Graphic Design

Family Cookbook

I forgot to share the best gift that I made for my family this Christmas! I made my mom, stepmom, sisters and grandma a family cookbook of all of our dessert recipes. It took me hours and hours and hours. I also had to bake more than I care to so I could take photos — but it was all worth it.

Cookbook

I designed the book from cover to cover using Adobe InDesign. I designed the cover using a lot of the last names in our family as an interesting graphic element.

Once all of the pages were complete, I uploaded them to Shutterfly as images and put them into their blank photo book template — they call it Digiscrap. It shows a step by step guide on how to upload your own custom template onto a blank photo book.

The only downside to the blank template was a lack of measurements. For example, I made a jpg for the spine to fit into their template, but that spine wrapped around the whole book, so the words are partially on the cover (if you look at the first photo you can see what I mean). It would be great if they suggested art bounds and text bounds for the covers and pages. Not a big deal, but something to keep in mind if you ever design your own and use Shutterfly to print it.

Cookbook pages

Other than the spine mishap, the book is gorgeous. I’ve used Shutterfly before for photo books and they don’t disappoint. I love how the photos printed, which I was a bit nervous about because I am in no way close to being a professional photographer.

snowball

The recipes in the book go way back — we have one from my great-great-great grandma — and I even included pro tips from family members who are known for each recipe.

Cookies Page

Ever make a cookbook of your own? Did you use a template or design your own?

I am really glad I designed mine myself. I learned a lot through the process. I would definitely do things a bit differently next time, which will be next Christmas when I tackle the family entrée and side recipes! We make such yummy food in our family, I didn’t have time to fit it all in one book.

I can’t believe I forgot to share it — I’m so proud of it.

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Christmas, Craft Projects, Holiday

Cookie Cutter framed art

Do you and your family make Christmas cookies every year? We do — in fact, it’s a big to-do in our family. We set aside an entire day dedicated to making our famous sugar cookies before our extended family joins us for the holidays.

Last year, we went through our cookie cutters to weed out the ones we never use, and my mom pulled out a set that used to be her mom’s. We never use them because they are a bit of a pain to use, but she didn’t want to throw them away. So, she gave them to me to make Christmas artwork for her. I turned them into a pretty and festive framed piece of art that she displays in her kitchen — how perfect!

To make the frame, I bought a ruby-red fabric with gold diamonds on it, as well as some spray adhesive. I also grabbed a shadow box frame since the cookie cutters aren’t flat.

I sprayed the adhesive onto the black insert that came with the frame and tightly wrapped the fabric around the edges. I trimmed off the excess and let it dry. Don’t go overboard on the spray glue because it can seep through your fabric.

Once the fabric was secure, I figured out how I wanted to space my cookie cutters, then started to glue. The cookie cutters were hollow(ish) on the inside, so I had to glue something inside of them so the glue could reach the fabric. For one, I glued crumpled up paper, which worked great. For the remaining ones, I glued small magnets. Those also did the trick.

With the cookie cutters ready to be added, I piled up hot glue on top of the paper/magnets, then carefully placed them onto my fabric-covered cardboard.

After I had all four glued on, I wanted to add a little something extra. I had ribbon that matched the fabric perfectly, so I tied four bows to add to the frame.

Once they were all about equal size, I glued them onto each of the cookie cutters.

Then, I popped the cardboard back into the frame and secured the back. Voila!