Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Memory Books

Recently, my husband's grandmother approached me to ask for help with an interesting project.  Over the years, she'd saved every letter, drawing, and card that her grandchildren had ever given her.  Included in the pile were some first-time whittling sticks and a harmonica.  She told me that when she was a girl, she had written her own grandmother a letter.  Years later, her grandmother had given it back to her, and she'd been so touched that her grandmother had kept it all those years, that she decided she wanted to do the same for her grandchildren.

She had kept all these treasures in file folders over the years, to be given to her grandchildren when she died.  But then she realized that she wasn't sure she wanted to wait that long, and that there had to be something nicer than a plain file folder to put them in.

This is where I came in.  She wanted me to come up with a couple of ideas of how to... return the letters in a nice way.  I came up with a few, from decorative boxes, to scrapbooks, to display boards.  We eventually settled on a more economic option:  a handmade memory book.

Each grandchild would receive a book.  I made all of them using an inexpensive, white one-inch binder and covered them in fabric.  Then we put all the work from that grandchild--and some pictures--into sheet protectors and put them in the book.

Did I mention she has twelve grandchildren?

A few are missing, but here's most of them finished:

 I'll focus on my husband's book to show you how I did it.
The covers were fabric that I already had, his grandmother picked out which ones she wanted to use.  The names are made with fabric markers.  At first I was printing out the names in the size and font I wanted to use, then cutting them out and tracing around them.  But finally we switched to stencils and it was a whole lot faster.

To hide the edges of the fabric, I glued some decorative paper on the inside covers.  (I hot glued the whole cover).  Here is also where I glued the odds and ends, like the whittling sticks (my husband's) and the harmonica and a button.

His grandmother wrote a personalized note to each grandchild, that we included in the beginning of each book as the first page.

We included pictures, and had fun stickers on most of the pages (not many on this one though...)

Artwork and letters that were one-sided we mounted on decorative paper (unless it took up the whole sleeve, then we didn't bother).  I made to sure mount any envelopes used (they included the child's handwriting, and the date sent on the postmark) and any cards I mounted on top of the sheet protector instead of inside, so you could still open it.  Forgot to include a picture of that.  I mounted everything using double-sided tape.

The nice thing about the sheet protectors is that artwork and letters that use both sides of the paper is easy to display.  Also, it's easy to add to the book, because all you have to do is put in another sheet protector.

For my husband we had to make an "Unfold Me" page.  He was the only one we had to do this for, because he sent his grandmother some huge drawings that we couldn't show in the book, except to keep them folded up and in a sheet protector.

Back inside cover.

His grandmother was very happy with how the whole project turned out.  And so am I.

But, there was one grandchild who had only sent two letters to her grandmother.  That's not really enough to make a book from.  Next week I'll show you what we did for her.

No comments:

Post a Comment