Altered Date Book Valentine’s Gift: Alter These Books Into Romantic Gifts

For those looking for a simple craft project to complete with your kids that involve recycling, this is the perfect project for you. Rather than throwing your date books away from last year, alter them into a simple Valentine’s Day gift.

Materials:

  • Date book
  • Bone folder
  • Small containers of water
  • Vintage ephemera
  • Vintage themed rubber stamps
  • Pencil
  • Decorative papers
  • Gel medium
  • Paper clips
  • Glue sticks
  • Lace corner puncher
  • Paint or sponge brushes
  • Black gel pens or ultra-fine sharpies
  • Walnut ink
  • Mini envelope template
  • Scissors
  • Glitter gel pens

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the book for altering: separate the book into ten equal sections, using a paper clip to hold them together. Glue the pages together using the glue stick, and smooth them flat using the bone folder. Be sure to run glue right to the edges of each page to ensure proper adhesion.
  2. Using the mini envelope template, create and assemble at least ten or fifteen mini envelopes. Burnish the edges using the bone folder to create sharp creases. Set them aside for later.
  3. Measure ten sheets of decorative paper so each are 1/8 inch smaller than the length of the date book, and twice as wide. Fold each piece in half using the bone folder to create a sharp crease. Wrap each piece around the glued section in the book, and glue them down. Smooth out all the bubbles and creases using the bone folder.
  4. Glue on the vintage ephemera in one or two corners of each page spread. Be sure to bring the adhesive right to the edges of each piece of ephemera so they do not peel up over time and repeated page turns.
  5. Layer the vintage style rubber stamps over one or two portions of the ephemera. Affix the mini-envelopes to the remaining area of the page.
  6. Use the black gel pen or ultra-fine sharpie to write poetry, song lyrics, and/or quotations.
  7. Trace along the edges of the ephemera using glitter gel pens, and doodle along the edges of both pages of the spread.
  8. Fill the envelopes with miniature love notes and journal entries.
  9. Use the lace corner punch to punch the corners of all the interior pages.
  10. Cover the front and back of the date book’s covers over using decorative paper following the same method as outlined for the interior pages. Affix the paper down using gel medium, smoothing the paper down with the bone folder.

Variations:

  • Use a bookplate on a piece of cardstock cut to size to embellish the front cover of the book.
  • Add larger envelopes to each of the inside covers to add more love notes, collections from your relationship, and other flat elements that would make a good addition to this gift.
  • Add jewels, stickers, and brads to further embellish the front cover.

A lot of the techniques incorporated in this project follow a lot of the same guidelines of art journaling and scrapbooking. If you do not have a date book, a damaged children’s book or a booklet are suitable substitutions.

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