Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Drool-proof DIY Baby Photo Album Book

I am SO excited about this adorable baby book my 12 year old helped me make for Bruce! The laminator is broken (4 days after the end of the 30-day warranty, go figure) so we decided to use Ziploc bags! We chose to start with our family to teach Bruce the faces, names, and sign language for each member of our household, including pets.  He can eat the book, drool on it, etc.  It's pretty sturdy and baby-proof.
This is the finished product.

-Chose photos to go in your bags.  We used Ziploc quart size freezer bags.  Freezer is slightly thicker/sturdier and quart is the perfect size.  They are about 7" x 7" so print your photos accordingly.
-We copied photos onto a Word doc and resized them to fit into the bags. I printed the photos on regular printer paper (or you can even use cardstock) as photo paper isn't needed and I didn't feel like messing with it.
-Crop your photos and cut out the names (I had a Word doc with "Family," "Mom," "Dad" and so on.)
-For a colorful background I used a bunch of old Thirty-One fabric swatches, but construction or scrapbooking paper works as well.  I just thought the patterns were fun and really wanted to make use of these fabric samples! 

 We used one & a half swatches for each page.  Or you can cut paper to 7"x7" - anything that covers the blank space.
Next we glued the photos on (and the labels - this page says "Taylor" and "Sister.")  Since my daughter did it each page is drenched in glue and the cutting is not in a straight line.  The baby won't care. :)

-Since the Ziploc bags have writing on the outside of one of the sides (says "Ziploc" and has the white space for writing the product and date on it) we used cotton balls with nail polish remover to wipe the writing right off! Worked like a charm!
-Slide the photo page into the bag - we had the zipper opening on the left side - and seal shut.  One bag holds 2 photo pages, one for each side.
-We used duct tape over the zippered ends to hold the book together (how cute is that Despicable Me tape?!) and I also tapped the inside w/ masking tape (loop it in a circle so it is double sided) just to be extra sure it all stayed together in book format.

 Inside the book - Each person/animal is labeled. The tape connecting the bags is hidden between the pages.
 My daughter used WAY too much glue, so I think this would look much nicer if done correctly/by an adult. (Don't tell her, she is very proud of herself!)
 This is Bruce's favorite page. Not only does he love the cats but he lights up when he sees other young kids/babies. I'm not sure if he knows this is a picture of himself or not, but he sure likes what he sees! :)

Back view. Also, you can draw with dry erase markers on the outside of the bags and make silly faces on everyone.  My 4 year old loved giving his sisters a mustache and blacked-out teeth!

Here is Bruce enjoying his book. Success! He loves to chew and drool on it, turn the pages, read with mommy, throw it, and listen to the words and sign language when we read it.

I have photos of him sleeping, playing, nursing, riding in the car, eating in the high chair, and taking a bath.  I think I will make another book and label those things he does each day and teach the signs that go with them. 

We could also find pictures of everyday things, like trucks, trains, trees, the sun, etc. Since my 4-yr old likes the book too maybe he could be the photographer and it could double as a scavenger hunt. Or he could help me find photos on the internet to print!  

We could also make one for extended family - so that the grandparents we don't see everyday can be familiar to Baby Bruce.  Plus, Dean can draw silly details on their faces with dry-erase markers!

Here's another book, this one was construction paper as the background, and my 9 year old did it totally by herself!