While I realize most people aren’t generally as photo junkie-ish as I am (I take the camera to the grocery store…I know, it’s an issue), everyone always seems to have a giant pile of snapshots shoved in a drawer or in a computer file somewhere that needs pulling together.
With families living all over the globe these days, the perennial whine of “please send pictures” is the one thing that – if you are stumped for what to give or are in the mood to gift something hand-crafted with that personal touch – you can take to heart with guaranteed success.
Pictures of your kiddos are priceless.
And, those snapshots of days at the park or splashing at the beach – all done up in a way that shows off your kiddos’ and your personalities with mini photo books – are the stuff of holiday ooooooos and aaaahhhhhhs. Not to mention that they are relatively inexpensive and totally fun to make.
I came up with the plan to make these for our far-reaching family and friends after I went pricing photo albums and never recovered from the sticker shock. No personality and $10 a piece. Since I wanted to make 20 or 25 of them – and wasn’t planning on taking out a personal loan for photo books – I started thinking homemade, scrapbook, something we could do together. It took a few tries. But, even my husband liked the results – and he is hard to please in the artsy universe.
Here’s what you need:
- A package of letter-sized construction paper
- Magazines to cut up (thrifting is a good way to go for these if they aren’t already around the house)
- Scissors (safety for younger kiddos)
- A glue stick or two
- Stickers, glitter and whatever other fun stuff you want to put on them
- A hole punch
- Plenty of pictures
So, this project takes a bit of prep work.
I have a digital camera. So, I picked out a whack of pictures from the year – planning for 10 pictures in each photo book – and got them printed.
There are a couple of different choices for this around town. While I seriously like to support local businesses, I have to say that I also really love London Drugs for processing. You can use the kiosk at the store to choose which prints you’d like. But, the really bonus here is that you can go on-line, load your photos in (at any time of the day or night – perfect) and pay for them in-store now. For convenience and quality, it can’t be beat.
After your photos are in your hands, divide them up into piles for each book. Then take the construction paper and divide it by colour. I like the look of the books having the same or nicely matching colours. But, it’s all up to you if you want to go that route. Rainbow books would be really cool too.
Cut the paper in half.
Take the glue stick and paste all of the pics onto the paper. A glue stick can get on the front of pics. So, I put the next piece of paper over the last one I pasted down in order to press it on the paper without getting my gluey fingers all over it. Double-sided tape would work well too. But, the kiddos don’t have as much fun and it doesn’t really work well for other elements of the project.
So, get all the pics glued down and let them dry for a few hours.
In the mean time, whip out those magazines and let the kiddos get to cutting out lots of cool things that remind them of all of the stuff they are into. The tiny person and I pulled out the National Geographics and Christmas catalogs to cut out pictures of creatures, elves, maps and other fun stuff. It, remarkably, held her attention for nearly an hour.
After the pics are dry, get to decorating the albums. Glue down all of those cut-outs. Bust out the stickers. Get glittery. Let them really reflect personalities and be fun.
Then, put the collection together and punch two holes at the top of the pages. Pull it all together by slipping some yarn through each hole and tying a bow at the top.
There you have it. Cherished memories with a little extra pizzaz.