Instead of using a store-bought guest book, make your own family keepsake book for the family reunion. By making your own guest book you will save money as well as create something special to reuse each year. Add photos, mementos and other items to make this craft even more specific to your family. Choose cloth for the cover from an old family quilt, the flag of your family’s nationality or another personal fabric.
You will need: fabric about 18 inches square, 20 sheets of 8- x 10-inch white paper, two pieces of 1/8-inch thick cardboard 10 x 5 inches, and decorating materials like ribbons, fabric paints and buttons.
Line the white paper pages up evenly in two stacks of 10 pages each. Fold each stack in half horizontally to make a rectangle 8 inches tall and 5 inches wide. Unfold the stack and sew a seam down the crease with white thread. Sew the other stack the same way. Place one sewn stack unfolded on the table. Place the second sewn stack on top so that the seams line up in the middle. Sew the two stacks to each other with another seam down the middle. If the stacks are too thick for you to sew, squirt a line of glue down the center seam and layer the other stack on top. Press and hold the stacks until the glue has hardened.
Spread the cloth face down on the table. Place the two pieces of cardboard vertically and parallel to each other on the cloth. Leave a 2-inch margin between the cardboard pieces. The left piece of cardboard will be the front cover of the reunion book. If there is a specific design or motif on the cloth that you want on the book’s cover, align the left piece of cardboard over this area of the cloth. Line up the right piece of cardboard based on the location of the first one. This way, when you cut them out, the design will be on your front cover. Glue the cardboard pieces to the cloth and let them dry.
Trim the extra cloth to less than 2 inches around the outside borders. The two-inch margin between the cardboard pieces will form the spine of the book. Fold the outside edges of cloth up around the cardboard top, bottom and sides and glue them in place.
Lay the big stack of paper with the seam in the middle of the book cover’s margin. Arrange the pages on the left and right side of the book until they are evenly in the center of the book cover. You should have a rim of book cover around the top and bottom of the white paper pages. Glue the back of the last sheet to the right cardboard cover. Glue the front of the first left page to the left cardboard cover. Allow it to dry.
Make a ribbon tie to close the reunion guest book. Cut two 4-inch sections of ribbon. Open the front cover of the book. Glue 1 inch of the ribbon on the inside center of the cover. Open the back cover and glue the second section of ribbon to the inside center. The remainder of each piece of ribbon will lay outside the book. Tie them together in a bow to keep the book closed.
Use fabric paint to place a title on the front of the book. Write “Family Reunion” and your family’s surname. Open the book. Skip the first blank page. Write the same title on the second blank page with a calligraphy pen. Glue a family photo beneath the title. On the next blank page write the date and location of the family reunion at the top of the page.
Place the family reunion guest book open with available pens for guests to sign during the reunion. Begin a new page for each consecutive family reunion. Include postcards and photos from the location of the family reunion.