I remember celebrating Ella's birthday at Jollibee, but as we all know, their guestbook would be a small stapled book with Jollibee or any seasonal character in the background and entry lines for guest name and address. Not that I have anything against it, but I wanted Ella's guestbook to be really pretty and have messages meant for her to read when she's older. So I made my own and I sure am proud of it...Here's how to make one:
1. Choose craft paper that is not too soft for the pages. Have it bound at any local book binding shop if you can't bind it on your own (I'd rather leave the binding to experts!). Specify how the book should be bound: where the binding will be placed (along the length or the width), whether the cover will be hard bound or paper back, etc. Make sure that the outside part will be blank!
2. Cover your book with a softer kind of craft paper, just like you would when you're covering books with plastic. I used pink wrapping paper with yellow sun symbols. Once you're done, we want to hide the tapes on the inside part with a pretty paper. As you can see, I used pink colored paper and concealed the part where the first page and the lavender paper met with a lavender colored ribbon.
3. To get a picture frame, like what I had on Ella's guest book, cut a cardboard in the shape you'd like to frame your picture with. Spread glue on one side of the cardboard and paste small bits of cotton. Cover the cotton topped carboard with craft paper. It could be the same paper you used to cover the book with or a different but complementing type. Paste your picture on your book and cover with the frame you made.
4. Design the rest of the book and let your imagination fly!
5. Adorn pages of your book with pictures and captions about the birthday celebrant, and make your guests write something for him/her too! Provide your guests with pen colors that complement your book's design.
I made mine for Ella's first birthday way back November of 2008, before I even started this blog. I got my inspiration from Shutterfly who makes photobooks. And even though photobooks are already available at local picture shops these days, they could get a little pricey!
So if you want to save on a guestbook and let your creative juices out, start making one of these for the nearest occasion in your family!