Monday, November 14, 2011

DIY Birthday Card Keepsake Book Tutorial

I came across this link on Pinterest and wanted to do something similar with all of Gabby's second birthday cards. Instead of having a pile of loose greeting cards, I was able to bind a neat notebook that's also easy to store.

Materials Needed:
Some of the supplies. Didn't end up needing any of the scrap paper.

Gabby's Birthday Cards: The card on top is from us and will be the front cover of her book. 

Sort and Clip the Cards:

I took the advice from the original poster and sorted the cards so short and tall cards are mixed in together. You don't want two short cards next to each other and create a big gap in the spine of your book. Use the biggest two cards to serve as the cover and last page of your book.

This next step is optional since the original poster didn't do this and her book seems just fine. I took it a step further and "bound" all the cards together. I wanted extra security so nothing fell out over time. The glue I used was four years old so might not be that great anymore. 

I found the shortest card in the stack and used that as a guide as to where to poke two holes in all the cards. Using a medium sized needle, I poked holes in all the cards in the same spot. 

Sewing the Cards Together:

Using about 4-5 strands of thread from the embroidery floss, I started with the bottom of the last page of the book and threaded the needle into the card. I looped the thread through the inside of the card and out the through the top hole. Then I placed the next card on top and threaded it through the top of that card, looped through the inside and out the bottom hole. Do that again for the third card - in through the bottom hole, loop inside and back out the top hole. Now I was able to slip the needle back through the previous card to tie it together. 

Cards Sewn Together: 

Since the edge of the back cover isn't tied to anything, I took the loose string from the front cover and tied it to one from the back cover. Trim the excess strings. I left about an inch but you can cut it shorter if you want. It doesn't matter too much since it will be covered with the spine anyways.

Gabby received a couple of cards that opened from the top so I cut it and just stacked them in with the rest without sewing. The glue should be strong enough to keep them in place. 

Prepping the Cards Before Gluing: 

The cards are still a bit floppy so I secured them together with large binder clips before gluing. Make sure you protect your cards from indentation by putting either craft sticks or cardboard underneath the clips. Now that the cards are secure, I applied a generous layer of PVC glue along the spine. Enough to get all the edges of the cards coated without it being a drippy mess. 

After the Glue is Dry:

It took a few hours for the glue to dry for me. It may vary for you so make sure the glue is completely dry before you move on. 

Adding the Spine:

Next, I measured and cut a piece of book cloth tape to the same length as my longest card. To make a crisp edge on the spine, I used a bone folder to make folding lines on the book cloth tape. You could use the edge of a craft stick to make the crease and that should work too.

The glue that is on the book cloth tape isn't that tacky so I dabbled the PVC glue all over the tape before putting it on the cards. 

The Finished Birthday Card Keepsake Book Project:

The Back:

I may go back and make a book for Gabby's first birthday as well. The only problem is she doesn't have a card from us. I never thought we would really be keeping all these cards so I didn't bother giving her one. From now on, I think I'll put together one of these books. It'll be a neat keepsake of all her birthdays, maybe even combine a few years together. 


  1. This is SUCH a cute idea! I need to do this!

  2. I so need to do this... one of my many projects to do.

  3. These are really lovely!! I really love to receive and also to make one of these cards. Thanks for sharing this wonderful birthday card idea .One more thing, I also love the pictures you provided, it looks great .:)