Need a Valentine gifty idea?  "A Book Of Us" is the perfect gift for your sweetie, friend, mom, dad, child, grandchild--pretty much anyone, and Astrobright Cardstock is a great place to begin.



Stuff you'll need:
Astrobright Cardstock in your choice of colors.  My example will have five layouts in five different colors, plus a simple cover added.  You might prefer all the same color, or a monochromatic scheme, or all the colors of the rainbow!
an Xacto, razor blade, or box cutter
ruler
clothespins 
wooden coffee stirrers OR heavy cardstock cut into 5 1/2 by a little less than 1/2 inch strips
pencil
paper cutter
glue stick
plain piece of regular weight paper
one piece of cardstock cut to 3 x 9 inches

 1.  Cut the 8 1/2 by 11 inch cardstock in half, to 8 1/2 by 5 1/2.  Fold these in half.

 2.  Fold the strip of 3 x 9 inch cardstock in half.   Begin accordion folding at either side, at just a little more than 1/2 inch.

 3.  My book will have five layouts, so you'll see five points facing the table.  You can have more or less layouts in your book, just add more folds.  HOWEVER, be sure to keep a few inches of flap on either side, to allow the addition of a cover to your book later.

 4.  Cut the regular piece of paper the same size as the book pages--5 1/2 by 8 1/2.  Fold this template paper in half, then open it.  Use a ruler to measure about 1 1/4 inch from the top and bottom of the inside crease, marking with a pencil.  Use the ruler and the razor blade to cut between the two circles to create a slit just a little over 3 inches.  Using the template, lay it on top of each layout, clamping with the clothespins, again cutting between the two circles.  (NOTE:  You may find it easier to use the ruler and mark each paper and use the ruler to cut each,)

 5.  Slide each little accordion fold inside the slits of each layout.  Slide a coffee stirrer into each accordion fold inside each layout.
The wooden stirrer secures each layout to the cardstock strip.   I love how the pages can easily be removed and returned to the book, making it simple to work on each page, use the pages for a collaborative project, or rearrange the pages at will.  The hinges also allow the book to remain somewhat flat, even with the addition of semi chunky embellishments.
Here you see the leftover flap, where I attached a simple Rocket Red cover to the both the front and back, using a layout page cut in half.  You may wish to make a sturdier cover by sandwiching the flap between a folded layout paper.


Here's wishing you a bright and beautiful Valentine's Day!
:)trisha

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