DIY Mini Children's Book Valentines

I’m about to make you all nostalgic for a moment, but does anyone else remember receiving boxes full of Valentines in elementary school?! I remember everything from Scooby Doo, to notoriously cute puppies, to, as was one of my favorites, the original female power trio—the Powerpuff Girls! I know people that continued this trend into High School and it was just such great fun!

Well, as a nod to those boxes of paper cards and candies, I thought it would be fun to make my own little upgrade on these Valentines featuring one of my favorite children’s books. The fun part is that you can use almost any book about love to make this prettiness happen, and just how sweet is that? You could even use the little poem I wrote for all you lovely people (just keep reading, just keep reading...) After all, it is a Monday in Wonderland!

Before we begin, I will warn you that this is a more technology-heavy tutorial, and I personally used Microsoft Word to make it happen, so that is what my steps will be based around. I don’t have any experience at all with the Apple equivalent of such a program, but none of this is too complicated, so hopefully you can make it happen with whatever word processing program you have!

You will need:
Photo scanner
Color printer (A duplex option, or double sided, makes this easier but it is not necessary)
Scissors/Paper cutter
Washi tape

Step 1
Scan in the desired pages of your book. Crop the images, and adjust colors as necessary using a photo editor. (I usually go with PicMonkey!) My scans came up a little washed out, so upping the contrast and saturation helped me out! I also added “Happy Valentine’s Day” and to/from labels to a couple of the images using a text style and colors similar to what was already in the book!

Step 2
Measure the dimensions of your book, and reduce them to roughly the dimensions of a normal paper Valentine. The original measurements on my book were 9” x 7 1/2", and I reduced that to 3” x 2 1/2".

Step 3
In Word, create a table that is 3 x 2. (This is for a 12 page book). Highlight all the squares and select the tab for “layout” under table tools. Here you should be able to type in the desired dimensions of each box on the table according to your calculations in the previous step. (I just included the grid lines as a visual aid).

Step 4
Enter a page break below the table, and on the second page, enter another table with the exact same dimensions. The only difference is that this one should be aligned right instead of aligned left. This will allow your book pages to be printed double sided!

Step 5
Determine where each page of the book will be in the 2 tables. To get this order, I cut up some scratch paper, stacked it, and creased the pages down the center. Then I flipped through this little “book,” numbering the pages in order from one to twelve. When I separated them again, I could easily put in the numbers for my order! So if you are making a 12 page book, you can use the order pictured above.

Step 6
To insert each image into the correct box, click inside a section of the table, then click insert > pictures, and select the corresponding book page. Select the picture, then the tab for “format” under “picture tools.” All the way to the right of this bar, you can type in either the width or height of the page according to your downsizing earlier. (When you type in one dimension, the other should automatically follow suit.) Change the “text wrapping” on the image to be “behind text”, and from there you should be able to click and drag the image to fill up the square of the table. Any small difference from the table dimensions, due to something like cropping, will also be hidden this way.

Step 7
If you don’t like the black dividing lines, feel free to change their color to white or transparent. Then just print using the duplex option and “flip page on LONG side.” It is not totally necessary to have a printer that can go double sided. If you don’t have access to this, you can make a mark at the top of a scratch piece of paper and print on that sheet to determine how the paper twists and turns while printing. You will then have to print the first table, put the paper back in the tray in a way that compensates for its rotation, and then print the other side.

Step 8
Cut each row of the chart out separately. (Do NOT cut down the center into columns.) Stack the pages in order, and fold in half. Insert one staple in the center fold of the book. You may need to staple on top of a bulletin board with your stapler flat, gently pull the pages off the board, and bend down the prongs of the staple with pliers. Seal the edge with cute washi tape to just be safe and sound.

Step 9
Sign your Valentine, and close up with a cute sticker or piece of washi tape if desired!

If you want to make just some simple single-layer fold-over Valentines instead, use the numbers above for inserting the scanned page images.

You could also draw up your own line designs, and water color each page of the book before you fold them. In fact, I thought that that idea was so cute, that I made you a template! I would love to just give you a template for original book, but since I didn’t write/illustrate the book, that would be no bueno!

I did kind of write my own version though and it is all set up and ready to print and color! This is my way of saying “I love you all” and “Happy Valentine’s Day,” even if it is pretty early and not quite as cute as the original! Okay, and honestly, I did it for myself, because sometimes I get really excited about an idea and don’t want to stop cranking out cuteness.

What children’s book makes you feel all warm, fuzzy and loved? Will you be passing out any Valentines this year?

Stay lovely,

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