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Make a Sweet 16 Book

Updated on October 18, 2014
Cover of Sweet Sixteen Album
Cover of Sweet Sixteen Album

A Special Scrapbook Makes a Great Sweet 16 Birthday Gift idea

On this page, you will see a completed Sweet 16 book or scrapbook complete with pictures, a video demonstration of all layouts and suggestions for other ways of assembling the book. Some ideas for a masculine variation are also included.

When a very special member of my family approached her 16th birthday, I thought long and hard about a gift that would be unique, special and memorable. Since I am into scrapbooking and other paper crafts, I naturally thought about making a birthday scrapbook to commemorate the day. The Sweet 16 theme came to mind, and along with it, visions of pinks and rose colors trimmed with plenty of bling, ribbon, lace and over the top feminine things. Naturally, there are many ways you could make a Sweet 16 book, and this is but one of them

It's obviously intended for a young lady. I think a similar book could be made for a boy, but you would not call it Sweet 16 and you would not use girly stuff to embellish.

All photographs on this page are my own. Photo Credits: June Campbell

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PhotoShop Interface with Collage Picture
PhotoShop Interface with Collage Picture

Choosing the Photographs

Photo Editing Saves the Day

After considering the possibilities for this Sweet 16 book, I decided to use photographs depicting each year of life. I wanted to start with a baby picture on the first page, then year 2 on the next page, year 3 after that, and so on.

The challenge occurred when I realized I didn't have pictures available to do this. Birthday Girl's mom came to the rescue, scanning dozens of pictures and emailing them to me. Some pictures had been damaged and were in need of color correction. I also found that for some years, I had a wonderful selection of photos. Choosing just one was impossible.

The solution to both the color correction need and the array of possible photographs lay with photo editing software. I used Photoshop CS, the industry standard software for editing photos. I did the color corrections and needed and generated a collages when I thought it appropriate. I also added text directly to some of the pictures.

I work with Photoshop CS, but Photoshop Elements, known as Photoshop's "baby brother" would do the same job at a lower price.

Keepsakes Folder in the Sweet 16 Book
Keepsakes Folder in the Sweet 16 Book

Adding a Folder for Keepsakes

In addition to the usual scrapbook layouts, I wanted to add some additional content. I pictured this Sweet 16 Book as being a cross between a scrapbook and a journal. I created a folder type element out of cardstock, and used a border punch to give it a scalloped edge. I cut the letters "Keepsakes" using the Cricut Personal Electronic Cutter and the Jasmine cartridge.

I tucked a favorite blocked photograph inside the keepsakes folder. I vision it being used for cards, notes, perhaps a lock of hair, ribbon from a gift and so forth.

Video Demo of the Sweet 16 Book - All the Scrapbook Layouts

Hand Made Tags for Journaling in a Scrapbook
Hand Made Tags for Journaling in a Scrapbook

Adding Tags for Journaling to the Sweet 16 Book

As mentioned earlier, I pictured this Sweet 16 idea as being part scrapbook and part journal, although admittedly the emphasis is on scrapbooking.

I created ten tags suitable for journaling, and labeled each one to get the Birthday Girl started. The labels I used are:

  1. My Favorite Books
  2. My Music
  3. My Hobbies
  4. Riding
  5. School
  6. Sports
  7. My Family
  8. My Friends
  9. My Goals
  10. and a blank one to allow a special topic that I didn't think of

I cut the tags freehand. The labels are cut with Nestabilities Spellbinder Dies on the Big Shot Universal Die Cutter and Embossing Machine.

The Back of the Sweet 16 Album
The Back of the Sweet 16 Album

Other Ideas for a Sweet 16 Book

As I said earlier, the Sweet 16 book on this page is the design that I decided to go with. I opted for the Bo Bunny Edgy Chipboard Album and added numerous additional pages as needed. I decorated primarily with papers and embellishments from the Bo Bunny collection.

Obviously, you can make a much different type book. You could make the entire book by hand and bind it using any number of binding options. You could purchase a ready made memory album and simply add layouts in the traditional sense. You could make an altered book, or a scrapbook in a box.

As for themes, I opted to use pictures chronologically from birth to age 16.

Other alternative approaches come to mind. You could simply use a collection of photos from the 15th year. You could wait until the birthday party is over and make the entire scrapbook using pictures and keepsakes from the birthday celebration. You could go with a minimum of pictures and devote more space to journaling or to promoting awards and achievements that the recipient has accumulated.

If the recipient is a boy, I would come up with a different name for the book. Perhaps "16 and Driving" or "16 Years to Become a Man" or "He-man", etc.

Regardless of how you celebrate it, a sixteenth birthday is a special event. You want to save the memories.

© 2010 June Campbell

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    • junecampbell profile imageAUTHOR

      June Campbell 

      8 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @WriterJanis2: Thank you.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      8 years ago

      This is a very sweet idea.

    • junecampbell profile imageAUTHOR

      June Campbell 

      9 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @GonnaFly: Thank you!

    • GonnaFly profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      Lovely idea. Definitely something to be cherished.

    • junecampbell profile imageAUTHOR

      June Campbell 

      9 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @squid-pinkchic18: Wow! Thanks so much! Do I have you lensrolled? If not, I'll be sure to do it right away.

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image


      9 years ago

      (Forgot to mention, I feautred your lens on my Sweet 16 Party Theme Ideas lens) Keep up the great work :)

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image


      9 years ago

      Cute idea for a sweet 16 gift! My mother did one for me and finished it in time to display it at my high school graduation party. It's such a wonderful keepsake that I will have with me forever. Great lens!

    • junecampbell profile imageAUTHOR

      June Campbell 

      9 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Sylvestermouse: Yes, I think this is the sort of thing that you appreciate more as you get older. I have no pictures from my youth and I wish I did. Thanks so much for dropping by.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      9 years ago from United States

      What a wonderful gift idea! I have my scrape books from when I was 16 and they are definitely cherished. I don't know if I appreciated them as much then as I do now though.


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