First Wedding Anniversary Present

Back in April I was fretting over what to do in terms of a 1st Wedding Anniversary Present. I knew that according to tradition, it's a gift of paper which really requires some creativity since paper on it's own can be a dull present. After some research and some input from Facebook friends, I constructed this:

It's Paper Memories. It started with this small shopping bag in which I had saved all the cards and envelopes from everyone that sent us sweet notes and well wishes. I loved the way our names looked next to each other on all of the envelopes in the handwriting of all our friends. So, I took all of the paper I amassed from the wedding planning stage, all of the cards with marriage advice, all of the envelopes, photos taken of guests from the wedding day and arranged it in this paper book to be cherished for years. Hence it was a paper present from not only me, but from all of our dear friends and family too.

The cover is like a 5th Grade notebook with doodles of you and your future husbands name scribbled all over the place. Except, NOW IT'S FOR REAL!

p.s. there are some pages/ photos not shown.... 

and here is
  How To Make It:
1. Start with a blank canvas. I like these drawing books from art supply stores. This one is 10" x 10"

2. Find all of the cards and mementos you have amassed. Ideally you have kept them all in one spot.
3. Even the envelopes become part of the art. Cut out your names to make a collage. 
4. Find other random stuff you may have kept from the planning stages like notes you made about the ceremony or a note from your husband to-be right before the wedding.
5. Here, you need Mod Podge to seal the deal. I prefer the satin finish.
6. Collage your names on the cover. The Mod Podge can be used as the glue to adhere the paper to the book. You can even include a photo or cool imagery from a card. 
7. Now LAYER LAYER LAYER. Use a paint brush to coat all of the paper. You should put about 5 coats of ModPodge on the collage letting it dry for about an hour between each coat. This will help to protect and preserve the paper on the cover. It also gives it a more finished look than just cut out pieces of paper. 
and the cover can look something like this

8. Interior: In lieu of a guest book we opted for post cards. Guests wrote notes on these cards  from Cut the Cake Designs and my mom sent them to use through out our first married year. 

9. I matched up the cards written to the photos taken at the Photo Booth. It is really special to be able to see the photo of the person and read the sentimental notes they wrote to us. It was really a special time.

10. Here I found notes from my planning book about making the invitation. So I included it along with a portion of the invite. These were all of the little parts of the process the groom has no idea of.

and this was an extra gift in conjunction to the book
11. it's a fun saver camera from Urban Outfitters that we used to take pictures on our weekend away for our  1st Anniversary Celebration.
 You see, the pictures are also paper and they will be added to the book when printed. The photos come out with funny text overlaid on the photo. Thus, it's a double surprise when we finally get the prints back the old fashion way.

and there - First Anniversary Present Done