Friday, October 5, 2012

Green Gift Giving: Wedding Edition

Today's post is in honor of my good friend K who is getting married today! I am so excited and thrilled to be  seeing her walk down the aisle with the man she loves. The best thing about weddings, besides the cake, has got to be the gifts. Now, I might have mentioned it or maybe you just noticed, but I'm the kind of girl who loves making gifts myself. Shocking, right? Well, I thought it would be neat to show you an informal little tutorial of how I made this recipe book using a couple sustainable techniques you can use too.
First what you want to do is find yourself a square drawing sketchbook. I am an art student so I have an art supplies store close by, but I'm sure you could use any kind of journal. As long as the pages are pretty sturdy, you'll be in the clear.
Next, make sure your journal has this funny looking binding on it that can be taken apart. Since you'll be adding things like paper and photographs, your pages are going to get a little thicker and you'll need to make sure your journal doesn't explode. I removed about 2/3 of the pages from mine. You can always start making the pages and then remove the extras later.
See how thick mine turned out? Ok, it doesn't stand up unless the pages are that far apart but you get the idea.
Next, you'll want to wrangle up some supplies.
-Black and white drawing pens
-Black photo corners
-Archival Glue Stick (I got this brand)
-Pretty scrap paper, an old recipe book like mine, old menus, receipts for dining out

So, here's where the sustainable part comes in. You may not have the drawing pens like I did (I am an art major after all, these were just left over from drawing classes), but you can always use ballpoint pens or any pens that have even flow. You can use gel pens, markers, crayons, anything that you have lying around your house or apartment. This project is about using what you already have, so try and be creative.
I chose this particular recipe book, not because of the recipes or the faded beige paper, but because of these cute little comics on the sides of nearly every page. The comics show in pictures how to accomplish a selected recipe from the page. What I loved about this recipe book was that it included instructions about how to be a good housewife in general. It's so outdated and quaint, I just couldn't resist!
Now, all you have to do is write your recipes on some index cards, attach the paper cuttings from your scrap paper with glue, and attach the recipe cards using photo corners. This way, if you get tired of the recipes, you're not super attached to them. You can change out recipes, change pictures if you want some pictures, and you can even remove whole pages if you aren't pleased. Below are some examples of the kinds of pages I created. I included some quotes about food, spaces to write little journal entries, and photos of the happy couple.
Really, the possibilities are endless and the great thing about making the gift yourself is that all the time you put into it will be greatly appreciated! Not to toot my own horn, but I would definitely like to receive a hand made recipe book like this.
I also included some little food drawings and doodles to personalize each page. You don't have to be an artist or even like drawing that much. Basically, if you can doodle and glue things together, you can make this recipe book.
I'll just leave you with this last little tidbit from my gift because I think it's so true in relation to sustainability. Why not enjoy the simple things? What kinds of sustainable gifts to you give?

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