Literacy Craft Tutorial: Bookmaking

DIY Family Keepsake Book Craft

This week, the L4LL DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is FAMILIA. The following literacy craft tutorial is a guest post by Denise Cortes who publishes the site,

Bookmaking: Make your own family keepsake book

My kids are really sentimental when it comes to family photos. One of our favorite things to do as a family is to sit down and thumb through their baby books and photo albums. We all laugh at the memories and at the end of it all, I’m usually in tears. Why must childhood be so fleeting?

I wanted to teach my daughters how to make make a DIY family keepsake book so they could collect photos, small notes and drawings and keep the tradition of documenting our family going strong. This craft project is inexpensive and fun for everyone!

What you’ll need to make your own:

  • brown paper bags
  • scissors
  • decorative edge scissors
  • glue stick
  • patterned & solid color scrapbooking paper
  • black marker
  • jute twine or yarn

What I love most about this project is we’re basically going to repurpose an inexpensive brown paper bag. It’s as simple as folding a bag or two in half, sandwiching them together, poking a few holes on one side and threading a piece of twine or ribbon to bind them together. After trimming one side with a pair of decorative edge scissors, you will have a “book” with pockets, similar to an accordion.


If you want to make the “book” thicker, use more than one paper bag. I used two, which allowed me to have four pockets to slide photos and keepsakes in.


To bind the paper bags together, make three holes along the edge that is opposite to the opening side.


Now you are ready to decorate your book. Find a few patterned sheets of scrapbooking squares. Cut them down to size so they can fit properly.


Glue down each piece of scrapbooking paper onto the “pages” of your book. Add a smaller piece of solid color paper and glue it on top of the scrapbooking paper, toward the bottom. This space is for any captions you’d like to write, such as: My family, mama, papa, brother, sister, abuelita etc. Remember, you are celebrating family!


The final step is to thread the book with a piece of jute twine, to bind all of the pages together. Be sure to tie a tight knot.


Now you can fill up your keepsake book with pictures, notes, photobooth pictures etc.





denise-cortesDenise Cortes is a writer/blogger and an artist when she isn’t tending to her family and teaching art. Denise is the content creator at, a blog about a Latina mom raising six kids and living a creative life. A native of Southern California, Denise has been blogging since 2006, when her husband suggested she continue her life-long practice of journal writing about life and family. Since then, she’s been sharing fun DIY craft projects, Latino culture, creating art on TOMS shoes and writing heartfelt parenting stories about her children, ages 8 to 16. Denise is also a regular contributor at BabyCenter and You can also follow her on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.