't separated from his line of dialogue (i.e., the name at the bottom of the page and the line at the top of the next page). The reason is that although you're typing your entire script in its proper sequence in the master document, its placement on those six other pages you created will be out of order.

Proofread your content thoroughly before you start transferring it over to the pages that will be printed. Better yet, recruit extra pairs of eyes to make sure you have caught any typos and grammatical errors.

Open one of the files you previously created. Copy the content you have displayed on page 12 (the production notes) into the left hand column; copy and paste the title page into the right hand column. Insert the words "Page 12" at the top of page 12; do not put a page number on your title page. Save this document and open the second file. Copy and paste the content from page 2 (the cast of characters) into the left column; copy and paste the content from page 11 into the right column. Insert the words "Page 2" and "Page 11" on the top of these pages. Save this document and open the third file.

Copy and paste the content from page 10 in the left column. Copy and paste the content from page 3 in the right column. Label the page numbers as you did in Step #5. Save this file and open the fourth file. Copy and paste the contenf from page 4 in the left column and the content from page 9 in the right column. Label the pages. Open the fifth file. Copy and paste the content from page 8 in the left column and page 5 in the right column. Label the pages and save this document. Open the sixth file. Copy and paste the content from page 6 on the left side and the content from page 7 on the right side. Label the pages and save this document. You're now ready to start printing.

Print out all six files. To understand how your booklet will go together, place page 1/12 back to back with page 2/11. Place page 3/10 back to back with page 4/9. Place page 5/8 back to back with page 6/7. Refer to this dummy booklet as you start printing out the final product. The easiest way to do this is to run one page through and then place it back in the paper tray so that the opposing content will print on the opposite side. Your finished product will be three double-sided pages of print which--when folded in half with the title page on the front--will read in exactly the right order as you originally wrote it.

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Design a cover for your booklet. This should be printed on cover stock and include the title of the play and any accompanying artwork or graphics. Open the last remaining file that you created. If you are going to have any artwork or text on the back of your booklet, the back cover material should be entered in the left column and the cover page should be placed in the right column.

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Print out the cover and fold it in half. Insert the three double-sided pages of the play. Along the inside fold on pages 6 and 7, place two staples with the pronged side facing inward. Your booklet is done!

Tips

Make sure that you copy each page of content that's going to be pasted as opposed to cutting it and then pasting it. That way you'll always have the right chronological order in the master file and won't have content shifting up and confusing you as to which page is which. If you're not a good artist, you may want to take advantage of the numerous free clip art websites on the Internet (see Resources).

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