Make a Zig Zag Book to Tell about Your Family

Let’s make a zig zag book to tell how your family is special! Each family is unique. One family may love skiing in the mountains, and another might especially enjoy visiting historic sites. Some families have lived in the same place for years, while others may move a lot. Each family also has a unique history, with stories, favorite foods, and traditions passed down from grandparents, great grandparents, and even farther back.

For example, I grew up in a small town on the coast of Maine. Saturday night always meant baked beans and brown bread, made with lots of molasses. Special meals included lobsters, clams, corn on the cob, and blueberry pie—sometimes cooked and eaten at the beach. Waves crashing on the rocks, beach roses, and lighthouses say home to me.My father’s ancestors had come to this town several hundred years before, perhaps as fishermen. But by the 1800s most managed general stores or other small rural businesses. On my mother’s side were farmers, and I loved my great grandfather’s barn where black and white cows chomped on sweet hay, and a big coon cat named Fluffy, hunted mice in the dark corners.

What makes your family special? Where have you’ve lived? What foods does your family make for special events? What pets do you have? What fun activities does your family enjoy? What holiday traditions do you have? What are your family’s favorite books and movies? Do you have stories about your family history?

Let’s get started making a zig-zag booklet to record all the things that make your family unique.

 Supplies for the Zig Zag Booklet and decorating it

  • Construction paper in two colors
  • Scissors, pencil, ruler, glue stick or white glue
  • ribbon
  • Be creative! Have fun. Gather and use many materials.
  • Use paper scraps, yarn, glitter, stickers, leaves, buttons, fabric. The sky’s the limit!
  • Use crayons, pencils, markers, or paints, whatever you want!

Directions for the Zig Zag Booklet

  1. Measure and cut 3 pieces of one color of construction paper (I used blue) into 3 pieces 6” X 12”
  2. Repeat with the other color (I used green)
  3. Fold each of the 6 pieces in half
  4. Choose one color to be the front and cut one of its 3 pieces in half along the fold (I used blue)
  5. Cut 4 pieces of ribbon, each about 7” long
  6. Begin putting together the folded pieces of construction paper, alternating the 2 colors. Start with one cut piece of blue which will be glued to the green’s outside front fold. Then glue one side of a blue piece to the inside back of that first green piece. Notice the green piece folds toward you and the blue piece folds towards the back. (see the diagram and photos)
  7. Continue this pattern until you get to the 2nd blue half piece and glue this to the inside front of the last green piece. (see the diagram)
  8. Check that you have created a zig zagging length before gluing
  9. Also be sure to lay the 4 pieces of ribbon in between the correct layers of paper (see the diagram) before gluing those layers together.
  10. Glue and let dry

When all done, you can fold up the booklet and tie the ribbons.

Directions for decorating the cover

  • I decided to make a house on my cover and used scraps of colored paper to make its windows, door, roof, and bushes. Don’t forget the door knob! If you decide to make a house, you might draw a picture of family members in the windows or glue in photos of them.
  • But you can do whatever you’d like with crayons, paint, fabric, etc. and you may want to put a title on the cover, too. You might use stamps or watercolor paints to decorate the cover. Here are some ideas from previous posts: bubble prints, cardboard tube prints, leaf prints, paint designs made by blowing with a straw, painting with a cardboard strip, watercolor paints, and prints made from finger painting. All these techniques are explained in earlier posts.







Ideas for doing the pages

  • While you’re making your zig zag booklet, write or email your grandparents if you have questions about your family history.
  • Also during this time, interview family members for their favorites, etc.
  • Here are some suggestions of things to put on the pages of your booklet:
  • Family history
  • Places you’ve lived
  • Favorite foods
  • Pets
  • Favorite books and movies
  • Favorite Bible verses
  • Things your family likes to do together
  • Use pictures and/or lists to tell these things. You can write or type information on a piece of white paper and glue it to the colored paper. Use special computer fonts for titles


  • If you’d like a more easily-made booklet, take one long piece of paper and fold it back and forth to create the zig zags.
  • Instead of each person making a booklet, make a family booklet with family pages and individual pages for each member.
  • Although younger children will need help making a zig zag booklet, once that’s done, they can certainly enjoy coloring and decorating the pages.

