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Gift Idea: DIY Landscape Field Guide

We got the craft experts at Oak Cliff’s Oil and Cotton to give DallasChild readers a cool project to make for dad (or even with dad). According to co-owner Shannon Driscoll, “We designed this project for families to do together. A field guide is a book used by explorers and dreamers to sketch and write about the wonderful world that surrounds them.” Here’s how you and your tyke can make one at home:

What You’ll Need

Discarded corrugated cardboard scraps (from an old box)

Yarn, twine, cord, or thick thread 
Paper scraps (from old books, maps, or junk mail from your recycling bin)

Paper (typing paper, loose leaf, newsprint, etc.)

Colored tapes (optional)


Glue stick or white glue

Ruler or straight edge


Utility knife

Awl, thick needle, pushpin or nail


1. Find a corrugated cardboard box and colorful paper scraps. 

2. Have a parent use a straight edge or ruler and utility knife to cut a rectangle large enough so that it can be folded in half to make the cover of your book.
3. Use torn paper scraps and glue to collage a beautiful landscape on your book cover.
4. Fold about 10 sheets of paper in half and cut so that they fit inside of your book cover. Insert the pages into your book cover. Open to the center sheet of paper and have a parent use an awl or piercing tool to punch two holes about an inch in from the top and bottom of the book spine. Thread the twine though the holes and tie together either on the inside or outside of the book.

5. Head outdoors and draw the clouds in the sky, the insects in the grass, and the leaves on the trees in your very own field guide!

Check out the classes and other activities Oil and Cotton has in store for the summer. Visit oilandcotton.com for more details.