If you’re wondering what you should do with your wedding cards or are looking for DIY wedding card keepsake ideas then let us show you what we’ve done with all the lovely wedding cards we received last year.
We turned them into a DIY wedding card keepsake book in just one afternoon… and we used our old wedding planner to do it!
In this blog, we’ll show you how we turned our wedding planner into a book full of wedding cards and memories.
And we’ll also talk about some other ways you could make the book in case you don’t have a wedding planner like ours to repurpose.
Either way, we hope this blog serves as some inspiration for you and your own DIY wedding card keepsake book!
Psst! There’s nothing stopping you from using the steps below in any greeting card keepsake book; it doesn’t just have to be wedding cards! Maybe you want to make a special gift for someone who has recently hit a milestone birthday? This would be a lovely gift for them once they’ve opened and read all their cards!
DIY Wedding Card Keepsake Book
- Wedding planner (for repurposing) OR strong corrugated cardboard OR chipboard
- Plain ribbon for book binding OR a needle and wax thread OR book binding rings
- Decorative ribbon for the outside
- Fabric fat quarter OR thick wrapping paper of your choice
- Mod Podge OR a standard glue gun
- Cardstock (optional for adding your own design to the front cover)
Step 1: Repurposing your wedding planner
If you’re starting this project completely from scratch then you can skip ahead to step 2.
But if you’re repurposing a wedding planner like we did then you’ll first need to decide how much of it you want to keep and repurpose.
Maybe you just want to keep the cover? That’s cool.
Or maybe you want to reuse some of the pockets or plastic wallets that come inside some wedding planners? That’s cool too.
Decide how much of the wedding planner you want to reuse and start taking your wedding planner apart.
You’ll want to strip it back to just the cover, so chuck out the spiral binding it’s probably using and keep any pages or pockets you want to keep with your wedding cards.
In our case, we kept three pockets that came in the original planner.
We used one for holding a card that was too thick to be holepunched and another for a few mementos we’d been sent by our friends and family like handwritten letters.
Both of these pockets were bound into the book with the rest of the wedding cards (more on that shortly).
For the last pocket, we decided to keep copies of our wedding invitations in that one so we could always remember how they looked.
We didn’t bind this one into the book as we wanted to glue it to the back cover as a static pocket (more on that later too).
TIP: Don’t forget to check whether you have any cards that are too large for your book.
We’ve already mentioned the one that was going to be too thick to holepunch but we also had one card that would have stuck out of the book by a couple of inches at the top.
We carefully trimmed that one down to size; taking care to not cut through any of the words inside or through the nice parts of the design on the front.
TIP: It’s not just wedding cards you can keep in this book.
To help bring a bit of travel into our wedding, we asked our guests to write on postcards instead of inside a traditional guest book.
So we added those postcards to the top of our wedding card stack and bound everything together!
Step 2: Binding the wedding cards
When making a DIY wedding card keepsake book, the first choice you have to make is how you’re going to bind your wedding cards together in a book format.
We must have gone through over a dozen tutorials ourselves to figure out how best we wanted to bind them together.
Here’s what we’ve come up with…
Ribbon Book Binding
In the end we settled on a very simple holepunch and ribbon book binding technique as we didn’t want it to take us too long. Obviously, we also needed to be able to open the cards in order to read them so the usual book binding technique wasn’t going to cut it.
For this to work, all you need to do is holepunch each of your cards, thread some ribbon through the holes to create a complete stack and then tie the ends of the ribbons with a bow or knot.
IMPORTANT: Don’t tie your ribbons too tightly as you won’t be able to turn the pages very well when looking back over your cards! This bit takes a bit of trial and error.
Also, this ribbon binding technique ONLY works if you have a stack of cards that’s high enough to completely fill your cover so that they’re in there nice and tight.
If you have a smaller stack of cards than your cover allows for then here are some other techniques you can try…
Book Binding Rings
If you don’t want to use ribbon then you could try using some book binding rings instead.
They don’t cost very much and give you more flexibility when turning the pages.
We personally didn’t want to spend any money on our wedding card keepsake book, so we just used plain ribbon we already had in our craft stash.
But this is all down to personal preference!
