Transform a vinyl loose-leaf binder into a beautiful memory book using nothing but your imagination and a few basic supplies.
Martha Stewart Baby, Volume 1 Special Issue 2000
Lay the open binder on the felt, and wrap the felt around both covers, marking the points where it abuts the metal binder measure on each side. Allowing 3/8 inch extra on the top and the bottom, cut the felt to size. Put the binder aside.
Fold the right and left sides of the felt back in to meet the marks, and pin to keep in place. Cut two pieces of rickrack to the exact length of the open binder cover. Letting half its scalloped edge peek out, glue the rickrack to the inside edge of the cover's top and bottom (the rickrack's glued edge will be sandwiched between two felt layers except at the binder's spine).
For an interior pocket, use scallop shears to cut a piece of felt about half the height of the cover and 3/4 inch narrower than its width. Stitch the pocket to the cover's left inside face, making sure not to stitch through the front, outer cover.
Machine-sew continuous seams 1/8 inch in from the top and the bottom edges of the cover. Embroider baby's initial and birthdate on the front cover. Fold binder covers back, and slip them into the jacket.
Using the binder's dividers as templates, cut new dividers from decorative paper. Fill your binder with mementos, such as crayon rubbings of spoons and combs on tissue paper; add zipper sleeves to hold memorabilia and small treasures.
Before long, most new parents find themselves adrift in a jumble of precious trinkets: tiny shoes, well-loved toys, embroidered gowns, the lock of hair from baby's first trim. With some creativity, you can use these things to create a poetic record of the first years of life.