Gift Books {An Overview}

Gift books are books that I make and give as gifts to celebrate or commemorate an occasion.  They are original, personal, creative, and meaningful.  I usually save this kind of gift for something really special or significant, and, no surprise, most of them have been for my husband or children.  Here are a few of my favorite gift books…

{Our Story}

I gave Our Story to my husband on the night before our wedding day.  It is a compilation of all my journal entries spanning from the first time we met through our engagement.

I typed them all out, adding narration along the way, and then had the pages printed and bound.

Our Story was my wedding gift to Timm, and it tells my side of the story of how we met and fell in love.

{Remember}

Remember was a Valentine’s Day gift for my husband seven years ago.  It is based on First Chronicles 16:12…”Remember the wonders He has done,His miracles, and the judgements He pronounced.”

At the time, Timm and I were very unsure where life was going to take us next.  This book was a look back over where we had been together and recapped how we had seen God’s faithful hand at every step of our journey together.

I seem to recall throwing this book together very quickly, like it was a last-minute idea, and therefore the finished product didn’t have a lot of bells and whistles.  It was very plain.  But, the point of this book was less about presentation and more about content.

{Annie and Jake’s Big Adventure}

Five years or so ago, Timm and I took a week-long trip to San Diego with some dear friends.  A bunch of our friends offered to help make this trip possible by sharing the responsibility of keeping Annie and Jake while we were gone.  Each friend took our two kids for 24 hours.  Organizing the itinerary for the week was very involved.  Trying to explain it to preschoolers was even more confusing.  So I made a book telling them all about the great adventure they would be taking together.

I used our friends’ Christmas card pictures to visually remind our kids who they would be staying with.  I wrote out the events of the coming week in story form as if I was talking to my children.  I had it spiral bound at Kinko’s, and they carried it with them all week.  To this day they still love looking through the book about their Big Adventure.  And it serves as a sweet memory of what went on at home while we were away on our trip.

{Thirty Years in the Making}

Thirty Years In the Making was a gift to me on my thirtieth birthday from my friend Tamara.  I had a hard time turning thirty.  My friend Tamara, who has a gift for being encouraging and crafty, helped me feel loved by making this gift book for me.

She printed out her thirty favorite things about me {one for each year}, and then she put it all together in a very cute little book.  It was just what I needed.

I still flip through this book from time to time if I need a bit of encouragement.  Good job, Tamara.

{Thank You}

Thank You was a Father’s Day gift to Timm two years ago.  I was pregnant with our fourth baby, and I was all out of gift ideas.  I felt very thankful for Timm and the wonderful way in which he made my life and our kids’ lives so rich.  I decided a gift book was the best way to capture and communicate this to him.

Rachel proved to be a huge help in pulling this book together.  We made a colorful poster that said, “Thank You.”  Then I took pictures of the kids holding the sign doing various things that symbolized what we were thankful for.

Under each picture we wrote a caption that told what we were thankful for.  Some of them are funny {“Thank you for taking out our stinky trash”}, and some are very sweet {“Thank you for loving Jesus with all your heart”}.

The pictures are all great because they were very candid and spur of the moment.  We rushed around our house putting on costumes and setting up scenes to snap a photo of what we were thankful for.  It was so much fun.

Thank You is by far the best Father’s Day gift I’ve ever come up with.  Too bad we can’t do it every year.

{Our Words}

Our Words was my tenth anniversary gift to Timm last year, and it is similar to Our Story.  Timm and I are both writers, and over the course of our friendship/dating/marriage we have exchanged hundreds of letters.

In Our Words, I typed out all of our letters, added narration, printed them out, and had them bound.

It was a labor of love, and one that, at times, seemed to require more time and energy than I felt I had.  But somehow I managed to get it done.

I ended up not having enough time to have it professionally hard-bound before I gave it to Timm for our anniversary, so I had it temporarily bound with the promise to have it hard-cover bound at some point.  I have yet to make good on that promise…but I will…really…one day.

This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime projects that was worth every painstaking hour.

So there you have it.  A tour of my gift books.  Have these books have inspired you to want to make and give your own gift book to someone special?  I hope so!  In fact, I have some pointers and helpful hints to share with you.  Check back tomorrow for the gift book tutorial featuring my most recent gift book creation…

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5 Responses to Gift Books {An Overview}

  1. Sarah Wolfe says:

    Wow! These are all amazing!

  2. sarah newburn says:

    i might copy the father’s day idea too. loved it. you are unbelievably creative and talented. i’m glad i know you.

    xoxo

  3. Pingback: Gift Books {A Tutorial} | katherine sasser

  4. rachel says:

    this post has been my favorite so far!

  5. Andrea Johnson says:

    ‘Our Story’ is by far the coolest thing ever!! Untouchable!

    I may replicate the Thank You book idea for this coming Father’s Day!! What a great thing for a dad to see at the office every day, as kind of a pick me up! Thanks for sharing!!

    Love it!!

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