Building a passport to adventure

Last fall I worked on a project to illustrate all of the marketing material for the summer reading club at British Columbian libraries. Now, as a follow up to that project, I’m excited to be going to visit local libraries to conduct follow up workshops with some of the summer club kids.

I decided that I’d really like to help kids build their own “portal passports.” This summer’s theme is “Book a Trip” and as part of my designs, I created a steampunk-style book that can transform into different vehicles, as is shown in my poster illustration:


This week, I started working on a prototype book that I can show to the workshop participants. It started with a simple notebook from the dollar store and then adding “greebles” to ornament it. I bought a lot of gears, beads, and clock handles from the craft store, but most of the other stuff is just “junk”, items I either cannibalized from old household appliances, or collected from the grab bins at Urban Source, a local art and craft store that specializes in recycled items. The stuff at Urban Source is perfect for the types of building projects I like to do.


I had to pre-paint a few items, including the notebook itself. Then it was just a matter of gluing and attaching. Mostly, I used tacks and hot glue. The big copper button is on a spring, so actually can be pressed, and the clock handle spins. The only thing I didn’t invest time in was the lightbulb—it doesn’t light up. Though, this probably could have been managed with a small LED light.


I love how the final project turned out, but I think this is going to be far too complicated for my kids in my short summer workshops. So, for now, I’m back to the building station to make a second prototype—one that is far less ambitious!


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