How to Turn Your Memories into a Homemade Book

For her start in a new room at preschool, Jumpy (3 years 10 months) had to put together a homemade book in the shape of a small ‘About Me’ leaflet that her new key worker would use to get to know her. She would also use it to start conversations about our family, Jumpy’s favourite things to do or her special toys. If Jumpy gets sad when away from home, she will also have this special little book to cheer her up and show her friends. It will always be at hand, a nice link from home when she is at school. I love this idea. Not only putting it together made us sit down quietly to reflect on things that really matter to her at this point in time, but she also drew her own self portrait and chose the photos she wanted to put there. how-to-turn-your-memories-into-a-book-about-me I often think back of the good moments and write about them on the blog, but the summer holidays spent offline made me realise we had less and less memories on paper. I print less and less photos, I stopped writing my paper diary when I started my monthly family updates and I miss leafing through photo albums and journals. I thought it would be a good idea for my ‘big’ children to put together a book all about their summer. I did not fancy a full-on summer work schedule for them, but I still wanted their little brains to keep ticking a bit so from time to time. They gathered their thoughts and put together a few pages about special days out. For some of our memories, we had kept entrance tickets, maps etc. so we used the materials as a starting point and the children wrote quite a bit. Each page had a different focus, loosely linked to the targets the children were given by their teachers at the end of last academic year. For example, Crevette (8 years 1 month) focused on “a variety of sentence structures within a paragraph” and I helped him with spellings so his aim was to make his writing interesting and to be creative with the types of structures used, not worrying about how words were spelt. how-to-turn-your-memories-into-a-book-zoo As for Beanie (5 years 11 months), as I was spelling words for her, she instructed me I did not have to help her with easy spellings, and said she would ask when she needed help (gosh I love her confidence!). how-to-turn-your-memories-into-a-book For other pages, I printed a few photos from our summer and they focused on those to create pretty pages. I had no paper at home so I printed quite a few photos on light coloured card, and we used our shiny new paper trimmer from Fellowes to cut them. how-to-turn-your-memories-into-a-book-fellowes-paper-trimmer Until now, I had a small paper trimmer I bought for scrapbooking 10 years or so ago, but I found it rather dangerous for the children to use, with its sharp blade and unsafe way to operate. The paper also had a tendency to move as you were cutting, annoyingly ruining some of my projects. Our SafeCut™ Electron Rotary™ Paper Trimmer solves all these issues. First and foremost, I can change the cutting cartridge without touching the blades, and the LED guide on the trimmer really helped Crevette (under my supervision) decide where to cut so the photos would not be too cropped. My little man wanted to experiment with the different blades (wave cut, perforate and fold), but we stuck to cutting for this little project. how-to-turn-your-memories-into-a-book Crevette was worried the card would move so he chose a pretty uncomfortable position to cut his pictures, but with the paper holding tool, his contortions were unnecessary. We all love using YouTube tutorials (me included) to learn how to draw (I am useless!) and we decided to go for a giraffe and a gorilla to illustrate our trip to London Zoo. The giraffe one was nice and short and I found it perfect for children who are starting to draw letter shapes. We had to pause every few seconds but the end result was brilliant. how-to-turn-your-memories-into-a-book-drawing-a-giraffe I really liked this tutorial to draw a gorilla because it was done by a dad and her daughter in real time (about 10 minutes) so it meant Beanie and Crevette could just follow the instructions without pausing (makes life so much easier!) and compare their drawings to the dad’s and the little girl, not getting upset when their gorillas were not as good as the adult’s. how-to-turn-your-memories-into-a-book-learning-to-draw-on-youtube Once all pages were ready, I took our comb binder out of its box and I am pretty sure there were screams of delights (the children and mine). Come, on, who wouldn’t want a machine that binds documents together into a spiral-bound book? how-to-turn-your-memories-into-a-book-with-fellowes-pulsar The machine was easy to use. All we had to do was select the correct comb and place it into the opening mechanism, then pull a lever. how-to-turn-your-memories-into-a-book-putting-the-book-together-with-fellowes-pulsar We then chose a front and back cover and I punched the children’s work before placing it onto the opened comb. I just pushed the comb lever backwards and the first book was bound. My little people were so proud to take these to school on Monday! how-to-turn-your-memories-into-a-book-fellowes-pulsar You could win a Fellowes SafeCut™ Electron Rotary™ Paper Trimmer How to enter the giveaway: Check the instructions in the form below. You can pick and choose a range of ways in which to enter. The only one you must click on to get into the draw is the one asking you to leave a blog post comment. You must also leave a comment telling us what you would do with your paper trimmer should you win it. Entries are open until 23.59 p.m. GMT time on 7 October 2016. Good luck! Fellowes Paper Trimmer   Disclosure: Fellowes sent me a range of office equipment free of charge as part of their #BloggerChallenge. In this post, I used the SafeCut™ Electron Rotary™ Paper Trimmer as well as Fellowes’ Small Office Comb Binder Pulsar e 300 and a binding kit. I was not otherwise compensated for this post. All opinions and photos are my own. – The prize will be supplied directly by Fellowes. – The giveaway is open to UK residents over 18. I have listed this giveaway on ThePrizeFinder, SuperLucky, Competition Database and Loquax.

