School Memories Mini Book

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
School Memories Mini Book

I admit that I suffer from “Mom Guilt” syndrome. For me, it is guilt over things that I mean to do later but never seem to get to. I am a mom to three, a 21 year old, a 17 year old, and a 7 year old. I have saved all sorts of mementos, school papers, and school photos from all three kids. With the two older children, I meant to write notes on the photos and papers. I meant to organize them and remember the significance of each piece. I meant to sit with them and record memories about each school year. Here comes the guilt part. . . I got busy and put it off until I totally forgot to do it. Now I have storage totes packed full with memories that I can’t remember the details of. I am even a little fuzzy on which grade each school pictures is from.

By the time my youngest daughter came along, I vowed that this time it would be different. I vowed I would take the time to keep her school memories more organized and recorded. This month she started the second grade and I realized that despite my best intentions I was repeating the pattern of being busy and putting off the little tasks of organizing her school memories. Queue the mom guilt.

I decided the first step was to make a mini book that would be a simple and quick project that would give me a spot to keep school photos and a few quick highlights of the year, a true snapshot of the year. When I make mini books I like to follow a scheme that I can use for each page over and over again. Since I wanted to record essentially the same information for each grade, I decided to feature one page per grade. Each page is comprised of a school photo with space to write a few notes. I had planned to make a fill in the blank journal card on my computer but decided instead to leave the space for open journaling. I felt that this left more options for the future, thinking that some things that we felt were important to note in elementary school would be less important in junior or senior high school.


After I chose a page formula, I decided on a size and cut a piece of chipboard for each page and cover to size. I covered each piece on the front and back with patterned paper. I cut a piece of notebook print paper to fit each page. The notebook print paper helped to downplay the bold background papers and provide space for journaling. I punched the edge of each notebook piece with the Notebook Border Punch. Because the book will be handled for many years to come, I took care to apply glue stick to the back of each punched edge to keep them from being torn off in the future.


I selected several stickers from the coordinating sticker sheet to use as embellishments on the front of my book. I wanted to create depth so with each element so I adhered each one to Grungepaper. I chose Grungepaper because its leather-like texture is more crease resistant than regular chipboard. The fine tip of the Micro-tip Easy Action Scissors made it easy to cut closely to the edge of the stickers and around any fine details.


I used a ¼” Hand Punch to punch holes on each cover and page. I placed hinged binder rings through the holes to assemble the book together. Once assembled, I sat down with my daughter and talked about Kindergarten and first grade. I added a school photo to each page and she told me what she wanted me to write.


Sharing the time with my daughter talking about and remembering the school year with her was a fun time. I think that having her involved with the process will help me to keep on track to do it at the end of every school year. I love that the formula is simple and only takes a few moments to fill in. It doesn’t seem huge or overwhelming, which is often the source of my procrastination. Keeping her involved in the process also gives us a special together moment. I love that crafting can give us moments like that.


Supply List

BasicGrey Oxford and Basics Collection: patterned paper, alphabet and element stickers; Epoxy Brads
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Grunge Paper
Tim Holtz Idea-olgoy Tiny Attatcher
Tim Holtz Distress Ink: Black Soot
Zig Writer, black
Therm O Web Super Stick, Super Tape, Sticky Strips Runner, 3D Foam Strips, Zots
Hinged binder rings