One of my favourite souvenirs of my childhood is an alphabet book that my grandma and I crafted together. She wrote each letter on separate sheets of construction paper and put them in a binder. Together we found pictures in the Sears Catalog that matched said letters, cut them out and pasted them in. I’ve always known that I wanted to make personalized books with and for my own kids one day.
Although places like Pint Sized Productions will print some really nice looking personalized board books for you (which I plan on trying!), I need to get my hands dirty with craft. I thought I’d share my first Personalized Board Book for Eli from scratch. You can do it too!
– Old Board Books (yard sales, hand-me-downs, dollarstore) – For this tutorial, I am using two 5×5 books that I found at the Dollarama – glued together.
– Photos (depending on your theme)
– Glue (I love my Aleene’s Tacky Glue)
– ModPodge or other adhesif (if desired – but not completely necessary) – I haven’t quite figured out the best solution here.
1) Think of a theme (write them down so you don’t forget!)
2) Start taking photos! For this book, I took portraits of family members (I kept them all similar distance/colouring) and found photos of Eli with each of them. This book included Eli’s mom&dad, his two aunts, his three cousins, his two grandmas, his grandpa, his great-grandpa and his great-grandma. 24 Photos en tout.
3) Using Photoshop (but you can use Pages/Word or Paintbrush or any other photo editor you might have), fancify your photos. I adjusted the size to fit a square 5×5 book and added some text. [Don’t forget to create a cover!] *Note. The book size actually ended up being 5 AND 5/8ths and I have some lovely spaces around each picture. Darn!
4) Send finished photos to the printer! I got them developed as 5×7 photos, but if you aren’t lazy and actually buy ink for your printer – that would work too.
5) Cut photos to fit books. You might have to round the edges to make the photo fit. Glue photos onto desired pages. (Have I mentioned that I love my Aleene’s?)
6) Close the book and put it underneath something heavy overnight. Forget about it. Resist temptation to peek.
7) If you want to make the book last longer and don’t mind the strong adhesive smell, modge-podge all of the pages. I’m just not sure you’ll want baby chewing on a modge-podged book. (so read finished book with adult supervision!)
8) Share book with babe. Read. Look. Point. Talk about the people in the pictures. Laugh. Read again and again and again.
I hope you are a little bit inspired to make your own books! Please comment or send me a message if you try this wee tutorial.
Other board books I have on the go (and will share later): Countdown with Elijah, Bathtime and Peek-a-boo (a flip-up book!). I promise to share them in another post some day.