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  1. Sandra Clarke says:

    I would use it for cutting out photo’s, coupons and entry forms as I can never get a straight line!

  2. Tracy Nixon says:

    For the kids school projects and for making photo books about our days out and holidays!

  3. Becky John says:

    I would use it for my Scrap booking

  4. S Edwards says:

    My children would make a book to keep their mementoes of our family days out

  5. Sobia says:

    I would use it for card making.

    • Me too! I’ve yet to try the folding function but I’m sure I’ll love it: it will look much better than my wonky attempts!

  6. glenka2014. Kelly Glen says:

    I would fill a book with drawings that my niece and nephew have done for me

  7. ftovey7 says:

    We would love to use it for trimming photos and paintings reading for framing

  8. Paula Readings says:

    I would use this to trim up my grandsons pictures for my keepsake book.

  9. It would be great for my grandson’s projects for school – a professional looking finsh. He always has lots to do !

  10. Creating resources for my classes.

  11. Dean Willoughby says:

    This would be so useful for the 100’s of projects that our son gets while attending secondary school. Would enable him to produce even more professionally finished projects.

  12. PAULINE HILL says:

    look really helpful

  13. jenn haden (@jennhaden3) says:

    I’d love to win this to use for all my different planner/organizer items and also my different papercraft ventures 🙂

  14. Sarah mackay says:

    To help me with my college work

  15. michael rose says:

    I would give to my partner as she is always doing prep work for her job and this would be perfect

  16. Ashleigh Ryan says:

    Crafts with the kids! Particularly making cards.

  17. I think it would be excellent for the kids school projects

  18. Hayley Fountain says:

    I would use it for cardmaking. It might mean i don’t cut things wonky ????

  19. iain maciver says:

    making cards

  20. Jo Carroll says:

    This would be perfect for crafting, cutting and making cards aswell as making scrapbooks and for saving the children’s work. x

  21. nearlydead says:

    To make cards with.

  22. Kelly Hooper says:

    I would use it for crafting

  23. Simon tutthill says:

    Think it would have to be for making Christmas cards,would come in very handy

  24. My little one just LOVES paper crafts and sometimes it’s hard for him to cut large pieces of paper and card with his kiddie size scissors. I’d love for him To be able to craft more independently and this would really help him.

  25. leannelunn says:

    Crafting we love making our own cards the personal touch i always best.

