By Rachelle Doorley
Have you started thinking about Father's Day yet?
Every year I'm challenged by the desire to come up with something that's both handmade by my kids and an archival keepsake. My husband loves getting things made by his girls, and while the things they come up with are most certainly sentimental they're not always archival or storable (I'm thinking of the Pinecone full of flower petals that my daughter gave me this afternoon).
This year my older daughter and I worked on a photo book that's both sentimental and a keepsake, and I'm excited to share it with you because I think it could be adapted with different kinds of photos, papers, and styles to fit your family and mood.
We called our book "Dad and Kids," and to make it happen we started with an idea and a camera.
Makes a 12 page accordion-style book with 14 photos
- Card Stock, cut into 4.25" x 11" pieces
- Heavy Duty Glue Stick, like Elmer's Craft Bond
- Paper Cutter or Scissors
- Decorative Paper
- Glossy Photo Paper (4" x 6")
- Printer with Color Ink
- Bone Folder (optional)
We photographed things that reminded us of my husband: Peeps, his bike, and a best friend. And then we photographed things that represented the kids: a favorite park, toys, and a painting.
My daughter had fun searching for things to snap pictures of, and got to practice her photo-taking skills.
I also took some photos of the girls and of my husband to round it out.
I printed the photos onto 4" x 6" glossy photo paper on my home printer, and was surprised by how good they looked. I usually send photos off to a professional printer, but this was much faster and as far as I could tell the pictures were of the same high quality. Score.
Cut a stack of 8.5" x 11" card stock-weight paper in half to create a new stack of 4.25" x 11" paper. Draw a line 1/2" from one edge of each paper and crease it. Use a bone folder if you have one.
With the help of a heavy-duty glue stick, glue the sheets together by attaching a folded edge to a non-folded edge. This will create an accordion-style booklet.
Glue one photo per page and add some cute scrapbook paper to give it a personal touch. This gives you a chance to write funny messages, descriptions, and notes of Father's Day affection. Be sure that one photo doesn't have direct contact with another, or they may stick to one another over time.
There are pictures on both sides of the accordion, for a total of 14 photos. The kids and I added scribbles and messages in the black scrapbook areas.
Of course, you could easily upload your own photos digitally to make a lovely bound book, but if you're a DIY gal like me or you're doing this at the last minute, this is a great way to go. The most important thing to remember is that the kids have a hand in it and dad will want to keep it forever.
Happy Father's Day!
Rachelle Doorley is an artist, mother of two little balls of fire, and publishes the popular children's creativity blog, Tinkerlab.com. She holds a masters in Arts Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and lectures on visual literacy at Stanford's d. School and the San Jose Museum of Art.