Summer is the best season to gather with family and friends in the garden. It’s a season to share a meal, to remember old times together, and to exchange gifts. One of my neighbors was planning a great dinner party in the garden for a family reunion. She came to ask me to design the perfect mementos to impress her guests. Her idea was to send them home with a memorable keepsake. My idea was to design garden journals for each child focused on their times spent in the garden.
When thinking about the best mementos to use in this project, old photos and hand written letters were the first things that came to my mind. I then asked my neighbor for photos of her children when they were small and also old letters, recipes and garden notes. I purchased cheap, old books from the thrift store and created a garden journal for each child. Here is how I created the garden journals for my neighbor’s daughter.
- Old books (the older the pages the better)
- Glue sticks
- Glue gun
- White glue
- Millinery flowers (silk flowers)
- Foil leaves
- Pressed flowers and leaves
- Ribbon and lace trims
- Punch (butterfly shape)
- Photocopied hand written letters
- Photocopied old photos (you can use an original if you wish)
- Scrapbooking papers (rolls or sheets)
- Glitter (fine powder)
Decorating the book covers
- Choose an old book. Then glue groups of pages together, about six pages at a time creating a new thick page to decorate. Continue creating these thick pages until you run out of pages in the book. Let the thick pages completely dry.
- Choose sheets from your scrapbooking stack, cut and glue them to the cover of your book. I used a piece of my own handmade paper to add character to the book cover but you can use a piece of handmade paper available a craft stores.
- Cut and glue scrapbooking paper background for your thick pages. I used two different kinds of papers for these pages.
- Choose a piece of ribbon to make ties for the book and glue it to the book’s spine.
- Cut a heart shape out of thin cardboard and glitter it. To glue the glitter to the heart shape use white glue. I chose fine, green glitter powder for this project. And I then glued a pressed flower and branch to the heart shape for a collage effect.
Decorating the book pages
Now is time to start decorating the pages of your book. I love calligraphy and really enjoy putting a collage together with old handwritten notes. These notes can be recipes, garden notes, letters, etc. Use what you have.
Set them aside and start choosing your embellishments and photos for your composition.
You will then cut your notes and glue them to your pages using a glue stick.
Then add photos and glue them to your pages the same way.
Decorate them with pieces of trim, lace ribbon, pressed flowers, millinery flowers and foil leaves. They will resemble miniature frames.
If you have any stickers use them as well! And use your punch to make some fun shapes.
This is a fun project, green project. Repurpose old books and remember to root through your craft supplies before buying new materials to make it as eco-friendly as possible.