Some people love painting papers. When I did this with a group of adult students, I saw them relax as they spread the color with their brushes.

Be careful to keep your paint layers thin, so the finished sheets can fold without cracking. This may be tricky for children. But you can give them extra paper for making pictures.

Plan to paint papers a day or two before you make books so that there is plenty of drying time. Or do it early in the morning, knowing you will work with your decorated paper late in the afternoon if it has dried enough. Humidity is an issue. In New York City—especially in the summer, nothing ever dries. But if you live near ...

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