A Treasure Book
An Easy-To-Make Family Scrapbook
By April Schweitzer
Preserve memories of your familys special traditions by helping your children to create their very own scrapbook. Grandmas famous latke recipe, photos of sledding with the cousins, your childs original drawing of a beloved family pet all combine to create a priceless holiday treasure book. Its easy and fun, as well as a great way to organize souvenirs, photos and postcards.
After youve made one book, youll want to make more! Try creating journals, collections of poems and artwork, or homemade photo albums. Experiment with different types of paper and binding materials. Check out a book on scrapbooking or bookbinding at our Jefferson-Madison Regional Libraries for new ideas. Children love holding their own books in their hands. The time and love that goes into the binding process teaches them respect for their creations and gives their writings and drawings a special permanence. A treasure book also makes a wonderfully unique and lasting gift.
First, decide whether you want to use full-size sheets of the paper, or make a smaller, half-size book by cutting all of the sheets in half. For an interesting effect, the sheets can be neatly torn in half using a straightedge. Place a metal-edged ruler in the middle of the sheet. Press firmly on the ruler while pulling the paper toward you. The papers edge will seem a little feathered. There are now also lots of fun scissors for kids that cut patterns. Older kids may enjoy creating their pages on the computer and adding fun clip art and creative headings.
Place the papers in a neat stack, and punch holes roughly 1 inch apart about 1 inch from the left side of the stack. It is easiest to punch holes in just a few sheets at a time. In some stationery stores you can even find hole punches shaped like stars, squares, etc.
To bind the book, cut a piece of the binding material (yarn, ribbon or twine) that is roughly 3 times the length of the book. Wrap a small piece of invisible tape around one end to help prevent fraying while stitching the side of the book. With some direction, even preschoolers can help with the sewing. With no needle to worry about and large holes to guide the yarn through, the project is a great introduction to sewing.
Start by pulling the thread up through the second hole from the bottom, leaving a tail of at least 3 inches. Sew up the binding going down through the third hole, back up through the fourth, and so on in a standard running stitch. When you come to the last hole, loop around the end of the top binding and back through the same hole from the other side. Continue stitching down the binding and repeat at the other end. Tie the ends together. Beads, shells or feathers can be added to the hanging strings for decoration.
Have fun decorating the cover and inside pages of the book with souvenirs, photos, stories, and captions of your holiday memories. Use an acid-free glue stick or photo corners to affix items and to help prevent excess glue that could cause pages to stick together. Using acid free glue (and paper too, if you can) will help your memory book last for years.
April has recently relocated from Charlottesville and is looking forward to making many treasure books with her new baby.