  26. karen cowley says:

    Would be wonderful for card making x

  27. suan watts says:

    Just what I need

  28. Marc Hedgley says:

    I would use this for card making with kids 😉

  29. Meryl Rees says:

    We make stickers and our manual trimmer is so annoying! I hadn’t heard of this item before I’ll be looking into it for definite. Thanks

  30. Popcorn says:

    To create some craft bits and bobs from scrap paper and old book pages

  31. very useful for our crafty days

  32. maria blythin says:

    for making my homemade cards x

  33. lucylucciano says:

    I would use it for my cardmaking

  34. Henry Little says:

    scrapbooks for the kids

  35. laura stewart says:

    for cutting photos and card making x

  36. felegantlyhafsah says:

    We’d use it for scrap booking and crafts and binding our memories. <3

  37. William G says:

    My wife could really do with one for all the craft things she does. Then she wouldn’t have to keep asking me to cut things with my very sharp scissors or the Stanley knife and steel straight edge!

  38. ADEINNE TONNER says:

    I would use mines for when i’m doing crafts like scrapbooking especially when it comes to cutting the photos.

  39. kezzy999 says:

    The kids and I love crafting – it would be great for our card making

  40. Catherine Slater says:

    I would use it as much as possible for everyday cutting as I find normal scissors painful to use, but I love the chance to try out the other blades and do some more paper crafting.

  41. jamie Millard says:

    making cards and photo collages.

  42. Kelly Hirst says:

    I’d use it for making cards with the kids and for scrapbooking

  43. kim neville (@kimneville2) says:

    My kids would like making crafty pictures and cards with this

  44. laura banks says:

    it would be great for sorting my sons things into a scrapbook as they are in a box at the mo

  45. fozia Akhtar says:


  46. ninamotylinski says:

    I would love to start making my own greetings cards and notelets but not got a steady hand with the scissors so always end up looking rather amateur!

  47. Jo Jones says:

    I would use the cutter for card making, entry forms, and the children’s pictures & treasures to store

  48. Jennifer Toal says:

    I would use it for my work and it would be great for my daughter

  49. Penny H says:

    I would use it for making cards and trimming photos. Looks a very cool machine!

  50. Caroline H says:

    Oh, labels for me. I make and grow items for a charity and this would be great for the labels that go on them instead of an evening with the scissors!

    • That would definitely save you ages! I am also planning to use mine for labels I put on homemade presents.

  51. Nicola Marshall says:

    With me going back to college and my daughter at school I’m sure it would come in very useful for projects, as well as photos.

  52. Elaine says:

    I would use it in card-making

  53. Tammy Tudor says:

    For making home made christmas cards

  54. lia sturman says:

    i use for card making

  55. Angela Treadway says:

    crafts with my boys x

  56. Ruth Harwood says:

    partly for the kids scrapbooks and partly to help with my degree xx

  57. Tracey bradshaw says:

    Childminder policies ,crafts & scrapbooks xx

  58. Rebecca Taylor (@bexbext) says:

    I would use mine for making craft projects with my son

  59. A.E. ADKINS says:

    Craft preparation for Brownies/Guides

  60. Iona Cornish says:

    For trimming the edges of cards

  61. Lisa Parker says:

    I would use it for cutting paper and card for my scrape booking hobby x

  62. Hannah Wright says:

    I am always crafting, so I would use it for cards/scrap booking and creating some fun art work x

  63. Natalie Crossan says:

    I’d love this xxx

  64. Marianne Daniels says:

    I’m a teacher, and it would be great to have one in my classrooM!

  65. Peter Hewitt says:

    I would use it for cutting and shaping cards and photos to make hand made greeting cards

  66. Frances Darvill says:

    I would use it for cardmaking, you never know it might help me get them perfectly square instead of wonky 🙂

  67. Susan Crosswaite says:

    My hobby is cardmaking so it would be well used for cutting paper and card

  68. claire woods says:

    Cutting out pictures and making cards.

  69. Tony Metcalf says:

    For scrap booking.

  70. Solange says:

    I would use it for card making.

  71. Jess Powell (Babi a Fi) says:

    I’d use it for making doll house miniatures 🙂

  72. Kerry Kilmister says:

    This would be for my children’s homework, and to create craft projects with them.

  73. Nicki Ramsay says:

    I’d use the trimmer for card making and scrap booking, it would look so so much neater than using scissors

  74. Margaret Gallagher says:

    I’d use to make sure all my pages are 5he same and for making git tags and cards look professionally finished

  75. Kathryn Booth says:

    i’d use it for my card making and scrapbooking.

