March 11, 2011

Love 2 DIY on the Weekend: Upcycled Children's Book into Photo Album

I have three kids at home. They are super big and all grown up and don't want any of their baby board books anymore. So when I was surfing the net (as I do on occasion) I found a fun site where the blogger would buy things from the $1 store and make something crafty! One of her projects was to make a photo album/journal from 2 for $1 board books!
Guess what I have 327 of??? BOARD BOOKS! And most of them are so yucky they aren't even donatable! For some reason my children liked to eat their books.

It's difficult to believe, looking at the picture but the one I used for this project is the least yucky of the bunch!

You will find my tutorials are very general. Mostly because this isn't like a cake baking tutorial where you should duplicate my steps exactly! I mean, the likelihood of you having the same size old chewed on board book in your home is probably pretty low.

So use this as a guide; An inspiration if you prefer. Hopefully I can spark those creative juices to make your own wildly creative crafty whats-a-whose-it. But for today - read about ours!

Once again, my 8 year old daughter and I did this project together. (I told you she was all big and grown-up)
We started by cutting the pages out of the book. Our book is relatively small - about 4 1/2 inches tall so we chose to only use 6 of the pages. Meaning we can get 3 photo albums from one book!

Next my very helpful 15 year old son sanded the edges just a tiny bit so the flappy paper edges weren't in our way. He used a little hand held sander but there is no reason you couldn't hand sand them or trim them very closely with an Exacto knife. 

Before we started making the album we discussed a theme. I thought for sure my daughter would choose to make a soccer album. But she surprised me and wanted to do a Rock-n-Roll theme. So we picked out paper from a pile in my craft room and trimmed it up and glued it to the boards.

To spread the glue and help the paper lay flat to the edge, we layed the paper on the board and then pressed with the handle of a butter knife from the center of the paper to the edge all the way around.

Next my handy dandy son drilled 3 holes through the boards. I'm not exactly sure how you could do this step without a power tool? Maybe nail through the boards one at a time? If you don't have a small drill, maybe now is the time to get one.(I know Habitat for Humanity has a small store in my town where they sell supplies and surplus!) Back to the drilling....

The next part was so fun. First we went through all of my scraps and goodies. I get tons of freebies when I order from Etsy. I try to pass them on to my customers but I tend to order a lot more than I sell. So I have lots of leftovers. We tried to find items that looked Rock-n-Roll to us.

Mostly we did not take pictures of the next couple of hours. There was a lot of pasting and cutting. I altered pictures at and printed them off. There is a lot of crafting going on at my house. Do you know we didn't turn the TV on once? My kids are 6, 8 and 15 and no one even mentioned it. I know this isn't a post on TV and how it can disconnect families, but I think it's worth mentioning. ;-) 

Here are a few pictures from our Rock-N-Roll photo album:

I must say, I think it turned out super cute! Please let me know if you agree and don't be shy about commenting with suggestions or ideas for future tutorials! I'm all ears! 



  1. I Love this idea! and you're not alone- everyone's kids eat these board books. I think they make them with bacon fat or something... :)

    what about using the cover as is, if decent, and putting photos of family members in it- nice gift for a baby shower???

    I am now headed to the attic to see what I can uncover... thanks for the great idea, and just the fact that you got the kids to help is wonderful!!!

  2. bacon fat lol that made me laugh out loud! :-)

  3. I absolutely love all of the creations you and the kiddos come up with! Wonderful idea
    lol on the bacon fat =)

  4. Looove it, Sammi! And so true about the TV! So much better with it OFF~ and what a great way for a family to spend time together~ doing something creative and fun!

  5. A great idea, it looks really effective too

  6. What a lovely idea. I'm jealous of your craft room - it sounds like treasure trove! :)

    Really like the rock and roll theme too.

    Anna x

  7. Wish I had some of these laying around my house! Maybe in the near future! :) Sammi you are the best!

  8. Love this project... great idea taking the book apart!