Friday, January 29, 2010

ABC Books

When Peyton turned 3 years old, I made him a personalized ABC Book. I didn't do any fancy scrapbooking or anything at the time, so his was pretty basic. "A is for Art" with a picture of Peyton holding up a piece of his artwork. That sort of thing. But he loved it. And he still does.

And that book has lasted with no problems until about two months ago. When Ella accidentally ripped the bottom of some pages off the spiral binding. Peyton was devastated. I tried to comfort him by telling him that I would make him A BRAND NEW ONE! I was thinking that I could make his brand new one super awesome. And I could make each letter's page all layered and beautiful. But that idea was obviously ridiculous because he didn't want a new one. He wanted the same one. Sweet, sweet boy. So I tied the broken part with a little blue ribbon and he was happy again. Besides, kids don't care about the beauty of scrapbooking, they care about seeing pictures of themselves. (Click on the pictures for a close up.)

As I've mentioned before, sometimes I lag on the mommy ambition I once had, so Ella didn't get hers until this last Christmas when she was almost 4.

She has always adored Peyton's ABC book, so I knew she would love one of her own. And she does!

And honestly, it did take a while to put the books together - figuring out the perfect picture for each letter and all, but it was worth it. The only letter I actually had to take specific pictures for was the X. Luckily, we have a xylophone, so I made each kid pose in front of it. All the other letters I was able to figure out. It was like playing a mental game - trying to match each letter of the alphabet with one single picture out of the thousands that I have of my kids. The very last page just has The Alphabet Song on it. (Click on the pictures to see a close up.)

After I had all the letters represented, I printed the covers and back pages on card stock. Then I printed each letter page on photo paper.

Then I took them into a copy store and had them spiral bound with a clear cover on the front and back.

The whole process was really inexpensive. The only thing I would suggest is that you don't get plastic comb binding - the kind of binding where each little spiral opens. Get the kind of sprial binding that coils all the way down the book. Unless, of course, you enjoy fixing bindings every other day. Because kids can break those plastic comb bindings open by pure mind control. With their eyes closed and both hands tied behind their back. Really, it's quite amazing.

Anyway, back to Ella's book. I didn't want to make it too much fancier than Peyton's, because that wouldn't be fair, so I kept the letter pages in the same style and just prettied up the cover a bit. To the card stock, I glued on coordinating paper and lined the title paper with pretty brown ribbon. Cute, right?

Peyton and Ella love their ABC books so much. And I love that their books are made with all the love in the world.

Happy ABCs!


Tracey said...

This is so cute, my kids would love it! I hope I get motivated to do it before they are age 16!

4kidsgrandma said...

Lucky, lucky kids!

Kendra said...

I love this idea! I've made homemade alphabet books before with pictures cut from magazines, and the kids really liked them, but it never occurred to me to use pictures of them. They would love that!

I do have a question, though. I may be stupid for asking, but how did you get the words on there? I can manage printing out pictures and gluing them onto paper on which I've printed words, but I assume you used some kind of software to get the picture and the caption together. Could you give me some pointers on that?

I have three kids and do day care, so I'm picturing this project being used over and over in the years to come!

Darcy said...

Hi Kendra,
I dragged pictures from my computer onto a Word document.
Then I was able to write on the same page.
I hope that helps!

Miss Muffin said...

I loved reading your post. I did something very similar
Also made an ABC book with photos (I used one of those services where you can upload your photos on the web and let it get bound into a real book). I LOVE how it turned out and my daughter really enjoys looking at it!

Kendra said...

That's great, Darcy! I can definitely handle that. Now I can't wait to dig through all our pictures and work on some of these for the kids. (I was really needing a new craft project, and it looks like this is going to be it!)

Tiffany said...

What an awesome idea! I will have to try this once my son starts learning his ABCs! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Very cute and creative!! The airplane picture in Ella's book reminds me of where my husband went to school in PA! So thank you for taking me back there we had good times at that little airport!

Kristin said...

This is super cute!! And the teacher in me loves making personalized books for the kiddos! I will have to get started on this one soon! :)

Sarah said...

I love your idea! I am so excited to make one for my niece and nephews in Romania.

Thank you!

Oh - I saw this on Tip Junkie.

Marla said...

This is such a great idea!! I can't wait to make one for my daughter and see her face! I think she will love it! Thank you for sharing!

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