While many rely on e-mail these days to correspond with family and friends, you may still get a little thrill when opening your mailbox to find a hand-written note. If you still like to send "snail mail" and had a hard time finding all the street names and postal codes for your holiday envelopes this past season, then one of your resolutions may be to organize all of this information in one place.
We've used some simple scrapbooking techniques and our computer to create a charming little book in which you can enter all the information you'll need the next time you reach for an envelope or the telephone. Follow our simple steps or use your photo-editing program to create your own design.
You will need:
Thick photo paper or cardstock
Scissors or utility knife
Clear plastic button, needle and thread
Step 1: Create your cover and book page templates
• Open your photo-editing program and create a new 8-1/2- by 11-inch document.
• Save this document as your front and back cover. (Click here to download our front and back cover.)
• Using the rulers in your program, insert a 5- by 7-inch rectangle.
• Add colour, insert clip art images or place text within your rectangle. We chose to create our own papers and embellishments separately to layer and decorate the front cover.
• Print your page using the "exact size" setting. This will ensure that your page is printed at the dimensions that you specified.
Step 2: Design your paper and embellishments
Are you stuck with only white sheets of paper? No problem. You can design your own patterned pages and clip art in your photo-editing program. This also allows you to select your own colours to create a one-of-a kind project.
• To design our striped sheet, we opened an 8-1/2- by 11-inch page and added rectangles as lines in various sizes.
• Use the program's colour palette to fill in each stripe. We used pinks, browns and white.
• Save your image and print on your paper using the "exact size" setting.
• If your printer doesn't print borderless pages, trim off the edges before using for your project. For the other elements on the page, we placed various shapes, text and a clip art flower that came with the program (we added the colour) to decorate the front cover.
• Print onto cardstock using the "exact size" setting.
Step 3: Decorate the cover
• Cut out your 5- by 7-inch page and the other shapes for your cover.
• Sew a button into the centre of the clip art flower to add dimension, if desired.
• Glue your papers in place and allow to dry.
Step 4: Design your inside pages
• Resave your front cover as your first inside page. We saved ours as AB.
• Use text boxes and shapes to create the area where you'll be writing your addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
• Add decorative elements to the page. We copied part of our stripe motif to enhance the bottom of the page.
• In your program, where you insert different shapes, find a semi-circle or rectangle that will serve as your letter tabs.
• Measure out how many tabs will fit to the size of your book using the software's rulers to guide you.
• Insert the letters for your first page on the tab.
• Test-print your first page on regular paper before printing on your cardstock and designing the rest.
• For the next page, save a new copy and move the tab down to the space that you measured.
• Replace the text with the next letters of the alphabet.
• When you have completed all of your tabbed pages, print each page separately.
• Make sure you print using the "exact size" setting.
Click here to download our page templates in PDF form.
Step 5: Assemble your book
Once each page has been printed and trimmed, use a hole punch to create holes where you wish to bind your pages together. You could also choose to take your book to an office supply store to be spiral bound. We threaded white ribbon through our holes and knotted it in a way that is easy to undo if we want to add more pages in the future. You could also tie the ribbon in a bow.
Your book is now ready for you to write in all of your new addresses, phone numbers and whatever other information you wish to keep. You may want to add a space for birthdays. You may also wish to record all of the information right onto the page before printing so you don't have to write each one out by hand.
Page 2 of 2 – Download our striped page and embellishment patterns on page 1.
Heather Camlot and Tara Nolan have honed their digital crafting skills writing, editing and creating for Microsoft Home Magazine. Their work has also appeared in Style at Home magazine.