Single Sheet Book Binding
Alternatively, if you want your wedding cards to look more professionally bound then you could also try a single sheet book binding technique.
This is different from the usual book binding technique with a needle and thread. Because you need to be able to read your cards, you won’t be able to bind them in the normal way, which usually involves folding pages and stitching down the middle.
Binding single pages together does take longer as it requires you to stitch the cards together using a needle in thread in six different places.
But it definitely has a more professional feel to it and works well for a wedding card keepsake book.
This video tutorial from Sea Lemon is really helpful for showing you how to do this kind of book binding.
Step 3: Making your cover
As you know, we repurposed our wedding planner for this project so the base of our cover was ready to go and just needed recovering.
But if you’re not repurposing an existing book cover then you’ll need to make one. Thankfully, they’re easy to make and you just need some cardboard and something to cover your pieces with.
You’ll need three cardboard pieces – just like you can see in this video tutorial.
Once you’ve got your book cover shape, lay your chosen fabric or wrapping paper on a large flat surface face down and put your cardboard pieces or ready-made cover on top.
Cut your fabric to size leaving roughly one inch on each side. For a tidy finish, cut the corners at an angle so that they don’t overlap. We skipped this type of cut ourselves and we greatly regret it as the corners don’t look as tidy as they could have done!
Edge by edge, glue your fabric to your book cover.
When covering your book, you’ll need to keep your cardboard pieces or existing cover as flat as you can. Use something heavy if you need to.
Whether you’re using your old wedding planner, cardboard pieces or a ready made book cover, you’ll want to glue your fabric all along the edge including where the spine is / will be. You should find that the fabric moves with the spine of the book when you close it.
TIP: Pull your fabric fairly tight before gluing it so that you get a wrinkle free finish when the book’s closed.
Cut some cardstock to size that will sit inside each side of the book cover. This will help to cover up any raw fabric or any lines that went a bit skewiff when covering your book.
You could also glue a pocket inside the cover like we did, which was repurposed from our wedding planner.
You should now have a complete book cover!
Step 4: Putting your cards into the book cover
For keeping your cards in your book cover, you’ve got a couple of options.
The first (and the easiest) method is to keep your cards bound into a stack using your ribbon and just neatly place them inside the book cover as we’ll be tying it closed later anyway. But this will ONLY work if your stack of cards is high enough to stay inside your cover!
Alternatively, you could glue the cards into the spine of the cover using a standard glue gun, making sure you don’t glue any cards shut.
Step 5: The finishing touches
We decided to keep our book closed with some ribbon we had in our craft stash.
We glued one part of the ribbon to the front of the cover to keep it in place and simply tied our book up with a cute bow.
You could also glue the back piece of ribbon and around the spine but be careful not to let any glue spill out and into view.
Now you’ve got two options.
You could choose to keep your wedding card keepsake book cover plain and let your chosen fabric or wrapping paper do the talking with ribbon as the only decoration.
Or you could glue a design onto the front of the book to show what it is.
You could design and print one onto a piece of cardstock yourself using a free online tool like Canva.
Or you could choose one of your wedding cards and glue that one to the front instead.
We chose the latter because one of our cards was a really beautiful personalised design with our names on it, which worked perfectly!
Wedding Card Keepsake Book Shortcuts
If you’ve decided that making your own wedding card keepsake book sounds like too much hassle then there are a few shortcuts you can take.
Here are a few ideas we’ve come up with to make this project even easier…
- Cover a ring binder with your chosen fabric or wrapping paper, holepunch your cards – and hey presto! – you’ve just skipped a ton of steps!
- Stick your cards in a scrapbook instead and let someone else worry about book binding. You can then focus on making the cover pretty!
- Instead of making a book cover with a spine, take two pieces of chipboard or corrugated cardboard, punch holes in them to match your cards and either include them in the ribbon binding process or use book binding rings to secure everything together. Simple!
Alternatively, you could make a wedding junk journal instead!
We hope you love your DIY wedding card keepsake book. It will be full of memories for years to come and now you can easily read through your cards again in future years.
Personally, we plan on getting our keepsake book out after five or ten years to remind ourselves of all the lovely comments and notes we received.
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We’d love to know what you think of this DIY wedding card keepsake idea so be sure to leave us a note in the comments section below…
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