Friday 11 September 2009

Tutorial - Birthday Book

Here is a tutorial for you to follow or adapt as you see appropriate - I've made a Birthday Book. Really because I have Birthday's written on scraps of paper and then I can never find them when I need them and miss Birthday's so I decided to do something about it!

The actual cover template was created by the very talented and generous Dolly who kindly sent me the file so I could use it (thanks Dolly!)

I've used Candy Doodles cd, you'll also need a ruler, pencil, pair of scissors, hole punch or similar tool, embellishments to decorate and two large jump ring binders. Aside from all the printing, it took me around 2 hours to assemble the book.

The above picture in more detail: The black target sheets are the front and rear covers of the book, you can see the template too (printed onto an A4 sheet so you get an idea of the size) and also the tags which I have printed the months of the year onto. The dandelion tags, printed onto 160gsm card are from the Candy Doodles cd - I cut and pasted the image onto a word document, added in the background colour and also the text. I did this in word so you don't need any fancy photo or picture editing programmes as long as you are familiar with Microsoft word.

The pages of the book - one for each month have been printed directly onto pre printed sheets of 100gsm smooth paper. I've used Microsoft excel to make up the months, making sure that the lines were evenly spaced and that I had enough days for each month! You will see my writing on the edge of the sheet - this is so I knew what months to print on which coloured sheet so that I wouldn't get the same colour opposite each other! It took a bit of planning and working out, but I got there in the end with the excel spreadsheet!

I double sided printed the actual pages onto 200gsm white hammered cardstock - a different colour was printed on the reverse - the months (above) were then layered on top (in case I made a mistake and didn't want to waste the lovely hammered card!)

The book covers were printed onto 300gsm card stock, traced around the template from Dolly and then stuck the sheets back to back for more rigidity.

Here are all the tags cut out and inked - I ended up using a hole punch to make the holes in the tags (much simpler on the muscles!)
I then cut down the sheets of printed card which will be the pages of the book - I rounded the edges and inked them too. The pages fit nicely inside the covers - I measured from the start of the circle to the opposite edge.
I then cut out the months, rounded and inked the edges again. It may help if you keep a note of the number of days in each month. Just so you don't stick the wrong month down!

I added the ring binders through the top and bottom of the book and here it shows two of the months side by side. The tags are not adhered to the pages - they can be turned over and can be moved too.

Now if I'd have really got myself organised, I'd have made a little pouch on the back cover for scraps of paper that I have yet to transfer into the book. Mind you, I've yet to write all the Birthdays in - I don't want to spoil it!

The front cover looks really plain (it has been inked too) so I used my Baby Face Cuttlebug dies to create the wording from silver and black card.

Add a bit of organza ribbon to the rings (matching with the colour of the pages!)

And it's completed!

This can be adapted for any type of book project and with Christmas just around the corner, Birthday books would make an ideal gift!
Hope you have found it easy enough to follow - if you get stuck or have any questions, please let me know!
Oh, I've just remembered - I have the spreadsheet for the months if you want to follow the project - my contact details are in my side bar - and I'll happily send it to you!
Edited to say - the template is on my 'old' computer (which is a little poorly) and I am in the process of transfering all the files, so bear with me if you've already emailed me - I will get the file to you!
  • Backing papers: Candy Doodles cd
  • Dies: Cuttlebug Baby Face alphabet set
  • Template: From Dolly
  • Everything else: My stash


  1. Wow this is great Ruth. So chuffed you've created something so fab with my template. You're soooo clever. :)xx

  2. Fantastic tutorial Ruth!
    Anice xx


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