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I made this for my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary surprise party. When I began wedding planning, and I started looking at guest books, I was trying to think of ways I could save money. More than one of my friend kept giving me tips most of which included waiting around for sales. I’m an impatient creature, a very impatient creature. I wanted to get some things done and get going on a bunch stuff without having to spend a TON of money.

As I had said previously, the guest book I was looking at was about $60. They can cost anywhere from $10 to $170. All the other ones I found that I liked were generally around the same amount of money. I was thinking “What is it I can do to save money so that I’m not spending this much on something that’s basically just paper and satin?” Then it dawned on me. DUH! I’m crafty! I fooled around with the idea of buying fabric and hard poster board. I added it all up in my head, and with everything I’d have left over, I still thought it would be too much. Then another thought popped into my head…DUH! I did the guest book for my parents’ anniversary party! SO SIMPLE! Staring me right in the face and I didn’t even give it the first thought. So here’s the end result:

I spent HOURS trying to figure out what exactly to put on the front cover to dress it up a little so it wasn’t so plain. I started with embroidering the heart, our initials, and ceremony date on the front cover. On the back cover, I embroidered our marriage date (12-16-2011). I ripped out and re-stitched the flowers on the front so many times that my fingers were sore, but I wanted to get it absolutely perfect. I’m overly satisfied with the end result. Lastly, for a little extra touch, I used sewed the ribbon that I used for the invitations onto the cover, hand-stitched on some felt to the front and back covers to stiffen it up a little, and tied it all together with twine. I can’t for the life of me tell you how I embroidered the flowers, heart, initials, and date because I free-handed it all. The rest, however, I can help with. Since I did make it myself, the first page holds a picture of us with a note encouraging guests to write their own story of us (together or separately)/well wishes and their name.

So in attempt to save myself a stupid amount of money, show off my talents, and offer a dash of unique to our wedding, I made the guest book. Below you will find a list of the things you’ll need, and how to put it all together to make your very own guest book (the way I did it). The things I added on myself are highlighted in red.

  • 2 pieces of felt 7 1/2″(19cm) wide x 11″(28cm) long
  • *Paper 7″(18cm) wide x 10″(25.5cm) long
  • *1 skein of Suss Ultrasuede in desired color
  • Sewing needle and matching thread
  • Tapestry needle
  • 1 3/4″(cm) button
  • 2 yards  natural Jute twine, 3-ply medium weight (available at most hardware stores)
  • 4mm crochet hook (Size G)
  • *Paper punch
  • *Desired color of ribbon, cut 11″(28cm) long
  • Gauge: 15 stitches and 24 rows= 4″(10cm) in garter stitch

making the guest book:

  • Cast on 28 stitches loosely.
  • Working in a garter stitch (knit every row) for 11″, or approximately 66 rows
  • Bind off stitches loosely
  • Make two.

finishing:

  • Weave in all ends with the tapestry needle (or crochet hook)
  • Using the sewing needle and thread, attach the button 1 1/4″ from the center of the outside edge of whichever piece you want to be the front cover, and about 5 1/2″ from the bottom
  • Hand stitch your ribbon on the edge of the front cover, 1″ to 1 1/2″ in from top to bottom.
  • If desired, embroider the front. Make sure this is done BEFORE attaching the felt.
  • Hand stitch (or using a sewing machine) the felt onto the front and back covers.
  • *To make the button tie closure, cut a 30″(76cm) piece of twine. Fold the twine in half and, using the crochet hook (if you didn’t attach the felt), pull a loop through the edge of the back cover, 5 1/2″(14cm) up from the bottom. Pull the ends through the loop. Make sure the button tie closure is lined up with the button.
  • *To bind the book, punch four holes in each sheet of paper: the first hole should be 1″(2.5cm) below the top of the paper and 1/2″(1cm) from the edge. The second hole should be about 2″(5cm) below the top hole. Repeat for the bottom binding, punching the third and fourth holes 1/2″ from the edge and 3″ from the bottom.
  • To assemble the book, center the paper stack evenly between the front and back covers. With the tapestry needle and the twin, insert the needle through the top cover at the same place as the first hole in the paper, thread it through the paper and the bottom cover. Loop around the first two paper holes twice and finish with a knot. Repeat for the third and forth paper holes.
  1. Note on the paper: I just went to Office Max, grabbed a heavier type of paper, and bought the appropriate amount of paper I thought I would need based on how many people I assumed would be there. I figured that if all the pages didn’t get filled, I could fill in the rest of the pages as if it were a wedding memory book. Also, make sure the paper is acid free.
  2. Note on the yarn: To provide the thickness of the yarn, since I couldn’t seem to find this yarn anywhere, I doubled up two types of yarn. The Ultrasuede yarn has a 5 weight: bulky. You can substitute any flat yarn in its place, or use ribbon tape.
  3. Note on the paper punch: You only need a single hole punch. It’ll be time-consuming, but I personally found it worked out easier to do punch by punch
  4. Second note on the paper: To make it easier, and give the paper a different look, I measured out the holes for only one piece of paper and used it as a diagram for the rest. I aligned the paper underneath the one that had been hole-punched already, and then aligned the punch with the hole.
  5. Note on the ribbon: If you wish to be adventurous, try attaching the ribbon from corner to corner or horizontally. Just be mindful of where the holes are supposed to be for the paper.
  6. Note on button tie closure and binding: Working through the felt will be difficult when it come to making the tie closure. You’ll need to use a larger sewing needle.

Enjoy!

(I take no credit for this pattern. I took this pattern out of a Suss Cousins Home Knits book. Copyright is due to Suss Cousins)

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