In high school, you probably remember making mixed tapes with decorated covers for your crushes to demonstrate your affection. Cassette tapes may have fallen by the wayside, so if you're looking for a handmade gift to show someone how much they mean to you, you can't go wrong with a romantic scrapbook. Whether it is for your significant other or for your own memories, building a scrapbook is an easy, fun project that will make you feel good, too.
Plan Your Romantic Scrapbook
It is tempting to jump in and start gluing, but take a few minutes to plan your scrapbook first. Establish the theme of the book. Perhaps it will tell the story of how you met or detail your favorite dates and events. Use plain paper to sketch the layout of each page before you begin. You might even want to write a short story or poem about how you two met, and inscribe it through the scrapbook, a few lines at a time. If you plan the scrapbook carefully, it might take longer but you will be more pleased with the results. Gather your materials. Go through your photo albums and keepsake boxes and see what you can find. Drive around town to your favorite romantic locations and take photos. Grab the take-out menus from your special-occasion restaurants. If you've gone on vacations or a honeymoon together, write to the hotels where you stayed and get them to send you brochures. Don't scrimp on quality. Especially if it is meant to be a gift, this is the scrapbook to splurge on. There are beautiful papers and edgings out there. Save the construction paper for another time.
Say It with Poetry
Photos are the heart of a scrapbook, but words have their place, too. Romantic quotes from literature and poetry can make great captions. Shakespeare's sonnets are a great source, and so are the poems of Rumi and Pablo Neruda. Check out a few poetry books from your library and scan them for quotes that feel right to you. For the cover, use a favorite photo of the two of you, whether it is a wedding or engagement portrait or a candid snapshot. Or you can go the nostalgia route: Find 2 childhood photos, 1 of each of you--those elementary-school photo day shots are perfect for this--and mount them next to each other on the cover. When it comes to margins and decorations, it's easy to go overboard with hearts, lace and glitter. Remember, however, that this book is meant to represent both of you. If your partner's taste is a little more restrained or masculine, be sure to take that into account. Don't worry; the romance will still come through.