At the Craft Table with Rae Grant: Recycled Cardboard Summer Scrapbook

The following was written by contributor Rae Grant of My Little Hen.

With summer travel and lots of outdoors adventures still happening, what better way to have your kids preserve these memories than in a scrapbook made from recycled cardboard and paper?

Making and keeping a scrapbook can be a creative entry point for kids into collecting  postcards, letters, or plant specimens. They can also get experience documenting their adventures creatively. Even the youngest can hand and finger print pictures, draw pictures, and collect summer material such as leaves, flowers, feathers, to place in their journal.

Gathering recycled materials for this project is easy and it can show kids  just how much stuff we have around the house to use again! Depending on the materials you have on hand, and how your kids like to put pages together, each journal scrapbook will be unique (which of course can be very cool!)

Like most simple projects, a few basic materials are required to get started.

Collect the following material:

• Two pieces of 8 ½ x 11 thin cardboard (Cereal boxes are perfect or a cardboard of similar weight)

• Six to to eight sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper (construction paper is colorful, white laser paper, or  brown paper bags trimmed to size works well too)

• String or ribbon, about 8 inches long

•  Good quality single hole punch

• Ruler

• Pencil

• One or two large rubber band

• Old breadboard or thick cardboard (to use for work surface)

Getting started:

1. Place text sheets between cardboard (like a sandwich).

2. Wrap two rubber bands around both ends to secure the papers before punching holes in the fold.

3. Mark two symmetrical holes about 1 inches from the edge. Use a pencil to mark each spot.

4. Set the book on a work surface and gently punch a hole through each mark. (be sure to pierce through the hole). The thickness of the paper and the quality of the hole punch will determine how many layers of paper you can punch, so be patient. You may have to punch two pages at a time instead of the whole stack.

5. Once all the holes have been made, check to be sure the holes line up when stacked.

6. Next, push one end of the ribbon or string through one of the holes from the underside to the top. Repeat for the other hole. Tie the ribbon or string loosely in a simple knot.

7. Unlace as needed to add more paper, or to adjust tension if needed.

8. Embellish the cover using glue and found material such as  bottle caps, cut out letters, beads, flower petals, pictures and stamps, whatever inspires you.

Extra Ideas:

Glue the back of a letter-size envelope to the page or inside cover to store letters, postcards or small sheets of note paper.

Decorate the outside of the envelope with letters, rubber stamps or drawings.

Did you keep a scrapbook as a kid? What kind of scrapbook do you think your kids might like to make this summer?

This kid made project was inspired  by the Summer Travel Scrapbook project in Crafting Fun: 101 Things to Make and Do with Kids by Rae Grant, St. Martin’s Griffin.

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  1. This is wonderful, Rae 🙂

    I’ve been cleaning out our file cabinet and have quite a few file folders … I think some of them need to be repurposed into summer scarpbooks. Thanks for the inspiration!

    What fun 🙂
    Kara Fleck´s latest post: At the Craft Table with Rae Grant- Recycled Cardboard Summer Scrapbook

    • thanks kara- even though it looks basic, kids really do like to take it on as a first book project. We have some plan for using old maps as covers, and found postcards for our next one.

  2. I love the earthly look it has by using recycled materials.

    Since my B is 2 I think it would be fun to make a “scrap box” and keep all of her treasures like the styrofoam she found, a button, and her rubberband bracelet she is so fond of.

    I’m sort of making an online scrapbook of my youth with 45 other women on my blog Mommy’s Piggy TALES. Each week we record memories from OUR youth and it has been an amazing journey. Well be starting the project over Oct 7 if anyone is interested.
    Janna @ Mommy’s Piggy TALES – Record YOUR Youth´s latest post: Fourth Grade was the Year I Was Homeschooled

  3. That’s a lovely idea for children when the holidays come around, and I like the way you have recycled the items.We have become such a throwaway society, I think your idea could help turn it around especially if we start with our children when they are young, and it would be so much more fun to.Thanks for sharing this idea.

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