Sunday, 7 September 2014

Toddler board book upcycle!



My little 20 month old Grub LOVES books and loves photos (especially of himself!), so combining the two is a win-win situation.  During my sons early months, I carefully compiled special photos online, and then had them printed as glossy hard covered photo books.  Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that these were no fun for my little man – although he was desperate to look at them, the pages were easily torn and those sticky little fingers went everywhere...

I investigated getting the photos printed on toddler sized board books, but the prices were crazily high – especially considering the possibility of little teeth nibbling on the edges!  After testing out several different homemade versions, I hit upon the easy solution of upcycling dollar store board books - he loves them!  We’ve now compiled quite a little library that documents his adventures and experiences.


To make your own you’ll need:  

Dollar store board books, sellotape & scissors (plus the cost of printing & laminating your pages)
1) Fossick around your local dollar store on the hunt for cheap baby board books.  You’ll be covering the pages, so don’t worry about the contents.
2) Use the size of your board book to guide the rough layout of your publishing template.  Insert photos and appropriate text along with any borders, backgrounds or clipart you desire.  I used Publisher, but any word processing program that you can insert photos into would work.  *Alternatively, forget about this step and use some suitably sized paper to hand write your text and attach your photographs!
3) Print and laminate your pages (this is the most important step - you need to protect your hard work from those grubby sticky fingers, crumbs and snotty noses!)
4) Carefully cut out your laminated pages.  Depending on the board books original illustrations, you may want to make sure you cover them completely by trimming your pages appropriately)
5) Put a loop of sellotape on the back of each page to position the laminated sheets perfectly before sellotaping around each edge.  Voila - your board book is now ready to be enjoyed by your little darling!

TOP TIPS FOR BOARD BOOK UPCYCLING:

COUNT YOUR PAGES:  Make sure you count how many pages your dollar store board book contains.  If it has too many, you can tape the first 2 pages, and last 2 pages together to create thicker cover pages.  

CHECK YOUR SPINE:  Use a laminated off-cut to cover the spine of your book if needed.  

USE YOUR PHONE!  There are many different free aps that you can use to create photo collages on your phone - I've made several books entirely of collages (including the text) made on my phone!  Just upload the collages to your computer and insert into your document.  This may not be appropriate if using a larger board book as the resolution may be reduced.



Happy upcycling and thanks for popping by!

Grubbily yours,
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