Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A-B-C . . . easy as 1-2-3!!

For Carolina's first birthday, I made her an personalized ABC book. I made Lawton one, and to be fair, I HAD to make her one, too. Not that this is a very original idea, because I didn't make this up myself and you have probably seen others like it. Eight or so years ago, I remember seeing one that my friend Melanie had made for her first daughter and thought, "One day I want to make one like that for my kids!" So, three short years ago, I set out on a quest, and you can now, too!!! :)

She loves her very own book filled with pictures of herself! The proof is in the picture! :)
Here's what you need: Photos . . . lots and lots of photos! Stickers . . . lots and lots of stickers! Paper, an album, and an organization system/plan! (and a deadline - because I get things done under pressure!)
Here's why you should do it: This is more meaningful than any toy that you could ever give your child. I guarantee that you will NEVER get rid of this and it will capture sweet memories that you might not ever organize otherwise. This format allows organization for some basic language building for important people, items and places that you will want to teach your child anyways. After they look at this book long enough, (trust me, they will) they might even start to associate the letters with the beginning sounds of the pictures on the page!
All righty . . . let me tell you how I organized myself.
1. Find a scrapbook with slide-in clear protector pockets that you like. Lawton's was a 6x6 inch book, Carolina's is 8x8. If you want to stay simple, (and it is more portable) go with a 6x6. I couldn't find one though until AFTER I had committed to an 8x8. There is more space to fill on 8x8, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on you!
2. Put sticky notes on each page(s) of what letter it will be. I used two pages for A,B,C,D,G,H,K,L,M,P,S,T, and W. All the others only had one. I used different colors of paper for each letter, so a double page (like D) would have the same color, but single pages would be two different colors (like Q would be pink and R would be red.)
3. Look through all your photos that you have printed out that you would like to include and then go through all your saved photos and print them out.
4. Insert the photos in the designated pocket pages (loosely).
5. Go through your sticker stash you might have and cut them out (keeping them on the paper) and insert them in the designated pages.
6. Go to your local craft store and buy some stickers . . . when they are on sale! (this can be addicting - don't blame me for your final bill! :) Cut them apart and organize them. I just have to say - my Michael's is getting a TOTAL new facelift/expansion. I am so excited . . . I will have to stay FAR, FAR AWAY!
7. Find out who/what you are missing and then fill in the gaps. Think about all the important people - their little "friends", all family members, pets, foods, etc. Take pictures or find stickers to finish it out.
8. Once you have all the things that you want to include, THEN cut pictures to size and layout and affix your pictures/stickers.
Here are a few sample pages from Carolina's book to get your mind a joggin' . . .
Drew, digger, diaper, dump truck (I was trying hard not to be gender biased . . . but I did include princess stickers like Cinderella, etc. in hers - that weren't in Lawton's!), ducks,
Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Daddy, Dandy, deer
Grandma, Granddaddy, glove, grill, guitar, grapes
giraffe, Goofy, Granny, Gran-D . . .
x-ray (a sticker), xylophone
yawn, yogurt
zoo, zipper, zebra

Of course, you could do a totally digital book at Snapfish or something like that - it would probably be a lot easier and cheaper - but I like to scrapbook. I will say, having the different types and textures of stickers adds a lot of interest and intrigue. Their little fingers are drawn to the textures and variations of media on the page. However, a digitally made book would be AWESOME if you wanted to make it . . . I mean what baby/child wouldn't LOVE to look at a whole book of themselves and their favorite people and things? :)

And here's why I did it . . . for my sweet baby girl (as she is looking at her book)!!
Promise . . . it's as easy as 1-2-3! maybe . . .

**If you want to do this and would like to find out more ideas of things I put on each page, let me know! I would love to pass it on!


  1. I did this for my first 2 (though not by their 1st birthdays) and they STILL love their ABC books :) I need to do Jack's!! He's 4 1/2! Maybe I can get Luke's done before he's 2. :) this is a great reminder...and yours looks GREAT!! I think I got the idea from seeing Melissa E's a LONG time ago.

  2. I love to do this too! A good friend of ours gave us ABC scrapbooks when each of our children were born. She had the letters and stickers in place so that I just had to add the pictures. I gave my son his on his 2nd birthday and it has been a huge success over the last 2 years. My little girl now "reads" it more than he does. Her 2nd birthday is next month so I know she'll enjoy having her own ABC book with picture of herself. Those scrapbooks were GREAT baby gifts as I would never have put them together without the idea and the book partially made for me.

    Alice S
    stephensons4 at embarqmail dot com

  3. I'm so glad that you put this on here. I was wondering what an ABC book was when looking at Carolina's birthday post. I love the idea! She looks so precious looking at her book.

  4. again...i love this! ok, so i know what michael's you're talking about & so i'm thinking you must live pretty close to where i work. we need to have lunch one day where we ran into each other a few times.

  5. Ah, perfect Senior Graduation gift. Glad you posted this.

  6. Great ABC book. I made one for Jackson and am in the process of making one for Drew. He will be so excited that he made it in Carolina's book.

  7. What a great idea! I now know what my next project will be!

  8. So cute! I know me, and I know I'll probably never get around to this.....but I can dream, right?! :)

  9. I made one with the same concept, but gave it as a gift to my mom as the ABC's of her grandkids.

  10. I made one for my nephew's first birthday and it was a hit! My only problem was thinking of creative K things, so that page is still empty. Any suggestions?