PROJECT: Scrapbook Purse


(This purse base is from, but you can transform any purse with your photos!)

You’ve ordered the flowers and bought the jewelry and think you’re set with the Mother’s Day checklist.

Now, take it to the next level by incorporating a handmade gift that is picture perfect.

“I’m a sucker for anything handmade,” says April McConnell, 34. “Especially if it has a picture on it, I love that! It’s like a little time capsule, and if it is functional, it’s even better. My son has made me things for years. Sometimes it’s pictures frames, other times it’s key chains or pouches. Every year it gets better and better.”

Moms love to reflect on memories and coo over family snapshots.

Book artist Kathie Shepherd, 47, realized that and designed a Mother’s Day Envelope Book. She combines mat board, library book pockets, decorative papers, tags and spiral binding to create a chunky page-turner that holds messages, charms and photos. The book is such a hit that she is teaching several classes over the next week at her Glendale paper arts store, the Creative Quest.

“Making a gift for a mom can sound intimidating, but my advice for people is to just jump right in,” she says. “Part of the problem is that there are so many materials to use, and it gets overwhelming. If you can, pick a project and take a class somewhere. That way you can learn the step-by-step process.”

And don’t feel pressured.

McConnell’s excitement comes from the love that went into it, not how balanced the corners are. It also makes her feel good knowing her son used his creativity and imagination in her honor. She’s crossing her fingers that he carries on the tradition, pictures and all.

“It’s perfectly OK for grown-ups to make Mom gifts,” she says. “Why should it stop? When does a mother ever stop loving to receive something that her child put so much thought into?”

But as adults, it’s hard to focus on that when we are busy with jobs, bills and the occasional yearning for diamonds, candy and flowers.

“There is a misconception with handmade things that you didn’t spend any money on it,” Shepherd says.

“We still hear things like, ‘Oh, she couldn’t go buy something, she just made it.’ When you put the time into making something, it’s actually much harder and takes much more of you than going and shopping for something. I’m not saying store-bought gifts aren’t nice, but adding something handmade is a compliment.

“It’s the best gift you can give a mother.”

Scrapbook Purse

Make color copies of your favorites photos and decoupage them on a wood purse, seal with white glue and coat with high gloss varnish.

You can also take one of these (see below) and glue pictures from the inside (seal edges with squeeze paint) so they show out.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

– Decorate a plate’s rim with stickers and serve mom pastries or morning toast.

– Collage of childhood photos, color copied, laminated and used as a placemat for a breakfast meal.

– Store-bought greeting card embellished with glitter, gems, stickers and rubber stamps.

– Pictures color-copied onto fabric transfer sheets and sewn onto a pillow or tote bag.

– Mini-scrapbook inside a small photo album.

– A quote from Mom typed up and framed as a piece of wisdom art to hang on the wall.

– Beaded necklace using her favorite colors.

* All content/photos copyright, © Kathy Cano-Murillo, 2008.

Love & light,

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Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica! My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

Let’s work together! Check out my services page HERE.

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