How to Make a Tabbed Book
You Don't Need a Template
Making a tabbed book is quite easy! You don't even need a template. You simply need instructions.
You will only need:
- scissors (or a paper cutter)
- a ruler
- a stapler
Okay. Follow these step by step directions and you can make this minibook right now.
This book can stand alone or be included into a lapbook.
The Directions - for a tabbed minibook
For this tutorial, we'll be making a four tabbed book. Since it also has a title page, that's five sheets of paper in all. So get five sheets of paper that you want to use for your book.
But wait! You need a cutting template, so add one more sheet; it can be scrap paper. That's a total of six sheets of paper. Cut them all to the same size. In my photos, the cutting template is purple and my book's pages are blue.
First, prepare your cutting template by marking a section where you want your tabs about one inch (2.5 cm) tall. Then divide it equally into four sections. It doesn't have to be pretty. This will eventually get thrown away.
Set Aside One Piece of Paper
Before you start cutting, be sure to take one of your book's pages and set it aside. It does not get cut at all. (I often forget this step and have to make another page! So don't forget like me!)
Take the remaining four pages and stack them all together with the cutting template on top. Holding them tightly so they don't shift about, cut out the first notch from the entire stack (that's four pages of your book plus your template).
Take one of the book pages and set it aside. You have two pages ready so far.
Stack your three pages with the cutting template again and cut out the second tab.
Take one of the pages and set it aside. Now three pages are done.
I'm sure you're seeing the pattern now. Holding your cutting template over your last two pages, cut out the third tab.
And lay that page aside.
Now take your cutting template and one remaining page and cut off that last tab. Your last page, actually your cover or title page, is now done!
Now you have five sheets - four pages and one cover.
Now you can throw away or recycle your template and all the little scraps you cut away.
Stack your pages, putting the tabs in order.
Staple the book through all pages on the side.
Done! A beautiful tabbed book!
Variations on the Tabbed Book
1. Put the tabs on the side or bottom instead of on the top
2. Use a rainbow of different colored papers to make the tabs really stand out
3. Make your tabs different lengths -- some short and others long
Tabbed Book Poll
Have you ever made a tabbed book without a template?
Tabbed Book Examples
Here are some examples from my daughter's lapbooks.
Stapled Book with Tabs
This video is compliments of Live & Learn's Video Assembly Guide.