Our Adventure Book

Friday, January 1, 2016


Who isn't desperately in love with Disney/Pixar's UP?! Honestly. During the first 7 minutes you feel more emotions than you've ever collectively felt in your entire life. Belly-laughing, then sobbing,.. then you somehow find yourself smiling with that all-consuming Disney comfort & warmth. You basically live every single Disney emotion known to mankind during the quickest flicker of time,... & it's the most amazing (low-key torturous) thing ever. I don't know about you but I can only watch it when I'm in the mood for a tearjerker, otherwise I find myself fast-forwarding through certain parts to save my heartstrings the tug.

 If you don't already know the story of how The Love of My Life came to be, you can read up on my sweet Prince Charming here. There's no denying it, we have lived (& are still living) a real life, made for movies, fairy tale. Our life has been a magical, impossible adventure.. & I can't even begin to anticipate the adventures to come. This year, being our first holiday season together, I knew I wanted to do something special for him. Something that could showcase not only what he means to me - but what's to come. Hence,... Our (first) Adventure Book.

*You can read up on his full "A Whole New World" Christmas gift that included this Adventure Book here.

Also, bear with me please! My personal disclaimer: some parts of this were a little tricky to explain. Try to let the pictures do the talking! And if you have any questions, feel free to message me on Instagram (@KaeLeighMae or shoot me an email at OhKaeLeigh@Gmail.com.) I promise to help ya where I can!


I started off by making a trip to the Archivers store. It's every scrapbook enthusiast's dream store. (As of this post, I no longer have one in my area - but hopefully you do! If not, I'm sure you could find similar materials at your craft store of choice!) I, personally, am NOT a scrapbooker because of my inability to STOP a project. I view scrapbooking as a potentially gigantic black hole in my life. Regardless, this store is GREAT for all things scrapbooking. It was my first time visiting, so it took a decent amount of time to leaf through the store & channel my inner creativity-bug, but in real life you could probably get in & out of the store with all your supplies in less than 30 minutes, easy.

The first thing you'll learn about me is that I like to (tend to) make up projects/ideas as I go. Blindly. Most of you already know that. Whatever. Use your own method of creativity & remember there is no "supposed to be".

So! I started with a chipboard style 3 ring binder/book. These come blank and empty with the purpose of being decorated. They even came with some blank chipboard inserts - I just took those out (I'll come up with something for them! The most overused phrase of my life.). I considered using a medium sized scrapbook as well as different photo albums. Any of those would work nicely, I'm sure, I just liked this one!

Next, I grabbed a few sheets of scrapbook paper in different colors & textures to cover the front of the binder. Make sure they're wide enough to cover the front of the book, depending on what size you choose. Because of my previous work as a Magic-Maker, I am a self-proclaimed "Disney Detail Snob", so this was the longest part of the entire process for me: standing in Archivers for an hour comparing different Google image searches & watching Up movie clips to compare books & decide what colors & textures should be used. And let's be honest,.. anything will work. Just make it your own. Use a map, or scrapbook paper with a map print, if you want. That'd be cute! Heck, you could even just paint the front.. or not. Leave it blank. Dig deep in your imagination & FIND YOUR MAGIC!

Anyways! I chose to do the front cover a rustic, organic looking dark brown with a soft, red binding. If you too choose to use paper, start by drawing a line of tacky glue around the perimeter of the front. Press & hold the paper tightly until it's COMPLETELY dry. Mod Podge works too, but I prefer the Tacky Glue.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing to be certain of during this entire  project is to BE PATIENT. Very patient. You want to make sure all glue steps are dry & secure before moving onto the next step. Don't rush it. 

Once the paper is secure to the front cover, flip the binder over to fold over the 3 open sides to affix the excess paper to the backside of the cover. You'll want to trim it down to have about a full inch of extra length on all 3 sides. I trimmed mine too short & it made the gluing very difficult. Give yourself the extra material to work with - remember you can always take away.

 Once it's dry, move onto the binding. This part took some serious thought because you need to make sure you can attach it, but have enough leeway to open & close your book comfortably.. assuming you'll use it as an actual book & not just a shelf display. (Shelf displaying it is JUST as cute, trust me!)

I tacky glued the binding section by section, wrapping it all the way around. I couldn't quite get the cuts down to be able to leave it wrapped in one solid piece & still be operable.. so I made the decision to cut slits all the way down the "seams" of the binding (after the paper was already pretty much dried). 