  76. melanie stirling says:

    I would use it for cutting out signs for our stall and for pictures and for the childrens homework.

  77. For my children’s craft projects

  78. Penny H says:

    Hi Mel, I am having problems with the daily tweet on Gleam. I have tweeted, put my twitter name and pressed OK and it just keeps saying I have to do the action first – which has been tweeted fine. Not sure if it’s Gleam playing up?

  79. avmartin30 says:

    making greeting, thank you, birthday, christmas cards etc

  80. Kim Styles says:

    Making cards for all occasions with the children

  81. Sian Budgen says:

    Scrap booking and university projects!

  82. Melissa Lee says:

    I like to save pages from magazines and would use it for that

    • It’s funny, one of my friends said just that when I mentioned the paper trimmer yesterday. She’s going to bring all those magazine pages she’s been saving and we’ll cut them, laminate them and turn them into a book of ideas (she saves home stuff and recipes mostly).

  83. Cor555 says:

    To keep all my Childrens pictures nice and tidy.

  84. Laura Nice says:

    Would be fab for uni and for a family photo album!

  85. Richell Lever says:

    For my scrapbooking of the things my children do.

  86. Rebecca Nisbet says:

    we aredoing a bit of a photo wall in our living room, but handy so i can cut them neatly down to size.

  87. Patricia Avery says:

    Great for crafting 🙂

  88. Samantha O'D says:

    Would be great for making scrap books

  89. Karolina Rozwarska says:

    My daughter is very crafty, so this would come very handy in our house!

  90. janine atkin says:

    id use it for scrap booking

  91. Linda's Bits of This and Bits of That says:

    this would be great for making scrap books off all the kids work and pictures and little books for the grand parents at christmas

  92. Karen Barrett says:

    We have lots of frames in the family which we interchange quite frequently with artwork and photographs, ideal for cutting and preparing new pictures.

  93. Julie Thomas says:

    This would be perfect for my papercrafting hobby, enabling me to make accurate cuts on card and paper without jagged finished edges, far more professional

  94. Lynn Brown says:

    This would be great to take to craft classes.

  95. Susan Hoggett (@susanhoggett) says:

    I’d use it for crafting and scrapbooking

  96. Karen Smith says:

    For the kids homework and my teenage daughter just getting in to scrapbooking

  97. Spencer Broadley says:

    I’d let my sons start their own new scrapbooks with it

  98. Angela McDonald says:

    I’d use it for trimming down labels when I attached them to parcels!

  99. Emma Lycett says:

    I would use it to assist in the making of my yoga teacher training scrapbook

  100. leanne weir says:

    for crafting my xmas cards

  101. Kirsty Hosty says:

    I would use it for my crafting projects

  102. modzy78 says:

    I’d finally finish my college photo album (graduated 2000) and use it for craft projects.

  103. Beky Austerberry says:

    Making scrapbooks and the kids homework

  104. Tracy Gladman says:

    I would use it to help prepare my teaching materials.

  105. Kay Broomfield says:

    I’d use it to help my children with creative projects!

  106. Jodie Harvey says:

    i love crafting, this would be perfect for my projects, also for the childrens homework

  107. Kathleen Bywaters says:

    We love crafting and this would be fantastic to make all sorts of things – what comes to mind is squares for mosaics but I am sure there are lots of other fantastic things we could make with it too!

  108. Victoria Prince says:

    I would use it for card making and scrap booking 🙂

  109. Stevie says:

    I think we’d make a photo journal of my nephew who is due anytime.

  110. Tabby (@LTabstar) says:

    Crafting with my daughters. We are into cardmaking and making photo scrapbook pages

  111. Annaloa Hilmarsdottir says:

    Great for making creative occasion cards and the childrens school projects.

  112. Phyllis Ellett says:

    At the moment, we are sorting the mountains of LEGO into containers, so this would be great for making perfect labels for the boxes.

  113. Danielle Spencer says:

    I love paper crafting so this would come in very useful getting a straight line on my papers and photographs.

