Aug 18, 2011

a crafty project: prayer diaries

I have horrible blogging etiquette -- sorry for leaving without a moment's notice and then not posting for weeks! Horrible, horrible, horrible. Truth is, I quit my old job, took an trip amazing trip to Colorado Springs (which I have absolutely no photographic proof of other than one camera phone picture taken at an amazing BBQ joint in town--Rudy's any one??), then landed a better job, started training for the better job, got overwhelmed with training for the better job, started settling down into better job....and now I'm back!

I've been hoping to post a little tour of the humble, yet amazingly awesome studio that M and I use to construct our little creations but I was, and still am, having trouble tracking down the pictures so I'll save that for another time and give you guys a little crafty tutorial.

This project stemmed from the idea that I wanted to create something unique, meaningful, and useful for my friends graduating from Bible school back in June. I came up with the idea to create a prayer diary similar to the ones they were required to use and write in daily while in school but with some modifications. My idea was to create a prayer diary where my friends could keep track of when and how many times they prayed for a particular thing and how/when that prayer was answered. I thought it would serve as a good reminder to persevere in prayer as well as a great way to look back and see what the Lord has done in your life and in other's lives.

It turned out to be easier to create the pages on Microsoft Word versus Photoshop since I'm very much a Photoshop n00b and I didn't have enough time or patience to try to figure that out. Microsoft Word is actually a very versatile program and I was able to create all of the pages fairly simply using mostly shapes and text boxes. The finished product ended up looking a little something like this (except the finished product actually has a bottom half...why the screen shot cut it off, I don't and screenshots aren't getting along right now):

Has space for the prayer and in the grid they can mark the dates they prayed for that particular thing. Clever :)

In addition to those, I created pages that had space for them to write verses they enjoyed, passages they read, or any other form of enlightenment they wanted to jot down to look back on later.

After all of the pages were created, I had them printed at a CopyMax because it was a (seemingly) simple job that  didn't need any special paper or color. In actuality, it turned out to be an incredibly frustrating endeavor due to some trimming errors they made, which left me in tears on a couple of occasions (being sleep deprived, short on time and having my own paper cutter snafu didn't help, either) but it all sorted itself out and overall, I learned a lot for next time.

For the covers of the prayer diaries, I used 5x7 chipboard and covered them in scrapbook paper using PVA/bookbinding glue. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT use plain Elmer's white glue or any other kind of liquid glue unless you like having bubbles and ripples on your covers and that's the sort of effect you're going for. Double-sided tape also seems to work well, but M and I have become experts at the other stuff so we tend to use the glue. I usually use a foam brush to apply the bookbinding glue and a brayer or a bone folder to get rid of any creases/wrinkles once the paper has been applied

After the covers were complete and the prayer diary pages were in order, I used The Cinch (amazing little contraption) to punch the holes and bind the book for a professional finish.

Overall, I'm super excited about how they turned out (minus the trimming errors made by CopyMax) and I would definitely make these again in the future. With the cost of supplies and printing they turned out to be around $6 a piece--a pretty good deal considering how unique they are as a gift.

I received a sweet little thank you note from one of the recipients of the books that said "Thank you so so much for the super awesome prayer diary/journal! I had just been thinking about how to create my own version of the trusty blue books...and lo and behold, you've already done. So, I couldn't have asked for a more perfect gift. I am looking forward to getting lots of use out of it in the coming year." I'm so glad they're already coming in handy!

The finished product (one of seven):


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