Reusable, Comfortable, Functional

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Special Handmade Christmas Present

While reminiscing about my childhood in the early 80s, I thought about the really cool sticker books that existed at that time. I was probably 4 or 5, and my older sister would have been 14. We were both ecstatic whenever we were able to come across new stickers to add to our books. I even remember the nearest mall had a store that exclusively sold stickers on large rolls and you could go in there and tell the employee which ones you wanted, and they would cut them off the roll for you.
I am now much older with my own children, the oldest being almost 5. She will often receive stickers from various places like the dentist, post office, even during the boat ride while heading to Mackinaw Island two summers ago. She adores each and every one of them, and instinctively wishes to apply them to SOMETHING.

My search for a sticker book similar to the one I had as a child turned up useless. I searched countless stores and online with no luck. So, being of the crafty kind, I finally decided to make her one myself. While designing the book, I had a couple goals in mind: 1. Keep the cost low - it is a sticker book. 2. Make it cute - I wanted to be sure she would enjoy looking at it. 3. Similar in style to what I remembered from the 80s. 4. Make it sturdy and strong so that it will last a lifetime.

I set out to find cute pictures from a children's book that I could photocopy, and came across several animals that I really liked. I brought the copies home and colored each with colored pencils and cut them out with an X-acto knife, then glued them to various colored construction paper. I ended up with 10 sheets for the inside of the book (20 pages), plus a front and back cover.

I wanted the paper to be strong and glossy like I remembered, so laminating seemed to be the best option. My husband dropped them off at an office supply store and had them work their magic. I really wanted a black plastic binder ring along the entire side to hold the pages together, but they said it couldn't be done. I'm assuming this is because I had so many laminated pages.

After I had the laminated pages back in my hands, I had to bind them together somehow, so I used my very inexpensive and weak 3-hole ring puncher to make indents into the laminated paper. I was then able to see where the holes needed to be and used my single hole puncher to punch each hole separately. I then tied jute string into each hole. I hope to find metal rings to replace the jute soon.

I added a sweet little note on the inside back cover to remind my daughter when she is older that I made this for her as a Christmas present, and I hope that she will take good care of it forever.

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