When Miss Magoo was born, I looked all over for a baby book. I was so excited to record everything about her (I know, first child and all that).
However, as time went on, I found that I didn’t really like her baby book. There was so much in it that I didn’t care to record, like the bestselling book of the year, or how many pounds Daddy gained while Mommy was pregnant.
And there wasn’t enough room for the things I did want to record: the stories of things she did and said.
Finally, in exasperation, I grabbed a composition notebook and started jotting down the silly things she did, the milestones she reached, etc. And you know what? I loved it!
The stories of her life were more important to me, and writing them out in a composition notebook seemed more meaningful to me than filling in a few blanks in a baby book. Plus, this was able to carry along through her life, to record the crazy things she said as a toddle, the funny things she did as a preschooler, and the sweet things she did in elementary school.
I wanted to make it look cuter, so I made it into a memory book.
I have to thank my friend Devin for teaching me this awesome skill around a decade ago (dang, we’re getting old!), and my mom for giving me the stories she wrote to my grandma about my sister and I when we were little, which inspired me to write the stories of my kids.
Are Memory Books only good for Babies?
These memory bookes would also make a great way to document fun memories as a family, to use for a journal for a trip, or just as DIY Christmas gifts or Mother’s Day presents.
They are cheap to make, especially if you pick up composition notebooks during the back-to-school sales. But even at full price (about $2.50), this project still comes in around $5 or less!
- 1 Composition Notebook
- 5 pieces of Scrapbook Paper
- Glue Stick
- Embellishments (if desired)
- Pick out what scrapbook paper you want to use. This is surprisingly hard for me. I second guess myself, or find one piece of paper I love, but then can't find anything to go with it. You will need one piece on the front, one for the back, one for the binding, and 2 for the insides. (5 pieces)
- Lay notebook down on the wrong side of the paper. Draw a line about 1 1/2 inches past the end of the book, and cut that chunk of paper off. Don't get crazy about making sure this is perfect- it doesn't really matter. Do this again for the back of the notebook.
- Place your inside paper inside the cover of the notebook, and trace the shape of the notebook.
- Cut just inside of your tracing, so the paper comes out slightly smaller than the actual cover. Set these pieces aside- they will be used last.
- Glue your front and back pieces of paper to the front and back of the notebook, with the excess hanging over the open edges.
- At the corners, make 4 cuts, first cutting straight out from the edges, and then cutting smaller pieces in between. Be sure not to cut out a piece on accident.
- Glue each piece inward, pulling tight enough to make the edge somewhat smooth, but not enough to tear the paper. You will end up with a layer in the corner.
- Glue the top and bottom to the notebook, and then the side piece.
- Repeat this for the other side of your notebook.
- Cut a piece for your binding that is wide enough to go around the front and back, and overlapping the pieces that are already glued on a little bit.
- Glue the binding on. Then make a wedge-shaped cut in the binding piece, with the point of the wedge where the notebook is bound.
- Glue the binding pieces up.
- Take the inside pieces, and see if they fit correctly. You may want to trim them a little bit, and that's much easier to do if they aren't already covered with glue (speaking from experience). If they fit well, glue them in place.
- You may want to put a couple heavy books on top of the memory book for a while, just to make sure everything glues well. And if you want to add embellishments, feel free. Ribbons, pictures, pretties, whatever you can imagine. Otherwise, you're ready to start writing memories!
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