Creating a Mini Photo Memory Book

Today my grandma is celebrating her 89th birthday! She is healthy, and may just live forever -- and I am so thankful for that!

When it comes to Christmas and Birthdays, her philosophy about gift giving is simple: "If I can't eat it, watch it, or plant it, I don't need it." Usually we give her a gift card to her favorite restaurant, but this year I decided to do something a little different.

We all know that as grandparents, and great-grandparents get older their memories start to fade. Not ALL people, but some. To help preserve some of those memories, I put together a memory book for her. My kids helped by giving me quotes about whey they love G.G. (great-grandma), and drew pictures for her. I included memories I have from time spent with her over my 35 years. Just quick thoughts about things I enjoyed doing with her, vacations we went on, and things she taught me.

I put together 89 pages of pictures, memories, drawings, and quotes... one for each year of her life.

It was really simple to do, and honestly you can get as creative (or not) as you want. Here is what you need:

• Project Life cards (I used the white ones) available online or at Michael's and Joann's.
• scrapbook paper (I used a Project Life 6x6 paper pad)
• 1.5-2" metal book ring (the ones with the hinge that open)
• a hole punch
• scissors, paper trimmer, glue sticks, photo mounting squares, etc.
• laminating machine (or you can take it to an office store to laminate cards for you)
• ribbon, ric-rac, twine to decorate the ring

I got my cards at JoAnn's (be sure to use a coupon) and the paper pad from Becky Higgins. The specific paper pad I used is from the High Five Edition. It has bright, fun colors and cute designs. Perfect for a cheery photo book! The cards are white cardstock pre-trimmed to 3"x4" with rounded corners.

You can also purchase the Becky Higgins Corner Rounder Punch (I got mine at Michael's a while ago or you can buy it on Amazon here), but it isn't necessary... any corner rounder will work (or you can use your scissors).

Begin by sorting through your photos and choosing the ones you want to use. You can use your computer program of choice to resize them so they fit on your cards. Some of mine took up the entire card, others I trimmed and mounted on a card I had decorated with the scrapbook paper. Once you assemble all of your cards and quotes, glue them back to back to form double sided cards. Then run them through your laminator to keep the pages from falling apart with use.

I tried to use my hand-held hole punch to punch the holes, but I found that it actually worked much better with my 3-hole punch. It also allowed me to line up each card in the hole punch so that they would all be punched in the same place.

One of the things I made sure to do, especially with photos of my kids when they were little, was to label the pictures with which of my kids it was. Even my parents have trouble figuring out who is who in baby pictures... but a mom always knows. ;)

I kept all the photos on the right side in my memory book and put all of the quotes, memories, drawings, and decorative thought pages on the left.

Even my, just barely, 2 year old drew a picture for his great-grandma. I added a note on it for his age at the time he drew it.

I tried where possible to match up a picture with a memory, drawing card from the same person. These belong to my 7 year old. He knows G.G. loves dolphins so he drew a picture of one for her. This  picture of her with him when he was a tiny little thing is just the sweetest picture!!

I didn't label current pictures of my kiddos, I figure she know what they look like now. ;)

This is one of my Project Life inspired decorative cards. I just used the white Porject Life card and a sharpie marker to create a simple card.

The book page hinged ring made it really easy to slip the finished cards on. It's also a great way to keep the book together because the cards are easy to flip through and look at. I found mine in a variety pack at Wal-Mart, but I'm sure you can also find them at any office supply store that you have nearby.

The last page had all of our names on it, and the back was a page from the paper pack. After assembling the entire book on the ring I grabbed some bright fun ribbons I had on hand and tied a square not with them around the ring to make it pretty.

I LOVE the way this little project turned out and I can't wait to give it to her this weekend when we get together to celebrate her birthday!

You can use this idea to create mini memory books from vacations, us pictures from photo shoots, create a mini baby book, to display information or products for your business, or with pictures from your child's school year.

You can display it on your coffee table, keep it in your purse or diaper bag, or give them away as gifts!

What theme would you do? Would you give it away, or keep it for yourself? Let me know in the comments!

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