Crafts With Kids | A Photo Diary

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Did you know that Kev and I fell head over heels for each other in book making class in art school? So nerdy, right? Needless to say, I’m kind of obsessed with making handmade books. There is something so fun about making a book and binding it together. When I was first pregnant with Rowan I couldn’t wait until the day we could make cute little books together filled with her drawings and stories. For Rowan’s birthday this year we got her a camera. It’s waterproof and shock proof making it perfect for a 4 year old. She was showing so much interest in taking pictures with our phones, we wanted to help foster that creative spirit. She takes her little camera everywhere! One particular day a few weeks ago, we were walking around one of our favorite cities around us and I told Rowan she should document our time out and about. Then we came up with the idea that we could make her very first photo diary book… “The Photo Book of Troy, NY” captured by Rowan Winter Richardson.

She was in!

We teamed up with Canon USA to create this super cute photo book. A lot of the actual book making was done by me, obviously, but the photos, drawings and words are all her own. You could make so many variety of books with photos you print out. The possibilities are endless!!!

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Materials:
Matboard
Xacto knife
glue
roll of kraft paper
markers
cardstock
patterned paper
ruler
thread
drill
needle

Directions:
1. Collect photos of whatever you’d like. I chose all the photos Rowan took on our outing and laid them out in photoshop. I designed each an 8.5″ x 11″ page so 2 photos would fit and print together. We haven’t had a printer in our house since we were first married. I will admit that I can’t imagine not having one now. Our PIXMA MG7520 printer is so simple to use and it’s been so fun to just come up with projects on a whim that use photos without having to go to Staples to get things printed out. I love the connivence and great quality!

2. Print all your photos. I planned to fold each page in half and trim all the white space around the photos. About 3/4″ of the left see of your page will be covered by the binding. Make sure you plan accordingly so something important isn’t being covered up.

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3. Once all your pictures are trimmed, measure the length and height of the page. This will give you the dimensions of what your covers should be.

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4. Say your pages are 4″ x 3″. You will cut 2 covers (front and back) from the mat board that will be 4″ x 3″. To make it so the covers can open easily I made what is called a stab binding. On each of your covers you will cut off the last 3/4″. This will create the binding. You will now have 2 pieces for each the front and back covers measuring 3/4″ x 3″ and 3.25″ x 3″. Trim those last pieces to be 3″ x 3″. This will allow for the .25″ gap to allow the book cover to open while still being the same measurements of the pages. See picture below.

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5. Have your little one color whatever they would like on some kraft paper. Patterns, scribbles, pictures, whatever their little hearts desire. You will use this to cover the matboard making the front and back covers. Trim down the paper so there is about an 1.5″ extra around the matboard.

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6. Glue down the matboard to kraft paper (you could really use any paper you wanted to make the covers). Align the binding piece creating .25″ gap between the 2 pieces. Glue corners first by folding them in, then glue the sides.

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7. Cut some end paper to cover the inside of the matboard. Trim them to be just a tad smaller than the size of the covers. Glue them in place.

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8. Measure across the binding every half inch and make a mark. Clamp your whole book together. Drill holes through each of the marks all the way through the book. Keep the book clamped the entire time.

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9. Through the holes sew your binding together. Tie the ends together and your book it done! You can now take off the clamp.

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10. I had Rowan come up with captions for each of her photos and she wrote them on the opposite page of the picture. What a special little keepsake for them. Make sure you date the book so years from now you know when exactly they made it!

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We plan on continuing making tons of “Rowan’s Photo Books” as she takes more pictures with her camera. She is so proud of them! She made sure she brought it with us this week to show all her Grandparents. She has little stories about each picture. So cute!!!

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For more detailed steps on how to make a Japanese stab binding check out these sites: Design Sponge and How Did You Make This?

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  1. oh my gosh this is amazing! I am so going to do this with my little ones. And her photos are wonderful!

  2. lovely craft idea.

  3. This is so cute, Jen! And Rowan’s stories?! Oh my gosh, sounds absolutely priceless!! xo

  4. may I ask what camera? Rowan and my peyton are very close in age and peyton has been showing interest in my camera… Mama no share!

  5. Hi what camera do you purchase for your daughter? I’m having trouble finding one that seems real enough or has a bigger digital screen and is shock proof etc.. What rules donyou have about taking care of the camera and uses etc.?

    Thanks awesome idea!!

  6. I’d love to know what camera you chose too! I’ve got an almost 4 year old, and a camera might be the perfect birthday present! πŸ™‚

  7. Michelle •

    Such a great idea! Our kids are about the same age. Which camera did you get Rowan? We’re thinking of getting one for our son’s upcoming 5th birthday.

  8. I love this idea!! My daughter is 5 1/2 & is getting super interested in photography. It would be so much fun to get her a camera!

  9. this is such a neat idea, a great thing to keep and then later on in life when the kids have grown up for them to look back! collection of memories!

    http://www.footnotesandfinds.com

  10. very nice idea! i will try to do it πŸ˜‰
    If you want come to visit the new post on my fashion blog, here: http://honeyandcotton.org/random-photo-instagram/
    Kiss from Italy.
    NunΓΉ.

  11. Oh my! This is so cute! I love that Rowan decorated the cover, it looks amazing!! Thank you for sharing this lovely project! It looks so fun to make!

    Annie
    6-12 MONTHS BABY GIFT GUIDE on The MAMA Gazette

  12. This is such a cute craft! Will have to do this when my son gets a little older.

  13. I have deep passion on Photography. I like to visit here and there and I like landscape photo specially. Your photo diary are really good. I like your all photos. Thank you very much.

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev
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