Since our parents live far away, they don't get to see Xavier & India nearly enough. This year, we decided to stay home and celebrate the holidays alone.
Since we couldn't give our parents a Christmas with their grandkids, we thought we'd do something extra special and give them the second best thing. Our parents are always complaining that we don't send enough pictures (I feel as if many of you may hear the same thing from your family members...).
This advent is the perfect thing to make up for all of those missed photos. Each "page" of the book is actually an envelope with a count to Christmas number on it. Inside each sealed envelope is a picture of the kids. We had a few choices here - we could gather pictures from the year and choose our favorites or we could go all out and take 24 brand new Christmas-themed photos. When in doubt, always take the complicated route!
Our photo shoots were sooooooo fun!
We kept it pretty simple, and I had a fantastic time doing set design and logistics! Xavier & India were impressive, too - 5 days, 20 scenes, 25 outfit changes, 2500 photos and not one meltdown. I am so lucky. Plus, we were pretty careful to balance sugar, sleep, and fun!
So after the photography fun was over, it was time to put the book together. For the cover, I used two 6"x8" canvases. I painted them with gold glitter spray-paint and when that was dry, I used black ink and holiday stamps to decorate the cover.
Next, onto the interior of the book. I took twenty-four envelopes (half white and half cream colored) and punched two holes in them. The holes should be punched at the bottom of the envelope so that the flap is free to open and close.
Decorate the front of the envelopes using washi tape. Washi tape is perfect - just tape on strips that coordinate, putting some strips going the short way and others going the long. Don't worry about the tape overhang, just go back with an X-acto knife and trim it to the edge of the envelopes.
Next, use the circle punch to cut a large circle out of holiday-themed paper (I suggest mixing a bunch of fun and festive papers) and the smaller punch to cut a slightly smaller circle out of white paper. You'll need 24 of each size. Use a gold marker to write the numbers 1-24.
After those are done, glue the numbers inside the larger circles, put the binder rings through the cover, envelopes (in order), and backing. Add photos to each envelope and close it with a gold seal. Give it to someone you love and make their month.
This makes a great gift for grandparents, godparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, babysitters, and anyone else who loves your children (or you, if you want to take that many selfies).