Record your child's growth by tracing your infant's hand across a sheet of watercolor paper with a well-sharpened colored pencil. Repeat with the same hand on the same piece of paper every few months, using a slightly different color each time for a framed memento you can cherish throughout the years.
A crocheted bootie, silver spoon, and lock of hair share honors in these complementary shadow-box frames. Measure the objects' depth before buying frames. Cover the mats with leftover nursery wallpaper, and use archival tape or white craft glue to mount the treasures. Here, the spoon is held in place by metallic thread tightly wound through two small holes in the mat board. Write baby's name in calligraphy on a strip of paper notched like a ribbon, and glue it underneath.
A baby book that feels as sweet and precious as your child's infancy can be made by hand.
Fold four (or more) pieces of paper in half (we used baby blue, 100 percent cotton rag with hand-torn edges); sew along seam on a machine.
When you spread the pages open, they form a playful pinwheel. Create multiple volumes, and indulge every instinct, including a baby's first sock, the label from a favorite jar of fruit, handwritten lyrics from a lullaby. As for closure, what's more fitting than a diaper pin?
Keepsake journals can hold baby's favorite recipes, along with photographs of her reactions to new foods and pictures of her cake at every birthday. Add a list of food allergies plus tricks for getting her to eat her vegetables and they become practical references for baby-sitters.
A small journal with accordion-fold pages holds a photographic time line of baby's firsts. Another book contains pockets that can hold handwritten notes for your little one.
For the covers, we created bands from heavy-weight paper. To make, measure the width of the book, double it, and add two inches; cut paper to size. Trim the edges with scallop shears, if you like. Fold band around the book and glue ends to inside of covers, using archival glue.
Preserve your baby's outfit and some of the other three-dimensional items you want to save in a large, store-bought photo album converted into a scrapbook.
Add pockets for trinkets, such as newborn caps, hospital ID bracelets, cards of congratulations, and birth announcements.
How to Make a Handmade Baby Scrapbook
You can't keep your little one from growing up too fast, but by filling a box with birthday mementos, you can at least capture a moment in time.
Buy an acid-free photo-storage box (available at art-supply stores) to preserve pictures and cards, snippets of ribbon and wrapping paper, candles, and more. Even better than a photograph, these keepsakes will recall the day in vivid detail; create a box to mark the first birthday.