Friday, January 3, 2014

Creating a keepsake gift... DIY

Happy New Year to you!  Thank you for visiting our blog.  Without you, our readers, this creative expression would not be as rewarding and enjoyable as it is.  We get very excited if someone leaves us a little comment, so make our day with your two cents' worth or just a howdy-do. 

Need a gift idea for a RED letter day celebration coming up in 2014?
A special person's "big deal" birthday (you know the ones, 21st or those that end in "0"), or for a retirement, or a wedding anniversary marking many years.

Here's a project that's fun, and will spark the joy of creativity in both you and in others.
It uses scrapbooking materials. And whether you are a beginner or are well-seasoned at the art of 
the scrapbook, the result will be something precious.  This project brings the work of scrapbookers and non-scrapbookers together to make a very personal gift. 
This completed gift will be treasured immediately and will go on to become a family heirloom.

I created such a scrapbook for my husband's 60th birthday using contributions from his family, friends, and co-workers.  I sent the following letter a few months ahead of his birthday, requesting their help for this secret project.

Mike will turn 60 on August 31st this year. He is a sentimental guy who, as you know, saves remembrances of all types.                                                                                                                                                  
For his birthday I would like to give him a "This is Your Life" scrapbook filled with individual remembrances from his family and friends...all of you.                                                                                                          
Would you please take the time to send a story, card, photo or ??? that will be meaningful in noting something special in your relationship with Mike?                                                                                         
I will compile all the pages/entries I receive into a book, which will be given to him in lieu of gifts at his birthday party.                                                                                                                                             
Some of you have known Mike for many years.  Think back to a passage from your relationship with Mike; a funny experience you shared with him; highlight a story you think of when you think of him or a bit of history you share with him.  Tell him what you think him!                                                                               
Make your page for his birthday scrapbook as personal as you can, but simple or elaborate, it's your contribution that is important and necessary to make the book complete, whole and perfect.  Whether you draw a picture or cartoon, make a collage, write an anecdote, or haiku, send a photo or a card, your addition to the book is what matters.  Be as creative as you feel comfortable being and make it fun. Don't stress!                                                                                                                                                         
This project is a surprise.  Please have your contribution to me by July 1st so I will have time to put it all together.  Shape is not important, but limit your tribute to no larger than 12" x 12" and remember it will be going into a book/album.  (Cans of beer will not fit!)                                                                                     
Contributions can be hand delivered (secretly) or mailed to me at my work:  Carol Taylor address.....Questions and concerns can be sent to me at my email address .........or to my work address.     

I received 48 wonderful donations for the book.  I received many pages that were complete and ready to slide into a top loading sleeve.  Items not scrapbook-ready (greeting cards, photos, letters), I scrapbooked myself.
Scrapbooking the loose items was easy, as the received item was always the focus, and the "journaling" was already done by the contributor.  My efforts were merely to get the items onto card stock and add some simple embellishments, if appropriate.
Here is a sample of some of the pages as they are in the completed album.

Cards I received were put onto pages so that they could either be opened without digging into the plastic sleeve, or easily slipped out of a pocket to be read.  To make an open top pocket, cut a piece of card stock twice the desired finished depth and slightly wider than the greeting card it will hold.  Anchor the pocket to background card stock using mini brads, eyelets, or stitching at the corners. Put the page into a page protector sleeve. Then slip a self-healing cutting mat into the page protector and using an exacto knife and a ruler as a straight edged guide, cut a slit a little longer than the card, through and across the plastic at the location where the card will be placed.  Place the card into the pocket through the opening in the page protector.  Voila!

Some people wrote letters, and these I added using brads on top and through the page protector.

At the beginning of the book I had a 3 page collage of the birthday boy, made with photos taken throughout his life.

Looking back 8 years, the book is even more meaningful now than it was on the 60th birthday.
The effort everyone put into their part of the book was incredible.  The stories are priceless.

"The person I am today, the things
I like to do, the choices I make, all
have roots in relationships of the past."
Fred Rogers

If you embark on this project, be prepared to send reminders and to extend your "due date", as some people have good intentions, but are slow at completing their addition.
I received some of the contributions 4 - 6 weeks ahead of the birthday, some a couple weeks ahead, and I received one the day before the book was to be given. 
It was fun to get each new addition for the book, and to keep it a secret!
You will not regret the time and effort, if you decide to make this keepsake book for someone you love.

t.t.f.n. ~ Carol

1 comment:

  1. mom, i totally forgot about this book. i want to look at it next trip to fullerton. great post!