Saturday, April 3, 2010

Judging a Book by its Cover

I love a good book. Who doesn't? I needed a book that would share our family stories in a manner that would appeal to my family members. I knew that the books had to be simple if I was going to get them done. They also had to be short and sweet if I wanted my kids to actually pick them up and read them.

What I came up with isn't a new idea, but maybe these versions will help you see how easily they can be reproduced. Hopefully they will inspire you with some additional ways of preserving your own stories.

Each book starts with the same basic supplies. I tried a couple of different methods for creating the pocket pages. First effort used envelopes covered with scrapbook paper. Cutting open one end of the sealed envelope created the pocket that I used to store little mini stories. It didn't take long to realize that this method was TOO MUCH WORK! Next, I tried coordinating scrapbook paper (look for the stiffer cardstock). After folding the paper to create a folder, I cut each page to the necessary size and then sealed the sides with a straight stitch using my sewing machine. BETTER. I decided that the third method was the easiest. I simply found a box of coordinating cards (already matching, already cut to the perfect size, AND already folded!). All that was left to do was stitch up the sides.
I used a heavier top-stitch thread for sewing the edges. Also make sure that you back-stitch at the beginning and end of each run, otherwise the stitching can unravel.

After I stitched all of the pages, I rounded the corners on the pocket side using a simple paper punch.

I like a vintage look, so I aged the pages with a quick rub of distress ink on the edges.

The cover is just book-board covered with scrapbook paper. Each cover is unique and matches the story on the inside pages. The binding is super simple too. The pages are held together with metal book rings.

Now comes the fun stuff.... what to put in your book!

One of my books documents all the houses that I've lived in throughout my life. It was an amazing journey to record (try to, anyways) all of the locations. It also makes a great time line for remembering the sequences of other life events. My sweet hubby sent me (and BGF) on a picture-taking vacation back to California to get images of houses that I had lived but never taken pictures of. Think about it. Do you have pictures of the outside of your house? I loved seeing pictures of my grandparents houses... I just never thought that maybe my future grandkids would like to see where I lived.

Here are portions of my Home Sweet Home book:Pockets contain brief memories of each location. SHORT and SWEET means it gets done...and gets read by anyone picking up the book!

I printed addresses and dates that I lived at each address (sometimes they are just guesses, taken from dates written on the back of the photograph and from my mother's written history.) This information was printed to clear stickers. I found that it made it easier to place and kept the pages clean looking.

This is my family history book. This one helps my kids understand who belongs to who and how we are all connected.
The next one is a slight variation that includes the immigration of our ancestors to the United States and ultimately to the Utah Valley. This books gets a lot of attention during our July 24th (Pioneer Day) celebrations.

The pockets hold cards that detail each family members personal journey. It records dates and company names. It also shares personal memories and hardships that our ancestors endured in their quest for a better life.

{I happen to LOVE playing with photographs so I took the time to Photoshop each family members face, removing any distracting backgrounds. This gave me a digital image that I could use on a multitude of projects. I faded the face and included it in the background of each fact card. As you can imagine, it was a bit of WORK!}

And this is our service book. I originally made a copy for our nephew who was going to serve a two-year mission for our Church in Mexico. I wanted him to know the legacy that he shares and the many family members who had gone before him setting the example of dedicated service.

As you can see, the possibilities are as endless as the stories that need to be told!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful. I love scrapbooking.

I'm loving your blog. I'll definitely be following.

Feel free to check out mine. I think you'll especially love it:


malkah said...

Fabulous! I found you at Creative Jewish Mom.

Kaysi said...

Those are awesome!!

L~ @prim4Him said...

Gathering supplies now!
What a great project, thanks for the inspiration!!!

Scrappy Gifts said...

What great ideas. I love having pictures of my past houses too. I'd love if you linked this up to my Scrappy Saturdays. http://myscrappygifts.blogspot.com/2010/04/7th-scrappy-saturdays.html

Sarah said...

I loved it! Thanks for sharing!
I have a great interview with a savvy blogger on my blog right now with great tips on how to help your blog grow.
You can check it out at http://bloggerchixdesigns.blogspot.com/2010/04/aprils-featured-interview-april.html
Also a giveaway for a Trendy Diaper Changing Pad if your interested :-)

Tammy@ Not Just Paper and Glue said...

I am a scrapbooker at heart and I love the books you made! Awesome!

Cottage Dreamers said...

Those are wonderful! They look like something company would really enjoy looking through too. Great job!
☺ Celeste

Vanessa said...

These are so amazing! It makes me want to scrapbook!

EMR said...

I'm LDS from just outside Durban in South Africa, currently the Family History Consultant in our ward. I've been trying to think of ways to get the ward motivated to do family history work, and you've just given me some really good ideas. Thanks. I tend to be a follower as far as craft work goes, you know - see something interesting, do a what-if, and then run with it. Any other ideas to motivate family history work would be much appreciated.

Stories by Me! said...

LOVE the world-wide-web! Welcome EMR. Send me an email directly to lhyer@storiesbyme.com so we can chat more. We are always looking for ways to keep the stories flowing!

Dev Clarehova said...

Wow~!! very nice..i should try this :) thanks for the idea.

Lanie Ree said...

I love this idea. So much.

Thank you for linking this to A Little Craft Therapy with Life in the Pitts

Amy C's said...

Fantastic idea! Pure genius with the cards!

Lanie Ree said...

I'm featuring this today over at Life in the Pitts. Thanks again for linking up!


Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden said...

Those are beautifully done. It inspires me to find out more about my family tree.

Thanks for linking up to Make it Yours Day!

Dee said...

i have been wondering how to scrap all the photos that my mum went to so much trouble copying for each of us. now I have a few ideas running through my head. thanks for sharing. i found yyo through the link-up.

Jen and Jared said...

Those are beautiful books. It can be so overwhelming when trying to put family history together but this is doable! Thank you for sharing :)

Lori said...

These are wonderful!!! I love them all

Thanks for joining Get Your Craft on Thursday. Please join me next week for another great party.

Country Lady said...

You did a wonderful job on this. I have been working on putting together a family history as well and this is very inspirational, thank you for posting it!

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JayBee said...

STUNNING!!! ALL of them!!!!