Sentimental paper gifts: DIY Memorabilia Mini book

Minibooks edit

For Big Poppa’s 30th birthday this week I wanted to make him something special, which also reflected his new status as an “old man”. BP is affectionately thought of by many who know him as a grumpy old man. At the age of 24 he did start saying things like “I don’t understand young people any more”. Now that he’s officially tipped over into his 30s we have joked that he can now really start his decent into grumpy old man territory.

This project included finding a use for some of the paper memorabilia I’ve saved from our honeymoon in New York, as well as creating a mini book explaining the dice game Farkle. I found a gorgeous set of dice at the market in a little leather case. I couldn’t resist buying them for my-young-old man, but we’ve never played dice games, so I thought I’d better find a game we could enjoy. Farkle seems to be a popular and fun game we can play with just the two of us.

[I have also made a mini book comic about how we met for BP for our first wedding anniversary (paper) and last year I made a friend a mini book from a gorgeous old raggedy 70s picture book that was falling apart. The possibilities are endless really.]

Step 1 Minibook edit

1. You can use any paper of any size to make these books. If you want to use some paper from a special holiday or event, you can choose bits and pieces, like I did, and glue them on to a larger piece of paper. I glued these papers onto an A4 page. As well as the paper you will need scissors.
2. So here is my paper to start with (each side is different).


3. Fold the page in half.

4. Fold the page in half again.

5. Fold the page in half a third time. By this stage you will need to apply quite a bit of pressure to get a good crease.


6. Unfold your page to step 4.

7. With the fold towards you, cut up the middle crease to the centre of the page.

8. When you unfold your page it should look like this, with a slit up the centre of the middle four rectangles.


9. Fold the page in half lengthways and open the slit out like a diamond.

10. Push the top and bottom points of the diamond together and press the pages into a booklet. This is where you might have to readjust your creases to ensure the pages are even.

11. Voila! Mini book.

I used the pages from a tiny note pad inside my booklet and hand wrote the information. You can do whatever you like inside yours – use photos, stickers, lined pages, sketch paper…be creative!

If you do make a mini book using these instructions I’d love to see it! Please leave a link in comments or pop a photo up on our Facebook page.

Happy birthday to my beautiful beardy man. xo

Mama xo

Home-made gifts for the craft-challenged.

As I may have mentioned, I’m not the world’s best crafter. I can knit…squares. And I can sew…straight lines. I can cut…wonky lines. If I try to make something even slightly complicated it tends to come out just a little crap. Some people could get away with it by calling it ‘whimsical’. I can’t.

However, I think hand-made gifts are great. I love making them and giving them and I also like receiving them. I’ve spent some time trawling the web and created this list of not-too-crafty hand-made gifts for similarly craft-challenged individuals.


Handprint ornaments: These are a lovely grandparent gift, though I’m not overly keen on the sparkly kind. Also, not a great project with a very cranky toddler. I tried and failed.


Vintage book garlands:  Of course I love these because they combine my love of books with my love of crafts I am capable of doing.


Map garlands:  Having been gifted a bunch of old maps of Europe, this one is well within my BNN means. It looks to require a little sewing – but I can do a *little* sewing. Or I could work out a way to do this without using the machine at all.


Dinosaur tooth brush holders: Um, I don’t need to explain why I love these, do I? I also like the idea of encouraging tooth brushing, something we are working on every day with Little Fearse, who loves to nibble on her toothbrush but not actually brush her teeth.


Hexie bracelets:  These require a little hand sewing (can do!) and are a cute way to use up some of your adorable tiny fabric scraps.


Glass magnets:  While helping Mum sort through old books I found a very mangled fairy tale book from the 70s. It was missing a spine and lots of pages and we were going to put it in the recycling when I started to look at the gorgeous bright illustrations. I decided to keep it for crafts. I’ve started making little sets of these magnets using small details from these illustrations. I have to say, they’re particularly gorgeous. I found the glass gems second hand on eBay (old decorative gems for the bottom of vases and fish tanks) and have purchased magnets new, as the advertising magnets I’d collected for the purpose were not strong enough. This comes under my ‘craft’ exception and is the very first thing I’ve had to buy this year for this purpose, so I’m pretty happy with that.


Portable dolls house:This little suitcase dolls house is divine. I have a suitcase just like this and hope to make one of these for Little Fearse’s second birthday. It’s incredibly simple! And there are lots of great ideas for diy dollshouse furniture. This is my favourite.

Of course, then there is the idea of not giving any physical gift at all. I love this article. This year my parents gave us a Zoo membership for Christmas and we have asked that instead of giving Little Fearse a physical gift on Christmas day they come to the zoo with us a few times throughout the year. A much more memorable gift.

A Vintage Crafty Adventure: Beautiful and inexpensive gift wrapping

And now you’ve made your mini stash of gorgeous hand-made gifts, here are some gorgeous wrapping ideas:

I hope your start to the craziness that can be December is serene and meaningful.

Mama xo