You can see the cuts down the bindings, & I know it doesn't make it look PERFECT.. but it works. And it doesn't look that bad. Nothing a few more drops of glue doesn't fix.

Once the paper coverings are dry, apply the string on the front. I used simple gold string, the kind we used to use to make friendship bracelets at summer camp. Seriously. It's cheap, & works really well. Start by putting a tiny dab of tacky glue (the clear drying stuff) in one of the corners of the book (wherever you want to start). Place the string there & hold it until it's dry or at least mostly dry. DO NOT CUT THE STRING. Work with it in its entirety.  Place another dab in the next corner & hold the string taught through the new dab of glue until it dries. This is where your patience will come into play. Literally, hold it there. Unless you have a little Jaq or Gus-Gus to help hold it for you.

Don't worry, the glue will eventually dry completely clear. Work all the way around the perimeter of the cover until you have a gold square. Trim it as necessary. Once that's dry, you can add the circle within it. 

This part was tricky, & is going to be harder to explain. I started with a dab of glue in the bottom center of the cover by the string square & held the string for the beginning of my circle in place until it dried. Then I placed a dab in the middle of the string on the left, where the circle would touch the square. I needed something round to be able to eyeball an arch between points & I just so happen to casually have some Punz lanterns hanging around.. so one of those, collapsed down, worked just fine. It was one of small sized ones (I wanna guess 8" or so). Follow the arch of the lantern, or whatever it is you're using as a round-reference, & include little glue dabbles as necessary (all professional terms, obviously.) As I said before, this step is difficult to put into words, so use the picture as the main guide. You can clearly see what I did there. I hope. But if not, don't hesitate to Instagram DM me @KaeLeighMae or shoot me at email - OhKaeLeigh@Gmail.com! I'll help you where I can, pinky promise! 


Do that all the way around, adjusting your arching as necessary until you have a circle. 

 Yayy! So the good news is, it's pretty much home free from here! Just a few letters of your choosing & whatever kind of pixie dust you have up your sleeve & your book will be complete! *Insert happy dance*

For the cover letters I found these super cute guys in the chipboard aisle at Archiver's. I haven't the slightest idea what they're actually made to be used as (whoops!), but they worked! They come in a variety of different shapes, styles & fonts. I went with the most eclectic set, laid the letters all out & did my rearranging on the cover to see where they would fit. 


Some random colors of acrylic paint from the craft bin, and a 1" sponge paint brush... & #BOOMGOESTHEDYNAMITE. Beautiful! There was literally little to no rhyme or reason to this -- which, if you ask me, adds to the character of this book!

Of course I wanted ours to say "Our Adventure Book", but it could say anything you wanted. I also considered making Aaron's say something like "The Story of Us". Once upon a time, I made a similar mini-version of this that said "Our Autograph Book". If I can dig up some long-lost pictures of that darling little piece I will be sure to share them with you! Point is, make it your own!

The last touch I felt it needed was the black string on the side binding. I used the same "friendship bracelet string" that I used for the gold trimming on the cover, just in black. I just took a couple strands, about 10" each and tied them into 4 loopy "bows". Next, 2 dabs of glue on top & bottom of the binding & about 4 pieces of cut string, each about 6" long all bunched together. Once those dryadd the little bows, all bunched together, to the center where the other black strings are. The book really does look like it's tied together with string.
Once the strings were intact, I needed something where the glue was drying on the top & bottom of the strings to help look like little punch holes. I used a couple of tiny chipboard circles punched out from the centers of the "O's" and "A's", & just colored them with a black sharpie & glued them over the ends.

 See!? It helped didn't it! Ignore that this picture was taken with wet glue. 

That's all! Our Adventure Book. You can tape a picture of the world to the bottom like Ellie if you want too, & nnnoowww you can use it for whatever you like!

My favorite part of this story was that when Aaron opened his Whole New World box for Christmas & found this book wrapped in the bottom, he spent a few good minutes staring at it in silence. I thought perhaps something was wrong, until he pointed to it and said "Our,... Adventure Book." If you know Aaron and I (together) you know the significance Disney holds to our relationship. You also probably know how magical, & insanely serendipitous our life has been. Which is why it will come to no surprise to you when I tell you that the next thing he said was "... this is what I was planning on getting you. And the first page was supposed to be The Merry Go-Round".

You can read our Magical Merry Go-Round story here