For Christmas the year before last (back when I had NO time to blog, but I did have time to take pictures), I used a simple, repeatable formula to create meaningful gift albums for all of my nieces and nephews. Well, except for the two who are too young to appreciate them; they will get theirs in a few years.
You should have seen everyone's faces as they unwrapped their gifts at our family party. Moms and dads teared up. Kids looked through their albums again and again, comparing notes, giggling, trading and trading back. I even spotted two of the albums in a place of honor on my brother's fireplace mantel a few months later.
It was worth every single minute of time it took to pull them together.
I found these personalized, laser-cut, wood album covers on Pick Your Plum a few years ago. It's a deal-a-day site that features limited quantities of craft supplies each day. When they're gone, they're gone. (And these are most definitely GONE. I couldn't even locate anything like them in a Google search.) But you could complete the same project with any type of album.
My Album Recipe:
- 1 favorite photo for the cover
- 1 personalized title page
- 1 photo of me with the recipient
- A list of "5 Things I Love About You"
- 5 favorite photos of the recipient
- A list of "5 Hopes for Your Future"
- A self-portrait page (for the recipient to fill in)
- A 5-question quiz (for the recipient to complete)
You can breeze through all eight albums in this 2-minute video, created in the iMotion time-lapse app for iPhone. Or scroll down for close-ups of two complete albums. Music: "New Soul" by Yael Naim.
An Album for Thomas
I selected a different sheet of double-sided patterned paper for each album, trimming them to fit across the top of each page. They are not adhered in place, just slipped loosely onto the jump rings in between the pages.
How do you decide among all the wonderful photos you have? Just select the ones that mean something special to you. It almost doesn't matter which you choose. You're not telling a whole life story. This album is just a snapshot of A FEW of your favorites.
Each album ends with a 5-question quiz for the child to fill out. I honestly don't know if any of the children have completed these pages in their albums, but I wanted them to have the chance. Here's hoping!
An Album for Haylee
Why am I including a photo of myself in these albums? Because they are a gift from me. They share MY perspective about the recipient, not some objective truth, so it makes sense that I make an appearance somewhere.
The hardest part about these pages was narrowing them down to just 5 things. And actually, I kind of didn't. You can tell that some numbers mention multiple positive qualities. That's okay. The numbered list still makes them more inviting to read than if it had been one long paragraph.
My sisters and sisters-in-law joke that I scrapbook about their kids more than they do. It's probably true. I don't mind holding the title of "family historian."
And I truly believe that every memory preserved is a victory.
For your Pinning pleasure: