How to DIY a wedding card keepsake book

January 21 | Guest post by Hawkswine

We got a ton of wedding and shower cards and I'm sooooo not the sort of person to keep cards around, but pitching them just seemed wrong! I didn't want them to just sit in some box so I decided to turn them into a book that I can flip through and enjoy memories whenever I'm feeling sentimental (so about once ever four or five years).

This project was actually pretty easy to execute. Luckily, my two largest cards were about the same size so I used them for the front and back "covers" of the book. Also fortunately, one of the large cards was in my wedding color, powder blue, so it worked out as a great front page!

Here's how you can make a card keepsake book of your own…

Materials:[clicklink slug=what-to-do-with-wedding-cards]

Step 1:
I sorted the cards by size and then purposefully mixed them up so that there weren't too many small ones together or large ones together. I didn't want any "holes" in the book.

Step 2:

I carefully arranged the "spine" and bottom of the book so it was as flat as possible then vice-gripped them together. Then I just took the magic Sobo craft glue and applied a thin layer of glue to the spine, about 1/8" thick. That's about as thick as you can get it and not have it dripping down the sides. Then I just set it as level as possible and let it dry for a couple days until the glue was completely clear.

Tip: The vice grips left dents in my top card that don't seem to be going away, so I would advise you to put some sort of cardboard under the grips to protect your top and bottom cards.

Tip deux: It's important that the spine is as flat as possible before you apply the glue. A couple of my cards didn't get glue on them and are falling out of the book. So be sure to keep them all straight and flat before you glue!

Step 3:

Then I took some rice paper in the dark purple that was our other wedding color and cut it just a smidge wider than the spine width so that it would wrap over about an 1/8" onto the front and back cover. Then I put a little more glue on the spine and smoothed the paper down.

Tip: Because not everything is the same height, the book is a bit narrower at the top than the bottom. You can custom cut the rice paper to kind of hide it. It's also one reason I put the pattern to the inside. I'd stay away from rice paper with any kind of stripe or obvious pattern because this will point up any inconsistencies with the width.

Since not all the cards are the same height you can see a bit of the paper from the inside of the book, but the thing about rice paper is it looks pretty on both sides. I actually put the printed side of my paper to the inside so you can see it from the inside of the book, which I thought was a nice touch.

I also plan to put some kind of title on the spine like "Katie & Jake, March 28, 2009" but I think I want to do it in gold rub-on lettering. You could also use vinyl lettering, collage the title, hand paint it or print on the rice paper before you adhere it to the spine. The options are endless!

  1. Ooh this looks great! I have a load of cards I really don't want to throw away but then I think what's the point having them sitting around for ages? Thanks for the idea for actually doing something with them!

    3 agree
  2. Interesting idea. Very nicely done. Putting a title on the spine would be cool. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thank you so much. I'm definitely going to do this with any cards I get. I'm getting married at the end of the year. I'm also going to suggest this to my friend who just got married last weekend. =)

  4. Very cool! I'm a little concerned about the glueing part because apparently I'm still a 3 year old when it comes to managing messy glue, and like you experienced, I don't want cards not picking up the glue and falling out.
    Do you think it would work to use string across every card? I guess I'd have to figure out a way to attach the string to the "spine," and if it's a lot of cards, that turns into a lot of string…. Maybe just one band of glue at the top of the spine on the inside of the book – let it dry, and then pull it tight down to the bottom of the spine and adhere to the inside of the book as each string lies in the crease of each card? hhmmm.. interesting.
    Thanks for the great idea!
    What do you think?

    1 agrees
    • you could try putting the glue on the spine part and then tapping the cards down ONTO it instead of putting it onto them. Might work better that way, you'd have to tamp the cards down, vice grip em, and then move the whole thing over to the sticky spine. That way even if one of the cards wasnt gripped really well, it'd still get glued cus it would be landing on the glue. Just a thought not sure how well it'd work.

    • The trick is going to be sanding the backs of the cards (along the fold.) The more fibers the glue can work its way into, the better the hold is going to be. After everything is clamped together, but before you put any glue on, rough up the backs of the cards with a bit of medium-coarse sandpaper, then brush or blow off the paper dust, and apply a thin later of glue and the rice paper or kraft paper (like a paper lunch sack- something that's not too smooth).

