I am always on the creative hunt for gift ideas that will be meaningful and most importantly-useful. The idea to make a book based on the stories my father told me as a little girl-came upon me as if in a mystical dream.
Not really, I bounced the idea off of Biceps, who added the notion of creating a CD to be listened to, along with the book. And thus, a great gift idea was birthed.
I have blurred the name of the story and much of the text to keep our story private.
It was such a simple idea, I can’t believe we hadn’t thought of it sooner. With the help of my father, we created this book to give to each sibling in my family.
There have even been rumors that a few cousins and several childhood girlfriends privy to my father’s stories wanted a piece of the action.
To make this book for your children is not just a form of entertainment–it preserves valuable memories that can be carried on into the next generation.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own DIY Children’s Book with Audio:
A story-that’s where you come in. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just something from you
Blank CD’s, CD Envelopes & CD Lables (if desired)
A recording device-you can even use your Iphone!
A Book Bindery (I found mine locally that bound the books for $15 each)
Start off by recording the story. Don’t worry about rambling, backtracking or not telling it correctly. Just talk as if you are talking to your kids.
After you have told the story, type out what you’ve said, making necessary edits and additions. Once you are satisfied with your finished story, print it off and read it aloud, ensuring everything flows smoothly.
With your finalized story, choose within the text where you would like your pages to end and mark them on your typed paper.
If you are the artist, start drawing the art for each page-or every other page-or the beginning of a chapter-whatever you have the time for.
I love to draw, so each page of the book got a little something.
Now that your story is perfected, begin typing out your book-page by page. Remember, this is a children’s story, so it doesn’t have to be a lot of words per page.
Ensure that your text aligns with what you’ve drawn and make necessary adjustments.
Make colored copies of all the artwork on thick, glossy paper at a copy store. Make enough colored copies of each page for the books you will be making, plus a few additional copies in case there’s a mess up.
(Keep your originals and don’t print on them).
Print off the text of the story that has been formatted onto your colored copies.
Once the final product of the text and the artwork are combined, re-read the story exactly as it appears in the book on your recording device. I recommend using a quiet closet or basement for this. My father re-recorded the story in our van while it was parked in their garage. It was pretty cute.
Next, burn a CD of your recording. (We also added sound affects, page turn noises, and an intro/outro song because Bicep’s is just that awesome).
Print off a label for your CD if desired.
Have the book bound at a professional book bindery (mine cost $15 per book), or you can bind your own if you feel sporty. To do this, go here.
I considered binding my own, but I made so many and it was crazy Christmas season, I had to go with a pro.
After the book is bound, attach a CD sleeve (or any form of enclosure you have on hand) using double sided tape to the inside cover of the book.
You now have your very own story, read by you, drawn by you and given by you. I can’t think of a more meaningful gift to give to your kids or your grandkids.
Our family was elated to receive the books and if you will notice, I titled it “Volume 1”. Meaning, I have every intention of continuing to add to the story every couple of years or so. It was such a fun project for me to work on with my father and husband, I am looking forward to doing it again.
Do you have a story that’s been told to you or that you tell your children? I encourage you to preserve that memory and make one of these suckers. You won’t be disappointed.