Monday, January 26, 2009

Infant Family Faces Board Book

When M was born, she was only a few months old when her paternal grandparents headed to Florida for the winter. Before they left, I figured out a way to keep them in the baby's life while they were out of state.

I made a square board book with photos of our family members so that M would get to know the faces of the most important people in her life--her family. M liked her book so much, that when K came along I made one for him too. Actually both of them still enjoy looking at those books today.

I finally got around to making Ms. D's book so I thought I'd show you how I made them.

Things you need:
mat board (the kind used in framing--I got mine at Hobby Lobby)
photos of family members' faces
clear packing tape
hole punch
binder ring

The amount of mat board you need will depend on how many family members you are putting in your book. I made my kids' books with photos of themselves, siblings, Mom and Dad, aunts and uncles and cousins. You also need to decide on a size. I made all of my kids' books 3 inches x 3 inches. It's a nice size, still small enough to tuck in the diaper bag yet big enough to hold a decent sized photo. If you don't have a template to trace and cut your squares from, perhaps you have a plastic storage container that is roughly the size you want that you can trace the lid for a pattern.

Once you have your pages cut you can decide if you want to cover the mat board with different papers. For M and K's books I made each page a different color so that we could use the books to teach colors as well as for looking at family faces. With Ms. D's book I was too lazy for that step so I just used the mat boards as is.

Next cut your photos into squares that will fit on your pages with extra room around the edges. I cropped my photos in my photo editing software and printed them out the sizes I wanted on photo paper.

Position your photos with enough space beneath them to write the person's name and tack in place with a small piece of tape. Write the person's name underneath with marker. I added Uncle before my brother's name and Cousin before the cousins' names as well. I also made a front and back cover.

Decide on the order of your pages and stack them up. Punch a hole in the corner of each page with a hole punch taking care to leave enough space before the hole so that your book won't pull apart and making sure to punch the correct corner in each page.

Now you're ready to tape. I tried to make sure I didn't have any tape lines over the person's face and also made sure to cover every part of the page, including the sides. The first time I made one of these books I tried to use contact paper to make the book water-resistant but it didn't work as well as just using the clear packing tape.

Once you've taped all the pages, you'll need to punch the holes again. Then slide the binder ring through all the pages, close it up and you're done!

(Aweigh Challenge post is below!)

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Sammanthia said...

That is the coolest thing ever. I should make one of those for Ryerson. When we went back to MI for the holidays there were a few people he didn't remember and making a book like this would help him to remember.

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

That is a really cute idea...I will have to keep it in mind for the next baby that comes into the family...

for a different kind of girl said...

When my oldest son was in preschool, he suddenly developed a massive case of separation anxiety that would make every day between me picking him up and then having to drop him at his in-home child care program for a few hours incredibly stressful. It was tearing my heart out.

Then one day, I had an brain storm. I wondered if there was a I could help him ease his anxiety if he knew what to expect each day. So I took photos of his daily routines (breakfast, teeth brushing, preschool, Mommy picks you up, day care, Mommy picks you up, snacks, playtime, etc.) and made a flip book like this with the ring holder. Depending on the day's events, I'd clip the appropriate book to his backpack, and when he was feeling anxious, he could flip the pages to see, from the photos, what he'd already done and what still had to happen before I was with him again.

I was amazed at how quickly this very simple thing eased his stress levels, and though we've not used it in years, I still have the book tucked in a drawer as a reminder that sometimes the simplest things offer the best solutions!

chelle said...

Oooo so loving this. We are far from family and this would be perfect to keep the faces fresh. Thanks for sharing!

Scribbit said...

What a fun craft! I'll stumble this one!

Damselfly said...

You are so crafty! You sure have a way with paper, scissors and tape!

Kate said...

Oooh, fun craft! You know I always love a good tip for crafts with photographs :) Thanks for sharing!

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