Remembering Dad Altered Book

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Remembering Dad Altered Book

I collect old books and have way too many of them, according to my family. I love the titles, text, and illustrations of vintage books. I also love the way the paper becomes a beautiful, brownish, aged color while the cover and binding have such interesting evidence of being read over and over.

For this mini-album, I began with one of my collected books, Famous Horse Stories. I chose it mainly for the color and wear of the hard cover, but the great chapter titles and boyish background text also make this book a good choice for an album about a man.

The Medium Heart Lever Punch is possibly my new favorite Fiskars punch. I love the diminutive size because it allows me to add ìloveî to my project without making it all about hearts. Bits of love, that's what the new Heart Lever Punch is to me!

Forty-year-old photos of my father combined with ones from most recent years create an album is filled with what I remember about him. Usually I make this type of little book as a gift, but this one is just for me.


1. Open book and remove sections by cutting near the inside binding with the Fingertip Retractable Craft Knife. Removing sections will allow the book to close when you add papers, photos, and embellishments. I removed the pages in ten-page sections about every 20 pages or so. Tip: If the book is quite old, it will have natural breaks in the binding, which provide natural places to remove pages.

Vintage Dad Book process 1 remove pages

2. Using the Compact Stamp Press, stamp some background images to some of the pages, while leaving a few blank. I chose different images for each set of facing pages I stamped on. You could use the same pattern throughout the book or vary them like I did. Tip: When you stamp the pages, place a flat object under the page (I used a clip board) so the image will transfer evenly.

Vintage Dad Book process 2 stamp
Vintage Dad Book process 3 stamp

3. Adhere photos to each page. Some photos may require some explanation, so add a journaling box on the opposite page. For journaling, I used my Desktop Rotary Trimmer to cut pieces of patterned paper. To create journaling strips, computer print or hand write journaling, leaving space between each line for cutting. Use the clear guide on the rotary trimmer to precisely place the text next to the cut. The clear guide will allow you to see exactly where you need to trim to crate thin strips without removing any part of the text.

Vintage Dad Book process 4 Cut strips
  1. Embellish pages with strips of tickets, punched shapes, and stamped images. Hold the page sections at a 90-degree angle to the book and staple so that each section functions as a separate page.
  2. To decorate the cover, cut patterned paper and adhere to front. A fine sanding block will allow you to blend the paper and the original cover on the outside edge. Using the Ultra ShapeXpress and the Bracket & Journal Shape Template, cut a label to go over the patterned paper. Add stamped alphabet letters and the ìprecious memoriesî stamped image. Hand write the date, then adhere a ticket and punched shape at the top. Staple ribbon across the front and add tiny alpha stickers to complete the book's title.
    Vintage Dad Book process 5 USX
Some other tips:
  1. I decided to embellish mostly with punched paper shapes because I wanted this book to lay flat when (and if) I display it. If you don't have this concern, feel free to add all kinds of layering and dimension to your book!
  2. If you print journaling from your computer, make sure to add some of your own handwriting throughout to add a uniquely personal touch.
  3. When stamping in a book like this (even when placing a flat object between pages), there exists the potential for error. Welcome the mistakes! Make incomplete stamped images or uneven ink application a part of your design. Enjoy the process and embrace your imperfect creation.
  4. Preserve as much of the original cover of the book as possible for your finished project because it adds so much vintage charm and texture.
    Vintage Dad Book spine
All pages:
Vintage Dad Book pg 1 both
Vintage Dad Book pg 2 both
Vintage Dad Book pg 3 both
Vintage Dad Book pg 4 both
Vintage Dad Book pg 5 both

Supply List

old book
self-adhesive gems
stapler, sanding block
patterned paper and tickets (Jenni Bowlin Studio)
Tiny Alpha stickers (Cosmo Cricket)