Now that camp is in session all over the nation (and in Canada too!), I thought it would be nice to show you all how to create your very own autograph/memory book to take to camp or anywhere else you travel this summer and capture memories and autographs of old and new friends that you meet along the way.
SUPPLES YOU'LL NEED & WHAT YOU'LL CREATE
For those of you attending iD summer camp, I’ve created this tutorial so that almost everything you need can be found at camp. If you’re not attending iD this summer, most of the materials are easy and inexpensive to find at any craft store.
Here’s a rundown of the list of supplies that you’ll need to create this super-cool autograph/memory book:
- Cardboard: Cut to the size of 8.5” wide x 5.5” tall
- Colored Paper: 2 sheets cut to the size of about 8.5” wide x 11” tall to cover your book.
- Colored Paper: 5 sheets cut to the size of 8.5” wide x 5.5” tall
- Illustrator, Photoshop or Microsoft Word: To create your cover image and inside page designs
- Hole Punch
- String (to tie the book together)
- Green Tape (optional)
- Mod Podge & paint brush (optional—and not found at camp.)
Remember, if you want to make one of these books at camp to always double check with your instructor before grabbing these supplies. In fact, if you’re at home, I bet your parents would appreciate it if you asked too.
And here’s what your final project will look similar to:
CREATING THE COVER
For the cover of the autograph book, I simply found some old cardboard boxes that I didn’t need and cut them down to the size of 8.5” wide x 5.5” tall. Sometimes cardboard can be tricky to cut, so make sure that you’re extremely careful when you do this step (always cut away from your body) and that you ask for help from an adult if you need it.
Next, you’ll want to use a hole punch to punch out three holes, which we’ll use later to tie the book together.
Now grab two sheets of colored or decorative paper that are at least 10” wide x 7” long. (Letter-sized paper works well for this). These two sheets will be our cover for our book. I bought some decorative paper from a craft store for my cover. If you’re at camp, the neon construction paper that your Camp Director has will work great as a cover. Or if you want, you can leave the cardboard uncovered…it’s up to you!
If you choose to cover your cardboard pieces you’ll want to print and cut out this template.
Once you have this cutout, glue the paper to the cover of each piece of cardboard (don’t worry about covering your hole punches…you’ll be re-punching them later.)
Then turn the cardboard pieces over, fold over the tabs and glue them to that side of the cardboard.
Use your hole punch and and re-punch the holes that you punched before. Set your two cover pieces aside for now, as we’ll be coming back to them later.
CREATING THE INSIDE PAGES
The inside pages are simple to create. Take 5 pieces (or more if you want) of any type of construction or decorative paper and cut it to the size of 8.5” wide x 5.5” tall. Use a hole punch to punch holes in the same spots as you did for your two cover pieces.
Set these pages aside for later for when you assemble your book.
DESIGNING YOUR GRAPHICS
Now it’s time to power up that computer and start digitally designing! For these graphics, I used both Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop; you can even Microsoft Word to create your graphics.
First up is the cover artwork. In Photoshop I opened up a new print document (CMYK color mode at 300 dpi) with an artboard size of 5.5” wide x 4” tall.
Then I created a summertime cover graphic. You can choose anything for your graphic. If you need any help thinking of design ideas or styles, check out on some my previous posts on how to create a certain type of style.
After that, I added in a title for my book.
After you’re satisfied with your cover design, print it out and glue it on the top cover of your book.
Next up, you’ll want to create your inside page graphics. This is where you can really let your creative freedom go, since you can choose any type of subject for the inside of your pages.
Using Adobe Illustrator, I created a new print document that was 8.5” wide x 11” tall. Then I created two rectangles with 7”wide x 4” tall. After we print our artwork, these lines will help us know where to cut so that they fit on the colored paper that we prepped earlier.
Then, I created designs on four of the boxes that included fun things that I could fill in about my summer and added in a title and a graphic on each page.
The remaining four pages, I kept as autograph pages, so I anyone I meet can sign my book. Once again I added in a title and a graphic for each page.
After I designed all my inside pages, I printed them out on a color printer and cut them out to size. Once each page was cut out, I glued one on each side of the paper that was prepped earlier and set them aside to dry.
This step is optional, but if you’re able, get a hold of some Mod Podge (found at any craft store). Mod Podge is a glue-like substance that will give a nice, glossy coat to your book. It will also make your cover water-proof and more durable.
You’ll need some sort of brush to apply the Mod Podge to your book covers and then just brush a thick coat on. When you apply it, it will look white and filmy. Not to worry, as it will dry clear.
ASSEMBLING YOUR BOOK
Assembling your book is easy. Just take your two covers (if you used Mod Podge, be sure that they’re dry) and all of the pages that you created and put them in the order that you want them to appear in your book. Each of the holes that your punched should line up if you measured them out each time. Take three pieces of string and string them through the holes in your book and tie them in a tight knot (but just slightly loose enough so you can turn the pages).
CAN I GET YOUR AUTOGRAPH PLEASE?
Now that your book is ready to use, be sure to bring it along to all the places you go this summer. How cool would it be, if you attended one of our summer camps or teen gaming camps and were able to get every camper and instructor’s signature in your book? Very cool! If you manage to do that, be sure to let us know on our iD Tech Camps facebook page, because that is one tough feat…but one that I know any iD camper is capable of achieving!
Other DIY Posts of Interest: