Guest Author - Elsa Neal
A memory book is an easy and lovely gift to make for motherís day, and all you need is a pretty journal and some photographs, Mumís favourite recipes, old letters, quotes and poetry, and any other ďmemoriesĒ you want to include.
But, if you enjoy paper crafts and you have some time, why not try your hand at making your own paper (or purchase handmade paper) and binding it into a special album yourself?
To make paper by hand you need a paper making frame (deckle) which you can purchase as a kit, or make yourself. Use a picture frame, or even an embroidery hoop, with a sheer fabric such as chiffon stretched across the outside. It is usually easier if the fabric is removable, rather than trying to tip the paper out of the frame. Experiment until you find a method that works for you.
Soak scrap paper in water, then mash the paper up, or run it through a blender.
Press a layer of pulp into the frame using a large bowl or basin to catch the excess water. Let as much water drip out as possible at this stage.
Gently release the formed paper onto a towel to dry. You can set up layers of paper with a towel in between each layer to soak up the water. Change the towels when they get too wet, so that the paper dries fully.
Decide whether you are going to fold your paper in half, getting two sets of pages for each sheet (called a folio), or keep it full size.
Stitch your inner pages together, down the middle of the fold if youíve folded them, or along one edge of youíre retaining the full size sheet. (Retain two leaves for pasting onto the inner covers later).
Create a book cover backing by cutting cardboard to size. You will need two sheets of cardboard slightly bigger than the final size of your pages, a strip of card for the spine (measure the thickness of your inner leaves Ė the spine can be thicker than these, but not thinner), and two thinner strips for the area between each coverís fold and the corner of the spine.
Glue or stitch your inner leaves onto the cardboard spine of the book
Glue the card sheets, spine (with the attached leaves), and strips to a large sheet of handmade paper (you may need to purchase a larger sheet if you are unable to make bigger sheets of paper. You can also experiment with joining sheets by gluing them to the card, and gluing on ribbon to hide the join.
Paste a clear, bold photograph (black and white works well) or simple picture onto the front cover of the book, then recover the book in chiffon or organza fabric.
Glue the sheets of paper you retained onto the inner cover, to neaten and hold the chiffon cover in place.
Now add your memories for a gift thatís too pretty to wrap.
More Mother's Day gift ideas:
Books of Love Inc are selling a My Mother - Book of Love, through Amazon.com's marketplace. This is a handmade book "sculpture" that is made from a real book. It looks like there's currently only one copy being sold.
Another lovely idea using salvaged books is the Book Box, available from the Book Box Company Inc. These are gorgeous secret storage boxes and are also made by hand.