Thursday, September 20, 2012

Back to School - The Shell Collection

Do you like to collect things?  I certainly do, and one of my favorite collections is the shell collection I started when I was a kid.  Collecting, labeling, and reading about all the different types of shells and the animals that made them was a passion of mine.

It's hard for any child to pass up a pretty shell, or interesting rock, or beautifully colored sea glass on the beach.  I created this book for our vacation at the beach this year, so we could hold our beach finds in one place.

Here are my complete instructions for making a similar book:

What  I used:
  • Large pieces of chipboard.  I used the chipboard that comes with 12x12 paper orders.
  • Miscellaneous embellishments sized to fit in the pockets.
  • Binder Rings
  • Hole Punch
  • Sewing machine
  • Strong adhesive.  I used Beacon Zip Dry.

To Create Interior Pages:
1.  Pull out the plastic protector pages you want to use.  The pages I used were ones I already had around the house and are listed above.

2.  Cut a piece of chipboard for each protector page.  Cut the chipboard so it’s slightly larger than the page, leaving about 1/2 inch extra at the top, bottom, and right side.

3.  Stitch the plastic protector page to the chipboard, being careful not to stitch closed any opening in the page compartments.

4.  Punch holes through the chipboard where the holes in the protector pages are already.

To Create Covers:

1.  Cut two pieces of chipboard slightly larger than the largest page you’ve created in the previous section.  These will be your front and back covers.  My covers are 9-1/2 inches wide by 12 inches high.

2.  Cover the front sides of both pieces with patterned paper.

3.  Find a digital bingo card online and enlarge it in a word processing program so it fits nicely on your cover.  I used digital bingo cards from the Jenni Bowlin Studio Beach Bingo Card Kit.  I enlarged by bingo cards to 7 inches wide x 10-3/4 inches high.

4.  Stitch the enlarged bingo card on the center of each cover. 

5.  Punch holes using the pages you’ve already punched as guides.

6.  Cover the back side of each cover with patterned paper and re-punch the holes again.

7.  Glue a shell, rock, or other large beach item to the front cover with strong adhesive.

Putting it Together:

1.  Organize your covers and inside pages and thread binder rings through them.

2.  Measure each of the sleeve sizes on each different page.  Cut cardstock, patterned paper, or create your own embellishments that will fit in the sleeves for decoration and background for your treasures.

Here are the sizes of the sleeve compartments I used:
Avery 76009 : Business Card Pages : 3-1/2” x 2”
Avery 13404 : Side Holder Pages : 2” x 2”
Avery 76016 : Trading Card Pages : 2-1/2” x 3-1/2”

The digital bingo cards in the kit I used can be sized to fit perfectly into the trading card pages.  I also created some digital cuts to cut from my die cutting machine.  How you decorate your compartments is up to you!

You're now ready to fill your Beachcombers book with treasures you’ve found! Once they’re filled, you can stitch your compartments closed to prevent them from falling out or leave them open.

Children LOVE this book as collecting seems to be a natural activity for them!

If you'd like the svg cutting files I used for this book, you can download them here:

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  1. Wow this is so kool,love this idea...fantastic book...

  2. I love the combination of that light blue and the chipboard! Perfect for beachiness! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful project and the awesome files!!!

  3. What a fabulous idea! So very creative!! Love the colors & designs!!!!

  4. Thank you soo much for the free SVG files!

  5. I absolutely love this! And it appears so too do your girls! An interactive memento of their trip, awesome!

  6. Gorgeous album!!
    Very clever and creative!!

  7. Oh, I just love LOVE this! I am definitely getting that beach JBS digi-kit and adding this idea to my girls' beach albums/shell collections! Thanks as always for top-notch inspiration, Betsy!

  8. Oh wow! I love this too! Thank you for sharing! I'll definitely be keeping this in my inspiration folder!

  9. I can't wait to make something like this with my boys...of course it may have to be a book of rocks as we're quite a ways from the beach but nevertheless such a fabulously fun idea!!!