Documenting My Life: Episode 1

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Documenting My Life: Episode 1

The year 2013 is going to be a big year for our family. Our oldest son will go to his first prom, graduate from high school, go on his first mission trip to Africa, and live away from home for the first time to attend college.

Our youngest will begin middle school, participate in his first tennis tournaments, learn how to live day-to-day life as an only child, and, since his brother will be away at college, assume the challenging responsibility of getting the trash taken out and the chickens cared for before leaving for school each morning! My husband and I will be learning how to let go of a child and watch to see if we've properly prepared him for living a life where he bears the responsibility of making all of his own decisions.  It will be the year we find out if the business that we just started from scratch 2 months ago will survive.  The year 2013 will be a monumental year in our lives, and you better believe I'm going to be diligently documenting it!

As I've thought about how important it is to me to keep the process of this documentation going, to not let it be the piece of my life that gets shuffled to the bottom of the to-do list to do to make way for other things that are "more important", I've made some plans for keeping the momentum going. First, I have accountability. I will be sharing this process once a month here on the Fiskars website! Second, I have prepared some envelopes to collect bits and pieces of memorabilia for the approaching months. I considered just slipping the pieces into the page protectors for those months, but sometimes the pieces are too large. They are things that need to be scanned and reduced in size or maybe just bits and pieces of them will be used. I then considered just punching holes in large yellow clasp envelopes, but in the end, I decided I wanted something more aesthetic and durable. I created my own envelopes, similar in size to the large yellow envelopes, but made them from fabric. I included a tab of extra material along one edge and reinforced the holes for the binder rings by making them with the buttonhole feature on my sewing machine.

To create your own fabric envelopes, start by cutting 2 pieces of fabric cut to 21 inches wide x 15 inches tall, as well as cutting a piece of fusible web to the same size.

Follow the instructions that come with the fusible web for adhering the 2 panels of fabric together, wrong sides together.

Follow the instructions that come with the fusible web for adhering the 2 panels of fabric together, wrong sides together.

Lay the fused fabric panels with the fabric for the inside of the envelope facing up.

Lay the fused fabric panels with the fabric for the inside of the envelope facing up. Using a Fiskars acrylic ruler and cutting mat, measure 2 inches down from the top and 7 inches in starting on the left-hand side and mark the fabric. Measure 2 inches down from the top and 5 inches in from the right-hand side and mark the fabric. Measure 1 inch up from the bottom and 7 inches in from the left-hand side and mark the fabric. Measure 1 inch up from the bottom and 5 inches in from the right-hand side and mark the fabric.

Using a pair of Fiskars fabric scissors, cut along the lines made in the previous step.

Again using the Fiskars ruler and mat and a rotary cutter, cut the edges of the flap at the top of the envelope at the angle desired.

Again using the Fiskars ruler and mat and a rotary cutter, cut the edges of the flap at the top of the envelope at the angle desired.

Fold the left-hand flap over to the center so that it creates a 1 inch tab extending from the left hand side of the top and bottom flaps.

Fold the left-hand flap over to the center so that it creates a 1 inch tab extending from the left hand side of the top and bottom flaps. Stitch down the length of the envelope, 1 inch from the left-hand edge of the tab.

Fold the right-hand flap over so that the fold along the right-hand edge of the envelope is flush with the top and bottom flaps

Fold the right-hand flap over so that the fold along the right-hand edge of the envelope is flush with the top and bottom flaps. Using fabric glue, adhere the flaps together at the point where they overlap. Apply glue to the bottom flap and fold it up to adhere it to the envelope, as well.

After the glue has dried, use a sheet protector from the album you'll be using as a template to mark the placement of the binder ring holes on the envelope tab.

After the glue has dried, use a sheet protector from the album you'll be using as a template to mark the placement of the binder ring holes on the envelope tab. Create reinforced holes at these points by sewing buttonholes or using metal grommets. Finish the envelope by handstitching buttons to the top of the envelope. To use the buttons as a closure for the envelope, tie one end of a long length of string around one of the buttons and wrap the string around the buttons.

making fabric envelope finished

As I try to plan for the approaching month, I will be keeping a stash of embellishment ideas in my envelope. Since January is the month we really start anticipating snowfall in our area, I'm hoping to be able to use die cuts made with the Fuse, punched snow flakes using the White Christmas lever punch, and the Winter Frost AdvantEdge Border Punch in my pages this month. Next month, I'll share how I actually incorporated these tools into my January pages, and I'll also share pieces I anticipate using with my February pages.

Supply List

Fabric

Fusible Web

Glue

Sheet protectors

Buttons

String