Autograph Books

As part of ongoing preparations for a family vacation, I’m preparing items for a welcome bag to surprise my niece and nephew at the hotel.

As always, I browse sites wth every intention of simply buying an item, and the get it in my head that I can make one myself, which will be custom and much cooler.

The item on the list this time was character autograph books.

Supplies:

  • Cardstock (20 letter-sized sheets)
  • Cardboardsheets (non-corrugated)
  • Silhouette Printable Adhesive Kraft sheets
  • Binding coils
  • Binding Punch
  • Photo sleeves

The first step is cutting the pages into 7.5 x 5 inch pages.  The idea is that a 4×6 photo sleeve will fit comfortably on the back of each page.

On a cutting mat for scale. The blue is the cardstock, with a 4×6 photo page.

Cut a front and back cover measuring 7.75 x5.5 inches.  This allows for a quarter inch on either side, with the exception of the side that will be coil bound.

I tried used a cardboard photobox from Michaels.  This failed in typical manner, because the box was too thick to fit in the binding hole punch.   Plan B was to raid mom’s craft closet, and find the cardboard that comes with larger photo prints.

My original cover and paper supplies

Cutting

Cut the cardboard cover to 7.75 x 5.5 inches

This is the general look of the book and pages.

The plan is to glue plastic photo sleeves to the backs of each page, but to keep the books somewhat small and lightweight for carrying around the park, I opted to leave them out and will add them when we get home.

The next step is the artwork.  After some brief searching, I found a great website called Tagxedo that will create word clouds in any shape you upload.  In order to be able to have a different colour bow, I separated it in Photoshop from the rest of the head.

Capture
Tagxedo allows you to customize the colour, words, font, and direction of the letters. The only snag is that you cannot choose specific words for a specific position. Because I wanted titles in the centre, I erased part of the image in Photoshop where those words would be.

 

The result after playing around with Tagxedo and Photoshop.  I ended up adding the name of each child to their word cloud as well.

The next step was to print the images on the Silhouette Adhesive Kraft Paper.

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The artwork printed on Kraft paper. Their names are in the blurred out sections
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Once I’ve cut the Kraft Paper to size, it gets applied to the cardboard. I also added Kraft Paper to the back cover cutout to make sure it has a uniform look.
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The basic assembly of the books.
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Of course, I oopsed. No worries though, I ended up trimming the edge off and recutting it after testing the hole line ups on regular paper.
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The corrected holes
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I used 3/4″ Spiral O Rings to bind the books.
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The finished products!

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