Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dry Erase Book - Perfect for Kids!

We're coming up on that time of year when long car or plane rides are inevitable for the holidays. We're also coming up on flu season. Need something to entertain the kids if they're sick and/or on a long trip? Make one of these dry erase books and guarantee yourself at least a few minutes of peace and quiet! I found this post by All For The Boys and thought I'd give it a shot!

Here's what you need:
1. A binder
2. Clear page protectors
3. Elastic
4. Dry erase markers
5. Pictures of family members
6. Microsoft Word or some other program to make cover and print out photos
7. Hot glue gun / hot glue
8. Scissors

Now I went with Word because I wanted to kill two birds with one stone - make a cover label and print out the photos.

I didn't like the original posts cover of the binder so I went with something different - if you want to do this, on the left hand side go to the icon below the square, choose "Callouts" and choose which bubble you prefer (I went with the second from the left and "Stencil" font)

Then print it out and stick it between the plastic cover and the binder! Voila, step one is done. But again, feel free to make the cover however you like!

Now to the inside. First, go back to your Word doc and either create a new document or erase what you just did. Then, change the document's margins (Format --> Document and change margins to .5"). Then insert a photo (Insert --> Picture --> From file) of your choosing. The bigger the photo of the person, the better, otherwise the kid will have to stick with drawing in the space around you.

I chose to grayscale my photo, like the original, because it makes the color of the markers pop. To do this, either double-click on your photo or go to Format --> Picture and then under Color, change it to Grayscale. Print out your photo and you're done with step two!... that is, unless you'd like to print out more photos, which I recommend.

Once you have your photos printed, put them in the plastic page protectors, and then put those in the binder. Next comes the final step: gluing the elastic to the binder.

The easiest way I found to do this was glue down a small section of elastic, then place the marker down with the elastic wrapped tight around it, then place a little hot glue right next to the marker and glue the elastic down. Do this for however many markers you have, just don't glue the marker. If you do, it'll be very hard to get it out.

And that's it! Best part? There's no mess - it wipes right off so they can make as many illustrations on you as they like!

TOTAL COSTS: About $13
$3 for 4-pack of dry erase markers from Staples
$3.49 for 1" binder from Staples
$3.99 for set of 10 page protectors from Staples
$2.49 1/4" for 8 yds. from Michael's
Hot glue and printer on hand

TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME: About 15 minutes
But note that I only printed out 1 photo so if you have more photos, it will take more time to size them, grayscale, etc.

EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 2 out of 5
The hardest thing is just making sure you don't get glue on the markers because then that glue sticks to the elastic and you can't pull it out. Other than that, piece o' cake! If you want to skip the elastic/hot glue part altogether, you can, but I wasn't able to fit the markers in the pocket very easily.

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