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Palm leaf books are the traditional book form of India, Indonesia, and Southeast Asia. Their long narrow shape comes from shape of the palm leaf. The leaves have one, two, or three holes and are strung together on a cord. Knots, rings, beads, or coins at each end of the cord keep the book together. This book has only one hole and uses cereal or cracker box cardboard for the pages. The book is read by flipping the pages. I usually write only on the front side of the pages.


You Need:
* Front or back panel cardboard from cereal or cracker box
* 1 piece of cord (yarn, string, crochet cotton), 12" long
* 2 beads with large holes (I use plastic pony beads), buttons, or plastic bread closures)
* Hole punch


Making the Book:
1. Place the cardboard in front of you so that it taller than wide. At the center of the bottom edge, push the punch in as far as it will go and punch a hole.

2. Make one palm leaf page by cutting above the hole so that the hole is in the center of the page from top to bottom. Use this as a guide to cut the rest and punch holes.

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3. Tie a bead to one end of the thread with the bead inside the knot. Tie another knot to make it a double knot.
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4. Starting with the end of the cord without a bead, push the cord through the holes in the pages. The cord can be strung through the holes one page at a time or all at once if the holes are aligned.

5. On the other end of the cord, tie a double knot with the bead inside.
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6. To close the book: Pull the cord so that the front bead is resting against the front of the book. Wrap the cord around the book and tuck the back bead under the cord.

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You are welcome to print and share this PDF.


Visit Books Around the World to see authentic palm leaf books.

View the directions in Spanish



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