Memory books to make

Let your imagination take wing as you tailor these gifts to their recipients' interests

More memory books

Tailor your gift with a pocket or another creative touch.

Thomas J. Story

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A handmade memory book inspired by someone's favorite activities, such as travel, cooking, gardening, or bird-watching, is an appealing and refreshingly personal gift idea ― and it's fun to create.

The memory book might function as a journal, scrapbook, sketch pad, or guest book. The size of the book depends on the size and thickness of the paper you choose.

TIME: About three hours, depending on complexity, plus drying time 

COST: About $20, depending on paper or fabric type


  • Metal ruler
  • 80 sheets white or colored high-quality writing paper (fewer if you substitute thicker paper or card stock ― needed if gluing photos)
  • ⅛-inch-thick cardboard or binder's board
  • Craft knife
  • White illustration board or mat board for cover lining boards
  • Two sheets of decorative paper or a length of fabric for cover
  • Palette knife or large Popsicle stick
  • Tacky glue
  • Two sheets of contrasting colored paper for the cover lining
  • 5 or 6 small clamps
  • Electric drill with a ⅛-inch-diameter bit
  • Large blunt needle
  • Colored paper twine or satin ribbon

Next: How to put your scrapbook together


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