Molly hopes you enjoy making a zig zag booklet about what makes your family and each individual in it, unique! We’re sure you and your family will treasure it!

Molly wasn’t sure she liked wearing a beret in this photo! But she’s sure you’ll enjoy our next posts about a nature artist and a fun and easy art activity about nature.



8 thoughts on “Make a Zig Zag Book to Tell about Your Family

  1. Carla Taylor

    Kathy…I never learned much about where you were from. Arlington, Texas must have seemed abysmal to you after living in Maine. I’m working on a cookbook for my daughters – and I think this Zig Zag Book will be of interest to my granddaughters. I had a Great Aunt that used to make Boston brown bread all the time – she used raisins in hers. I’m wondering if you have a recipe for brown bread that you would share with me??  My family would also like to travel to Maine (once we can travel again). Can you recommend a favorite spot… we’re thinking of renting a home or cabin?? Would love any of your ideas. I am living in Coppell with my oldest daughter. She had a premie in 2016….I cut back to part time while her boy was an infant, but am back to full time at Cook Children’s again. I’m able to work from home, which is great. I miss you and Wes. I worship mostly at Stonebriar Church in Frisco, TX. Carla Taylor (hope you remember me)

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone


    1. Kathy The Picture Lady Post author

      Hi Carla, Wes and I certainly do remember you!How nice of you to comment here. After we left the Northeast and moved around, we found there was beauty everywhere if we looked for it, and even more important were all the kind and friendly people we met! How wonderful that you could help your daughter with her son when he was a preemie! We’re quite familiar with Coppell as our daughter lived there for many years and we lived with her the first time we were at APC. A very nice place! As for recommendations for Maine–I would say anywhere along the coast would be great and there are lots of options for staying from houses and cottages. Once covid is more under control, you do need to book these well in advance for in season which is mid June to mid September.Off season is more reasonably priced and we prefer to go in later summer and fall. It’s cooler but we love that and the foliage and most things are still open through October. It kind of depends on what you like. If you have little kids and want beaches, southern Maine is best. York, Wells, Kennebunk are very popular and have rentals right on the beach. But you can also find these in towns farther north, and farhter north can be more interesting with forests and quaint harbors, such as Boothbay and Bar Harbor (these can be very touristy though). You should try to take a Casco Bay day or mail boat trip out around all the islands. It’s in Portland. Portland has fun places to visit like the Old Port area down on the waterfront. Freeport has many outlets and of course L.L. Bean! Now brown bread–by the time I can remember things reliably, my mother was in college and then teaching, so she kept to many old traditions, but definitely used short cuts for beans and brown bread! Burnham and Morrill (B&M) is a factory in Portland right on the water that cans beans and brown bread–yes–brown bread, too–and that’s what we and many others ate. Their short squat bottle (in the shape of an old bean pot) of beans and tall can of brown bread that you have to open at each end and then push the bread out of still exist! so sorry, no family recipe for it that I know of. BTW I prefer my brown brea without raisins!! So good to talk with you Carla, and I hope you get to visit Maine, soon!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Kathy The Picture Lady Post author

      Thank you, Cindy! Families are so important, and I’m hoping this little book will help children and parents explore the uniqueness of theirs. Thank you for so many happy and uplifting posts with your photos of beautiful places and creatures over this difficult year!


  2. Katherine Pasour

    Your Saturday night meal sounds yummy. I love most any kind of beans and brown bread is a favorite, too. Your crafts and art projects are so creative. I’m looking forward to when my granddaughter is old enough to do some of these. Hope I can remember! I especially like your suggestion to put family history into the zigzag book. Often, our young people don’t get interested in family history until most of the “old folks” have passed on. This idea gets their interest going early.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kathy The Picture Lady Post author

      Thank you, Katherine! I’m sure you and your granddaughter will be ready for lots of art and crafts before you know it! And if you need any refreshers, my blog and I are here to help! We could Zoom!! I know what you mean about often not asking those questions about family until it’s too late. It almost seems that the more I know, the more questions I’d like to ask some of those “old folks.” so I hope this will encourage more families to ask!

      Liked by 1 person


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