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Thursday, 1 October 2009

Handmade Holiday Book

When I was younger I was obsessed with documenting family holidays. I made scrapbooks, kept diaries and, on one memorable holiday to the South of Ireland, I even put together a little holiday newspaper with glued-in photos and headlines about days out. Well it turns I haven't changed very much after all these years, so that while my boyfriend and I were getting excited planning our first real holiday together I was also getting really excited about the prospect of making something to document the experience. I would be going back to Ireland, but rather than making another newspaper I decided to take some inspiration from my recent book-making exploits and make a holiday book.

My first step was to gather together lots of different kinds of paper. I had an idea that the holiday book should look like a bundle of scraps, so I packed a variety of papers to write on. Some lined, some plain, papers of differnt colours and sizes. I also took along 3 or 4 empty envelopes to keep smaller objects and scraps in. These were of different colours too! Very importantly I also made sure to prepare each sheet and envelope for binding before-hand by marking each one with a 2cm margin on the left-hand side. This only took a few minutes with a ruler and pencil and ensured that nothing I wrote or drew on holiday would be hidden from view inside the binding of the final result. I put all the papers in a freezer-bag along with pens, paper and paper-clips and they were packed along with the rest of our luggage.

Every day of the holiday I was making notes and drawing sketches while my boyfriend took photos. I was also careful to keep hold of bus, train and plane tickets and to pick up plenty of leaflets and postcards that I knew would look great in the book. The paper-clips were useful to hold notes and leaflets from the same day all together. By the end of the holiday I had a big bundle of papers covering every aspect of our holiday. All there was left to do was to make a book!

In fact the bundle was so thick (it included a fair amount of card as well as lots of paper) that I couldn't bind it all at once. Instead I devided the pile up into three and bound them together with needle and thread in just the same way that I have made notebooks in the past. I then glued the three smaller bundles together along the spines. All my scraps were together, I just had to make a cover that would do the holiday justice. My final design is a map of our holiday destination, Cape Clear. The design was virtually sew-free, with the exception of the buttons everthing you see on the front was glued into place.

Both covers are made from thick card covered in cotton, again just glued into place. On the back I attached our festval tickets with a few small stitches. I had hoped to sew the covers into place, but I didn't have the necessary tools to bind through the thick card as well as the large bundle of papers, so in the end I glued the covers into place. The binding effect on the outside is just for effect because I had my heart set on how it should look!

My final touch was a ribbon to hold the book closed, two short legths of spare ribbon, one sewn onto the inside of each cover.

It was so much fun to make this holiday book that I'm hoping to make another next year. With any luck it will be a completely different holiday that will inspire a completely different end result. We already had a visual record of the good time we had in the form of our holiday photos, but I think a holiday book compliments the photos really nicely.

If anyone has anything similar they've made I'd love to see it, any handmade albums or scrapbooks. In the meantime I think I'll have a flick through the holiday book again, just remind myself that it wasn't so long ago! Thanks again for reading, stay lucky

The Lucky Ladybird
x x x

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