living an unconventional life, one cocktail at a time

Birthday book of cards.

My obsession with Pinterest is finally paying off. Thanks to pinners ’round the world, I’ve found some ways to start organizing things that I can never bring myself to throw away, yet I could never figure out what to do with them besides toss them in a manila envelope and shove them on a shelf, never to be looked at again. Yes, I’m talking about cards.

I’ve been a compulsive card-and-letter saver since elementary school, when I wrote letters to my grandparents and various penpals around the world. I have shoeboxes full of cards and letters. So does my husband. (Secret: I love looking through his old cards and letters. Especially the ones from ex-girlfriends, they’re funny.)

And now that I have a baby, I’ve got even more cards to save.

Cooper recently turned one, and I knew I needed to find a good way to document his birthdays. Especially since his first-year baby book- I spent months obsessing over which baby book to buy, because it had to be perfect–  has approximately three words in it.

Solution found, via Pinterest (Side note: I get queasy saying “found on Pinterest,” because I’m really careful about making sure the original blog gets credit. However, it is definitely true that the only reason I found this idea is because someone else pinned it to Pinterest.)  This blog post, and this one, described clever DIY Christmas card books. I adapted the idea to fit a kid’s birthday.

Birthday Card Book via

Here’s what I did.

I already had some sturdy cardboard squares left over from some other project that never got completed. They’re about 6×6 inches. I covered them with scrapbook paper and decorated the front with stickers. (It’s embarrassing how much scrapbooking product I have in my craproom, I mean office, that hasn’t been used in years.)

I punched holes in the front and back covers. Here’s where I screwed up: I have a three-hole-punch, but I couldn’t get the cardboard in it, so I measured the spacing of the holes and then used an old anywhere punch (another scrapbooking tool that’s been lonely for too long), thinking I’d use the three-hole-punch to punch holes in the cards.

Wrong. I didn’t think this through, and the spacing didn’t work right. I ended up punching everything with a single hole punch. In hindsight, I should have bought a double hole puncher at the office supply store instead, or asked my husband to do it. He has a lot more common sense for this kind of thing. Don’t tell him I said that.

Anyway. The first “page” in the book is Cooper’s birthday party invitation, and I added a tab on the side with “one” on it to mark the year. Next, I added all the birthday cards, and finally, page that lists all of his party guests and birthday presents.

The book is held together with silver loose-leaf rings. I’ll add party invitations and cards to the book each year until it’s full.

Now, we have a cute little book of cards to look at and remember all the fun, instead of stuffing them into an envelope on the shelf!

8 Responses to “Birthday book of cards.”

  1. Dawn Pasco says:

    I love, love, love this idea! I’m a pinterest junkie and haven’t seen this yet. I still have a box of cards my mother kept when I was a baby. It makes me sad people don’t send cards as much anymore because of email, etc. I hope the art of letter writing and sending cards doesn’t become a lost art. I love your book. I’m going to put it on my scrapbook pinterest board.

    • Debbi says:

      Thank you! I have sooo many boxes and envelopes of cards in my house. If I can just find some more time, I’ll make more of these books! It really didn’t take too long, and it will certainly encourage us to actually look at the cards! Thanks again for your comment!

  2. Love this! Makes me wish I had a little one again! I’ll have to adapt this for my soon-to-be teen (Eeek! That scared me a little)!

    • Debbi says:

      Thank you! I’m excited for him to grow up looking at a book like this. I know he’ll be a teen before we know it- that scares me!

  3. Megan H says:

    I love this idea…Its genius. We also save cards compulsively and right now they’re all thrown carelessly in a box. Having them all nice and neat (and easy to look at) sounds very, very attractive.

    • Debbi says:

      It was really fun to put together, and I can’t wait to do something similar with Christmas cards- I can never bear to throw any of them away, and I especially love looking at the photos. Thanks for your comment!

  4. Allison says:

    After using the 6X6 cardboard for the front and back..did you like that size? I have been intending on making these for my best friends little one’s second bday coming up but was struggling to decide the size of my exterior (since I don’t have his cards yet)

    • Debbi says:

      Hi Allison! Yes, I was happy with the 6×6 size. Although, if I do this again with Christmas cards, I’ll probably use a slightly bigger size, maybe 8×8. It really turned out cute, but the hardest part was figuring out how to line up the cards and where to punch the holes. And it gets even harder with cards that open in different ways…or the tri-fold cards.

      Good luck, I’d love to know how it turns out! Cooper loves looking at his book and I can’t wait to add to it in December!

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