Make a Sweet 16 Book
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
Poll: Your Chance to Vote
What is the ideal Sweet 16 Birthday Gift?
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.
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
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:
- My Favorite Books
- My Music
- My Hobbies
- My Family
- My Friends
- My Goals
- 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.
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