Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Labor of Love

After spending a week with my granddaughter, I am always filled with creative ideas to support her as she explores the world. On my most recent visit, it was clear that she was exploring her own voice and using words to describe the familiar things in her environment. She also loves board books. So, the obvious conclusion - create a board book of some other familiar things in her environment.

My logical mind began to frame out how to create a book. Creating the pages would be simple, given that I owned a color printer. It didn't seem like it should be too hard to assemble...

I found a great reference on the web in an Apartment Therapy web site. And, I discovered many other suggestions as I surfed the web. So, over the weekend I went looking for materials and yesterday was 'book day'.

Using photos that my daughter sent of familiar items in my granddaughter's life, the project was fairly straight-forward. Aiming to make my life simple, I decided the final size of the book would be half of an 8 1/2" by 11" size page. This meant I could print two book pages per 8 1/2" x 11" sheet and do most of the assembly before cutting the pages apart.

I began by creating the pages in a design application that I had on my computer and then printed the pages on full page size post-it labels - the most expensive material for the project.

I then cut a product called 'Eco-Brites Illustration Board' to 8 1/2" x 11" size and mounted printed sheets sheets to the front and back of a board. The most challenging part of the task followed. I had a roll of Adhesive Laminate that I used to cover each mounted sheet. I found the laminate difficult to control and some of the pages are not quite smooth as a result. My technique improved with repetition and I found if I cut the laminate slightly larger than the page and trimmed it after, it was much easier to use.

Finally, I cut the full letter size pages in half and made holes in the side for book rings. We decided on this method of assembly so we could add to the book over time. 
The pages of the finished book turn quite easily and I am looking forward to reading the book with Judith-Catherine on my next visit in a few weeks!

PS: Linking up with Nina Marie at Off the Wall Fridays

PPS: I have posted an update to this project with a few additional suggestions.


  1. My daughter took an old book (the kind w/the thick pages), and glued some fancy paper on each page, then printed pictures of people my granddaughter has in her lfe (Mommy, Daddy, me, Papa, Aunts, Uncles, etc). Then she covered each page with clear contact paper. It turned out great. Love your idea, too!

  2. What fun for your wee Judith-Catherine! You're good at this 'grandma' business, eh Judy?

  3. ohhh what a family treasure this is. My first sewing project in 7th grade was a baby cloth book that had different interactive pages.

  4. Oh I love this! I have a 4 month old granddaughter. Perhaps if I start now I will have it ready when she becomes the right age! Thanks for such a wonderful idea!

  5. Very nice Judy! I'm sure your granddaughter will love this book and it can be added to as well! And with the laminate she could use a grease pencil or possibly a dry erase marker to copy out the words right on the pages.

  6. Great job Judy! I used canvas blank books for my granddaughter when her mom asked for one. This would have been soooo much faster. I'll have to remember this for our last grandson.

  7. What a great idea and what a lucky granddaughter.