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Making Time: 15-20 minutes | By: Gavin Cosgrave

Make a PECS® Style Book

In this tutorial we will show you how you can make a picture communication book used in programmes like the Picture Exchange Communication System® (PECS®). The materials cost around €4 or $5. This price is an averaging out among other materials.

How the final PECS book will look like when finished.
By the end of this tutorial hopefully you'll have a booklet looking just like this one.

What you will need to buy

  1. A standard A4 ring binder - ours cost €1.29
  2. Double velcro - €3.99 of which we used €1.50 worth

What you (might) already have

  1. A Pencil
  2. A good quality scissors
  3. Ruler (30cm minimum length)

Step 1.

Open the folder up fully and measure the inside distance from the top to the bottom and mark the centre point. For our folder the full length was 315mm so we made our marks at a little over 157mm. Repeat this three more times and make pencil marks where the red dots are shown below.

Measuring and marking the middle points of the folder.
Step 1: Mark the middle of the inside of the folder.

Step 2.

Measure out 125 mm from all of the centre points and make marks where the red dots are below. To make sure you have measured accurately close over the folder and make sure your marks line up at the front.

Measuring the middle portion that will be cut out. Also checking that they align by closing over the folder.
Step 2: Measure the middle 250mm portion and draw lines across the whole folder. Check the mark line up by closing over the folder.

Step 3.

Cut along these lines with a good scissors until you have your folder looking like the one below.

Cutting along the lines to create a smaller folder.
Step 3: Cut along the lines to remove the outer parts.

Step 4.

Measure and mark 60mm deep along the inside edge of one folder cover and draw a line to connect these marks. Cut along this line to create the removed piece below. Make sure to cut this piece off cleanly as it will become our sentence strip.

Cutting off the sentence strip.
Step 4: Cut a 60mm piece off the front of one part of the folder. This piece will become our sentence strip so cut it off in one piece.

Step 5.

Measuring on the outside of the short folder cover, make marks at 32mm, 62mm, 62mm, 62mm and 32mm. Create the red dots as below and join these marks together as they are aids to allow you to neatly place your velcro strips along them.

Creating marks to place the velcro strips on the top of the folder.
Step 5: Measure 32mm, 62mm, 62mm, 62mm and 32mm sections and mark lines from the top to bottom. These lines will be used as guides for placing velcro strips.

Step 6.

Measure in 30mm from the front and 20mm from the outer edges and place a hard velcro strip here for the sentence strip to stick to.

Web page showing side-by-side comparison of an article highlighting changed paragraphs.
Step 6: Marking off the area to place a hard velcro strip for the sentence strip to stick to.

Step 7.

Measure and mark 20mm off one edge of the sentence strip piece and draw a line connecting them. Cut off this 20mm portion as below.

Cutting off the 20mm piece of the sentence strip.
Step 7: Cut off a 20mm edge of the sentence strip piece.

Step 8.

Take the cut-off sentence strip piece from Step 4, and create a mark 30mm from the front and 20mm from each edge as below. Place a hard velcro strip on the top piece and a soft velcro strip on the bottom piece so it can stick to the hard velcro on the book itself .

Placing velcro strips on the sentence strip.
Step 8: Marking the position for the hard and soft velcro to be placed on the sentence strip.


Now just stick the sentence strip to book and you're all done! You can round the edges using your scissors to prevent them from getting too damaged. You could also put sellotape around all of the edges to prevent it from fraying through use.

For the internal PECS® pages simply laminate A4 pages, place velcro strips on them and cut to size to fit inside the book.

The final PECS book all done.
And you're hopefully now all done!

Trademark Notice

The Picture Exchange Communication System® and PECS® are registered trademarks of Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc.