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How to Create a Flip Book

Doodles are fun, but turn them into a flipbook and they spring to life on the page—your flower blooms, your rocketship blasts off, or, if your doodles are a little on the primitive side, sure: your stick figure walks.


  • Step 1: Use ruler to draw frames Use the ruler to help you lightly draw a series of rectangles on loose paper. These will act as guides, or frames, for your concept.
  • TIP: Start with about 48 frames—you can add or subtract later as needed.
  • Step 2: Sketch animation in frames Conceptualize in your head the scene you’d like to animate. Then lightly sketch out your animation in the frames, drawing one frame for each stage of animation.
  • TIP: Draw the first and last frames before filling in the intermediary steps.
  • Step 3: Draw frames on index cards When you’re done with the sketches, it's time to make the actual flip book. Carefully draw each frame on the right-hand side of a different index card.
  • TIP: If your animation images are small, draw them near the top corner. It will help you align your drawings to a common point of reference.
  • Step 4: Occasionally test Occasionally test how your animation looks by holding the left side of the stack firmly with your left hand and flipping through the right side with your right thumb.
  • TIP: If you think there's a jump in the animation, insert a new card between the awkward frames and draw an intermediate step.
  • Step 5: Loop rubber band When you're satisfied with all your drawings, loop the rubber band tightly around the left side of the stack.
  • Step 6: Flip through book Now set the scene in motion with a flick of your thumb. Try flipping it from back to front—yup, the scene goes backward!
  • FACT: The German word for a flip book is daumenkino, which means "thumb cinema."

You Will Need

  • A ruler
  • Some loose paper
  • A pen or pencil
  • Index cards
  • And a rubber band

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