Friday, March 9, 2012

Handmade Smash Book

Smash books are all the rage right now.  Just what is a "Smash book"??  Basically it is a way to capture memories and life moments. The idea goes back to the roots of scrapbooking when people made simple memory books. They stuffed them full of memorabilia, photos and mementos.  Then scrapbooking took on it's own art form.  The Smash book idea is to go back to that quick and easier way of capturing what is going on in your life.  You can quickly add journaling and photos, stuff in special treasures and there you have it, life captured and "smashed" into your book!

K & Company has a line of Smash books and coordinating products that are irresistible! Or...........  you can make your own smash book! The smash book I'm sharing with you today was made using digital scrapbook kits and office supplies.  You can make your Smash book as simple or as involved as you like.  It's all up to you.

At my local office supply store, I found a bunch of stuff that would work great in a Smash book.  Envelopes of any kind are great. You can save things like ticket stubs in them, or use them to hold supplies to make smashing easier, like paper clips or pens.  Those notebook dividers that you had to buy for your child's school supplies, make great pages and pockets in a smash book.  

Avery has some really neat clear or colorful PocketTabs that make a great addition to a page. They can hold CD's, journal tags, or more items you want to save.  They are self adhesive, so they are easy to add to your pages, and they have a built in tab which can help you organize your book. They come in different sizes too!

Let me walk you through my book so you can see how simple it is to create a Smash book for your self. For my cover, I used blank chipboard. I adhered some papers and elements to the chipboard using Mod Podge. The ones I used happen to be from a digital kit, but you can use any papers that you like.  As I was applying coats of the Mod Podge, I added some glitter to the title strip of paper across the front.  I also bought the K & Company rubber band and pen from the Smash book collection. The pen is cool. It is a pen on one end and a glue stick on the other. This really helps make adding things to your book easy. I used my Crop-o-dile to punch holes and bound the book with book rings. This will allow me to add pages to my book if I want.

Pages 1 and 2, I've got plenty of room for journaling and photos. See that funky tape holding my journal tag on? That's also from the K & Company Smash book line.  So easy to just tape things down, and they have several tapes that are so decorative. You could use Washi-tape too!

Page 3 and 4, In between these pages, I inserted a pocket divider.  I covered it with coordinating paper to make it look pretty.

Page 3 and 4 (again) - just to show you that I covered the back of the pocket divider as well.

Page 5 and 6, I did a bit more decorating on these pages. I used digi kits that are all about journaling, Illuminated Journal 2 and Illuminated Journal 3 both by ViVa Artistry. These kits are perfect for this type of project. Since my Smash book will be a journal of sorts, I thought it was neat to create pages that look like a journal inside a journal! You can make your pages super decorated, or very simple, whatever fits your fancy!

Page 7 and 8, more pages that express a bit about me. Hopefully they will encourage me to actually write and express myself in this book!  After all, it's not just about creating the book, it's about making it useful!

Page 9 and 10.  Here you can see one of those PocketTabs at work.  Here is a closer look

I've tucked in a frame and journaling element that I plan to use. Then I can use the pocket to hold special keepsakes!

Page 11 and 12, more tape! There is also another pocket divider. Right now it's holding some elements that I'll add to these pages when I start recording stuff.

Page 13 and 14, here I've included a decorated clasp envelope ( you can see the front and back) between the pages.  This will be great for holding some special items secure. You could decorate some of those return mail envelopes that come in all that junk mail. What a great way to recycle!

My book is a work in progress. That's why I like using the book rings for the binding. I'll be adding pages to this book. As it grows, I can change the rings to larger ones if I need to.

You can make Smash books for themes, time periods, moods, any reason you like. Maybe create one for a friend to record her memories while she is pregnant, or one for the time while planning a wedding. Maybe create one to capture all the fun you'll have on a special trip.  What ever you choose, just remember to have fun with it, and make it yours!


  1. I LOVE this! Thank you so much for this tutorial. What a neat way to make your own less-expensive Smash Book! I'm definitely going to try this.

  2. Fabulous! And so smart of you to bind it in a way that you can grow it as needed.

  3. Great idea! My daughter and I will have lots of fun making our own smash books!

  4. Very cool Cathy! I had never thought of making my own. You did an amazing job too!

  5. I totally loved this idea. I wanna my smash book too.. LOL Xoxo

  6. Oh My Gosh...
    What a wonderful tutorial. I can't thank you enough, your step by steps are awesome. I can't wait to get to the office supply store tomorrow and try my hand at making a Smash book this weekend. I would love to do one for each of my grands for their birthdays this year. How fun would that be?

    Have a glorious afternoon. Country hugs, Sherry

  7. Una idea muy bonita, te ha quedado un smash book precioso.XX

  8. Love this! I do have a question about the inside pages. How are they done? Are they just the actual paper or did you adhere a designed paper on both sides of say a thin piece of chipboard?

    1. Thank you for your kind words April! Most of the inside pages are 2 pieces of paper glued back to back. Since I used a digital kit to create this hybrid book, I printed out the digital papers on Epson Premium Presentation paper and then glues 2 together to create a thick/sturdy page. Some of the pages are envelopes and insert folders that I embellished with papers and elements. Hope this helps!