Monthly Archives: October 2011

Shuffle Up & Deal: a deck of cards book

I just got back from the Marriage Confessions meet & greet, where I got to meet the super sweet Katie & fam, plus the equally lovely Lauren, so I am now all excited to blog again.  This could be a short-lived excitement, so I’m gonna try to roll with it while it lasts.  (It also didn’t even occur to me to whip out my camera or phone to take pictures of the MC meet-up, but I WAS in pictures that others took, so hopefully you can expect those to show up on the interwebs soon!)

WAYYY back in July, I had decided not to craft anything for Biff’s birthday this year.  I’m not quite sure why I made this decision– maybe it was because I procrastinated ahead of time, and was about to leave for the beach, and was planning on going to the Harry Potter movie at midnight anyway?  (What, procrastination might have played a role in my decision-making process?  Never!)  But then I saw this amazing idea on Pinterest, and had to do it myself.

(For those who don’t know, Pinterest is basically the best thing since sliced bread.  It’s a way to save all the cool ideas/pictures/recipes/blogs/whatever that you see online and might want to look at again one day all in one place.  It also lets you look at what your friends are saving too, so you can get ideas from what they like!)

Someone else had put this cool blog post on Pinterest that described how to make a little book out of a deck of cards.  On every page, you write one reason you love the person who’s the recipient.  A quick look through Google showed me a bunch of variations on this theme, but this was the one I liked the best. It immediately struck me how perfect this would be for Biff, since he LOVES playing poker.  I also realized that if I waited to do it for Valentine’s Day, I would undoubtedly forget about it til halfway through March.

And so, at the last minute (literally, as I was staying up late to make it to the Harry Potter midnight showing the night before we left for the beach), I embarked on the process of making one for Biff.

I started by making a list of 52 things I loved about him (worked out this throughout the day; it’s funny, when you have to list them all at once it’s hard, but I was thinking of extra ones for days afterward) and then typing them up and formatting them so that they’d each fit on a playing card (if I had to do it again, I’d probably make them a tiny bit smaller).  Then I printed them all out, cut them up (and rounded the corners), ran them through my Xyron machine, backed them in red paper, and ran them BACK through the Xyron.  That yielded this:

Then I set to work on the actual cards themselves. A trial run showed that the Xyron adhesive was NOT going to permanently stick to the slick surface of the brand-new cards, so I used some sand paper to scuff them up a bit. Next, I punched holes where I wanted them in one card, then used binder clips to hold a few together and punch all the holes in the same place:

I went through and stuck all the printed out reasons onto the cards:

This is true: Biff uses his poker winnings to reinvest in his poker playing by buying books on poker & studying how to become a better poker player. How cute is that?

Finally came the problem of binding the book together.  I’d originally planned on using binder rings, hence this artfully posed shot:

But my book ended up being a lot thicker than the one I’d seen on Pinterest because I’d backed my printed-out reasons on cardstock, instead of printing the whole thing as a label with a border.  So, I had to improvise.  Enter my extensive selection of crafting ribbon!  In no time at all, I found one that would match the poker-themed book:

And voila!  The finished product:

That's right, not an astronaut, an astronomer. I love that.

I boxed it up, mailed it to California, and Biff got it just in time for his birthday.  And, much like the flip book, it was a surprise hit!  Biff loved it!  For the last several months, most every night when we talk he’ll ask me to pick a number, flip to that page in his book, read the reason to me, and I’ll expound on it.  It’s been a really sweet way to remind each other about all the reasons we care about one another.  It also wasn’t that hard to make– you could even simplify it by writing out the reasons by hand instead of typing them up.  I recommend it to anyone as a Valentine’s/anniversary/just-because gift!

 

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