  114. Kathleen Moore says:

    I would use it for all the little projects I do by myself and also with my children 🙂

  115. Laura-Jane Baker says:

    I would use it for various arts and crafts projects

  116. Marie Evans says:

    Would be great for cutting my photo’s when printed.But i know grandkids would love it when they make things at mine.

  117. Anne Adlington (@AnneAdlington) says:

    We all the faily would use it for trimming photos cutting home made celebration cards also for cutting watercolour mounts for our pictures and much more

  118. Joanna Ford says:

    For trimming my resources for my class at school.

  119. Julie Ward says:

    For the grandchildrens projects from school

  120. Farhana says:

    I could use it to turn the pile of “junk” aka kids crafts into a handy folder of memories

  121. I’d use it to present all my family history research

  122. Sarah Davison says:

    I wouldn’t get a chance to use it. My kids would use it constantly and for every job imaginable.

  123. Rich Tyler says:

    Projects with the kids 🙂

  124. Maria Dhillon says:

    card making

  125. mynellie says:

    My husbands pigeon union newletters it would be a godsend

  126. Rachel Butterworth says:

    For paper crafts.

  127. Sam Goodwin says:

    Well my husband is a teacher so I know he would get a lot of use from this!

  128. I’d give it to my daughter to make story books with my grandchildren

  129. lacemaker56 says:

    I would use it for my handmade cards. My old trimmer is not so good nowadays and seems to have trouble cutting a neat edge

  130. Chris Andrews says:

    What would you use the paper trimmer for if you won it? . . . .oh so many projects l have in mind to do with my grandsons

  131. carole n says:

    this is a great giveaway, would love to use this for all my scrapbook challenges

  132. Tracey F says:

    I’d use it for cutting out photos and making them into books, similar to your projects. I love the All About Me! Might need to pinch that idea for my 3 year old.

  133. hannahlig says:

    I work a lot with young people and this would be great for them as well as my own kids

    • Thanks Hannah. It’s such a simple activity yet the end result looks brilliant. Whenever we make lanterns, I keep them for years to come.

  134. Melanie Knight says:

    This would be really useful for lots of different crafts!

  135. Kay Panayi says:

    My children would probably make Christmas cards first

  136. Kenneth peek says:


  137. Cheryl G says:

    I make cards for my friends and family and this would be brilliant for crafting

  138. Clare B says:

    Making cards year round but also for the festive season.

  139. Michelle Johnson says:

    I’d use it for papercrafting. I love making my own handmade cards and gifts for others.

  140. david cavender says:

    i would use it for arts & craft projects

  141. MICHELLE Stewart says:

    photos and crafting

  142. MikeyB says:

    My wife has wanted one of these for ages for doing projects with the children so i’d wrap it up as a christmas present

  143. kimberley ryan says:

    school projects, scrap booking and card making

  144. Susan Trubey says:

    To help my grand-daughter make Christmas cards.

  145. Projects, photos, card making.

  146. Mary @ Antooshki says:

    I can think of so many uses for this when my little one and I are doing crafting, we will be making our own Christmas cards this year and this would be ideal!

  147. allaboutme731 says:

    I would use it to make cards and other arts and crafts. Thank you for the chance xxx

  148. rebecca smith says:

    this would be really useful for my children’s homework

  149. lorraine polley says:

    perfect for making cards and gift tags, especially at christmas

  150. Allan Wilson says:

    trimming the kids art and art booking them

  151. cathyj says:

    arts and crafts

  152. Kirsten Murphy says:

    I do a lot of painting and this would be great for adjusting size for frames and mounting

  153. sharon martin says:

    i’d use it for alsorts but mostly for trimming photos

  154. Lauren Porter says:

    for my daughter’s craft projects and, as a teacher, to get work ready at home!

  155. michelle speight says:

    i would give to my daughjter who loves to make her own cards she and craft stuff with her little sis

  156. Pam Smith says:

    I do a lot of scrap booking so it would be fantastic for that as well as the card making that I enjoy

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