Fathers Day Gift DIY

Finding the right Fathers Day gift is not easy, at least not around here. The Dad here seems to have everything he needs, except a boat (and that’s not going to happen). One thing he does like are those classic, LifeTouch-style school portraits that mark every passing grade in such an iconic way. Most photos are digital, but these are everything but. This is a great DIY to help keep all those photos together and brag-worthy. It uses thrift store- bought leather, which I love. In fact, I taught an entire CreativeLive class on how to upcycle leather into your projects. Its usually cheap (if you go for the out of style, unfashionable pieces especially), and often, one piece of clothing can supply leather for many projects. So you can make a brag book for each child!

Piece of used leather clothing. Suitable substitutions for leather would be woven wool (not sweater knit) or home dec weight fabric, canvas. Piece should measure at least 7 x 5″.
Plastic photo sleeve inserts
Waxed thread
Larger-sized needle with sharp end
Thumbtack or Awl
Scrap piece of heavy cardstock or cardboard
Binder Clips
To Make:
Wrap a piece of scrap leather around the sprine of the plastic photo insert. Clip the leather to hold snugly in place with binder clips. The leather should completely cover the front and back of the insert with at least an extra ¼” around each side and bottom. Neatly trim away any extra on all four sides.

Make a template from card stock or cardboard. Cut it the same length as the leather spine (above). Using a ruler, measure and mark a hole at the top and bottom of the cardboard template, ½” in from each edge, then evenly space 2-3 more holes in between them. I would suggest 4 evenly spaced holes.
Punch through the holes with a thumbtack or awl.
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Use the cardboard template and a pencil/pen to mark holes across the spine on the leather cover and the photo insert. (Note: I’m using scrap leather in the photo above, not the photobook, which is why the piece looks small.)
Thread a length of thread (no longer than your forearm) to sew the spine. I did sort of a modified Japanese stab stitch, but you could also do either a running stitch or backstitch across the holes. Just make sure to pull the thread snug for a sturdy spine and knot the ends on the insides of the cover.
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From there, insert the photos and you’re all done.
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(Optional: I used a leather stamping alphabet kit to personalize the covers.) If you are interested in learning this easy and fun way to personalize this or any leather project, I teach this in my CreativeLive class as well.

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