July 31, 2010

Tutorial: Lapbooking (MSWord) – Using Tables for Matchbook Pieces & Multiple Flap Booklets

In the last tutorial I demonstrated how to make simple fold lapbooking pieces using the AUTOSHAPES/SHAPES in MSWord.  In this tutorial I am going to show you how to make matchbook-styled lapbooking pieces & multiple flap booklets in MSWord using tables.

As I mentioned in the previous tutorial, there are many ways to achieve basically the same outcome in MSWord.  I am attempting to show some simple and basic ways to use this program for your lapbooking creations.  I am assuming you have the skills mentioned in the previous tutorial.

To begin, insert a table with 3 rows and 1 column.


Next you will need to size that table, as seen below.


Once you table is sized, grab the 1st of the 2 inside horizontal lines and pull it up toward the top.  This will make your matchbook tab.  I like to pull up the bottom line just a bit so it tucks nicely in the tab of the matchbook.  This is a personal preference and it is not necessary.


To customize your tab and other text, you will need to highlight your text and then use your typical features like center, font color and size.


If you want to add an image, follow the directions from the 1st tutorial. At this point you should be able to see that you can also make simple fold square and rectangle pieces using tables; of course you won’t need the tab panel at the top.


How to change the line thickness:  To make the ‘cut’ lines thicker on your lapbooking pieces you will need to activate your table.  Go to the Table Tools Design area.  In MSWord2007,  I can click the size of the lines first and then click borders/outside borders to apply it.  For this one I chose 2  1/4pt (see below). Can you see that the outside lines are thicker?   I can’t remember exactly the sequence in previous versions of MSWord, but I think you can figure it out with these directions.

To make dotted (fold lines), I do the same thing, but chose  “inside borders” and select the dashed line.


Another way to make a dotted line that will work with tables or any line including autoshapes (1st tutorial) is to select a line in shapes, right click to format and change to the dotted line and make it white.  When you put this on top of any black line it will make it appear dotted.  I show it here in red above so you can see it.  you need to at least match the width of the line you are covering, so remember to widen your line if necessary.


This three flap matchbook piece (shown above) was made using a combination of table, and lines. 

You would start with a 9x9 table and merge the columns in the top row together.  And then merge the columns in the second row together.  You merge by activating your table, highlighting the cells you are wanting to merge and right clicking.  The merge option is in the dropdown list.  This will leave the 3 sections at the bottom and only one in the other two. You can also add text boxes like I did above to add colored borders and other custom touches.

In addition, you can build this going out horizontally (1 row and 3 columns) and have the tabs open from the side.  This tutorial along with the tutorial using Autoshapes, you can make most lapbook pieces.  For ideas on how to detail your pieces once you understand the basics, you can view my lapbooking sets from my drop down menu above.

Next tutorial: Working with circles – folded circles and circle wheels.

Note: I am assuming that you are somewhat familiar with Microsoft Word already or are at least willing to play with it to figure it out. I am also assuming that you have comfortably mastered the previous tutorial.  I am happy to answer your questions, but I ask that you first play around with this tutorial for a bit.  As you play, you will be able to answer many of your own questions. If you have questions or things you’d like me to show you how to do in a tutorial, feel free to leave a comment or contact me through email above.


  1. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I've made some of my own mini-books, but I have been printing off blank mini-books, printing clip-art images from Word, and then gluing.
    Now I can skip that step!!!

  2. You'll appreciate doing it this way for sure Rebecca. ☺ Have fun!

  3. Two Post Ideas I'd love to read:
    1. How do you add the "screen-shots"
    2. How did you design your own blog background and button?

    I love reading your blog and the ideas you have.
    :) Rebecca :)

  4. Thanks for working on these tutorials Dana! I'm setting some time aside this weekend to practice both the tutorials you've posted - I'm thinking I may start making a lapbook for Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology over the next few months so I have it ready come January, but who knows?

  5. Rebecca, there are two simple ways you can add a screen shot.

    1. If you have the snipping tool on your computer, you can just click that and drag it across anything on your computer screen and it will save it as a jpg for you. OR

    2. You can hit shift + PRT SCR(print screen) and it will capture your entire desktop and save it on your clipboard. You can then 'paste' it into your document and use the 'crop' feature to trim away the excess.

    As far as my blog background and button goes, I used photoshop elements. Although you could use MSWORD especially for a button. I may do a tutorial of that sometime.

    Tristan, Let me know how it goes. ☺


Thanks for visiting our blog. Feel free to leave me a comment.