      If you include a folded piece of heavy paper at the beginning and end of your stack of cards and glue it in too, you'll have something you can glue a more decorative spine cover to, that wraps around the stack, and something to glue to the covers for more stability!

      1 agrees
  5. Honestly, the glue method is very effective… I only had 2 or 3 cards not get glued and they stay put with almost no effort – just like sticking a recipe card in a recipe book – when the book is closed, it's not going anywhere.

    Oo! Maybe you could do a combo – do the glue method, let it dry and then any cards that didn't take, put a strong tread inside them, stick them in the middle of the book somewhere and then glue that thread to the spine. After all that dries, then cover everything with rice paper – not a bad combo!

  6. Hey Girls! Just made this tonight with our wedding cards. I used hot glue instead- to make it go much faster…the thing about that is you glue the (paper) spine to a front card and then place a few cards at a time on some hotglue (that was placed along the spine) it holds them pretty well & when they aren't put in a vice grip there is space between them a bit so you can see the cards a little better without them bending… I'll probably take a picture of it some time.

    With the hotglue you can tell quickly which ones dont stick and then go back in and add a stripe of glue and stick it back in.

    2 agree
    • Oh, I hope you post pictures. I wanna see how it turned out! I think I can manage hot glue. Sort of. I inevitably burn myself but hey, skin grows back.

      1 agrees
  7. That's awesome. We got a gift of a box made to keep all the cards in, but I was thinking about using it for all the baby (shower, congrats, etc) cards we got & wanted some way to keep the wedding cards too! If I ever get some spare time (haha) I'll have to put something like this together! :)

  8. Love it. Unfortunately I am terrible at anything crafty so for any ladies in the same boat as me, here is a place that will do it for you!

    http://www.cardsforkeeps.com.au

    I'm not sure if they will do international orders or if its just Oz..

  9. Oh thanks for posting this! I saw this a while ago and planned on doing this instead of a guest book, but when I tried to find it again to actually make the book, I couldn't find it! This time I've got it bookmarked for safe keeping!

  10. I love this idea! What a fun keepsake. Thanks so much to both of you for sharing this. I'll be linking.

  11. This would be a great gift to do for the Bride and Groom while they are on their Honeymoon…*hint to any of my friends reading this* :D

    2 agree
  12. This is very much like how I made our guest book.
    Tip: Line all the cards/papers up and brush glue across, just as in the directions. (AT this point I added my cover sheets.) Then get two rulers and place one on the back and one on the front of the book, THEN put the vise grip (actully I used office-supply type clamps) on the rulers, not directly onto the cards/paper. This will prevent little imprint lines.

    I let this dry a couple of days (it took longer to dry than I thought it would).

    I also punched holes in the entire thing and threaded decorative cord through so that it looked like a little booklet.

    1 agrees
  13. What a great idea!
    One question though…what is the "spine" made of? Or where can you buy book spines?

    2 agree
  14. She made her 'spine' from rice paper. If you wanted to buy a book spine an easy way to do it would simply be get some heavy canvas type cloth, that was finely sewn (small holes vs large, like a cotton tshirt vs a linin napkin) and cut it to the size that you want, lightly roast the edges to prevent fraying and apply with more glue. Thats what most hardcover books have for thier edges, or rather had lol now it appears to be heavy paper. Honestly? I Prefer the cloth type ones they last longer. *Very avid reader*

  15. Thanks for this! This is great, I've been looking for a way to make my greeting cards into a book WITHOUT punching holes in them! Quick question; do you think Tacky Glue would work just as well? I've never used Sobo glue so idk how it would compare if the consistency or something is different.

  16. Thanks for the idea! I hope I have the energy to do this after the wedding!

  17. I used thin artist canvas as the front and back cover. I'm looking for something strong to hold my book together. I've read about porous fabric, does anyone have any other suggestions to make it look better and hold it together?

    • I used the so I glue that the instructions called for. I took my two pieces of small artist canvas- centered my bunch of cards in the center between the two canvas and used large heavy duty clamps to hold tightly in place. I smeared the Sobo glue and let sit for 24hr. I put a second coat and let sit another 24hrs.
      When I removed the clamps after the glue is completely dried I applied a sticky backed canvas paper to the book that served as my "spine". I bought cute scrapbook paper and covered the canvas with it to make it cuter.

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