I Could {Sooo} Make That!


"I love My Granny More Than..." Keepsake Book Tutorial

Posted on August 26, 2013 at 7:30 AM

Well in honor of Grandparents Day which is September 8th, I decided to feature a Granny Keepsake Book that I previously completed for my mother from my son.  I must say I was taken aback at how it turned out.  It took me about a month (of and on) to complete and thought it would never get done! 

But here is a tutorial just in time for grandparents day so you can complete your own from your child to your parents. 

I want to mention that I apologize if some of the steps seem vague. There are missing files on the steps while doing the actual project.  I'm not sure what happened but the "stitching portion" of the tutorial is unfortunately missing.  However, I did include some links throughout the post to really great tutorials so you won't miss any steps. 

Secondly, I have yet to do a tutorial on recycled paper.  So I searched online for great links on that subject.  My favorites are here:

Kiss The Groom     Hub Pages     Montessori by Hand      DIY Studio      Mega Crafty

The Open End     Fun Sci     Pioneer Thinking     Ready, Set, Craft!

Starting with an even amount of sheets of recycled paper, plan out what you want it to say, and that may be based on what photos you have if you want to choose from your printed photos.  If you are going with fresh content, then grab the camera and snap away at what you are wanting it to based on.

This tutorial will help inspire what to put but by all means have fun and go with whatever suits your desires.  Be yourself!

When you have planned out what's going on each page, make a quick sketch on paper to keep track of what page is going to have what.  And also what orientation each page will be regarding the photo.  (pic on left and text on right and vice versa)

Step One:

Using an exacto knife, I trimmed a square opening on each page.  I knew that I was going to alternate each page's orientation so I figured I could just flip it upside down when the time came to do layout.

As stated above in photo, if you're going to do this with recycled paper, don't feel like you have to be perfect on this step.  The tattered edges are part of the charm.

Step Two:

I cut the opening off-centered to give myself room to put captions and embellishments.

{finished stack}

Step Three:

Then I rolled the edges outward to give it more of a worn look.

Step Four:

I made the last opening a rectangle instead of a square so it became the finale photo for the ending of the book.

This is an example of how to affix the photo into the window of the paper:

Step Five:

This step was one of those afterthoughts that I realized how happy I was to catch myself before I got too far into the project to fix.  I duct taped the backs of each page after taping the photo to the top edge of the back of the window, but BEFORE I added any stitching. 

This served as a very sturdy surface for me to stitch so the paper wouldn't fall apart.

Step Six:

If you hadn't noticed already, the cover read: "I love my Granny..." so I put "...More than..." on the first page and continued the stitching with a swirly pattern onto the next page creating my list of things he loves her "more than".

I used a faint shade of green so it was legible, but didn't make the page too busy.  It was important that the photos stood out significantly.

Here is a tutorial that I located online to guide you on how
to stitch in cursive with embroidery thread on paper:

{source: freckled nest}

Here are other helpful links:

Crafts Unleashed, The Scrap Angel, About.com

Step Seven:

Then upon finding photos of my son with the things he loves, I stitched what was going on in the picture.

Step Eight:

I stitched around the photo to frame it and make it appear more finished.

Step Nine:

{He loves his little tykes car and looking at his Elmo books}

Step Ten:

After I added the text, I added embellishments to support the images and likes. such as a sun for playing outside and a fork and a long noodle for eating spaghetti.

Because my mom is a sucker for all things handmade from me, I was determined to use whatever I had lying around.  So I had to use my imagination many times during this process.

On the page featuring "Reading Books", I made a book out of newspaper pages and cardstock from the packaging of some stickers.   I roughed up the pages to look worn and stitched the binding.  Then pinched the pages at the binding so the pages would flare out and appear three-dimensional.

For the "Peek-a-boo" page, I used wire and none other than one of his beloved receiving blankets he's had since birth.  {...He's only 2, Pam!}  Anyway, it's my favorite, and yes, I saved the remnants for future projects!

The heart for the "Elmo" page was red fur meant to represent Elmo's fur.  It was upcycled from a stuffed valentine dog I purchased at a thrift store for 50 cents.  Boy, was it ugly, too!  Looked like it was won at a broke-down state fair! 

I HAD to put it out of it's misery!

Other Examples:

Here are some of the embellishments up close for detail.

Step Eleven:

For the finale page, I happened to have a photo of him pointing.  So I finished the sequence with the page saying "All these things I love, but not more than you!"  Then I stitched a "frame-like" design around the photo.

Step Twelve:

Behind the finale photo page, I wrote her a message just from me to her {not shown} and then to personalize the back page, I traced his hand with a pencil and stitched it with a message saying "Bye-Bye".

Step Thirteen:

After ALL stitching and embellishments were completed, I finally did a second application of duct tape and this made the pages even more secure and durable.

Step Fourteen:

Using double-stick tape, I adhered the pages together back-to-back paying close attention to my plan and making sure the order was staying true to my design in mind.  If you want to use a second adhesive like decoupage or a glue gun that would be fine too.

Step Fifteen:

Then I stitched a basic stab binding with a complimentary color thread.  I used a tutorial I found here at tuts+

The Finished Book!

Here is the finished book. 

I hope you enjoyed viewing this and know you'll be able to produce one even greater.  You can do it!  And your parents will finally stop bugging you for not making them anything!!  LOL

Have Fun!

Categories: gifts, paper crafts, photography

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