Great for a birthday, graduation, appreciation, or retirement gift at a reasonable price and little time but lots of thought and some organization.
You can do a few things that won’t cost you much money since maybe you have not scrapbooked before and may not want to go through the expense of buying so many supplies.
Idea 1 — Recycle and clean a small thrift shop/dollar store photo album with pockets with not too many pages.
You can find like-new ones in places like that.
Or new at a Dollar Store, WalMart, KMart, or Target or the like, may have some inexpensive ones also.
Make pages (card stock, index card size, or patterned paper$) the size of a photo (4 x 6 album would be a great size).
You can use watercolors to color the pages (more water, lighter color), while wet, add salt and let it dry then brush off the salt. This gives your page some interesting texture. Do this project before you go to bed so that drying happens overnight. You can put your painted card stock on a cookie sheet to dry, this helps with brushing off the salt so you can dump that outside.
If the album has pockets for the front and back covers, you can also change that up too and customize it just removing it. Just look for one that is really suitable for your needs that will remain a classic treasure.
Scan or copy personal pictures, print them out, cut them out and add to an album page with a bit of journalling of a memory. Kinkos/Fed Ex or Staples has color copy machines so bring a load of photos, arrange them to fit on the paper, and copy and print them on one page then cut them up and glue them (UHU glue is good for scrapbooking). That will cost a few dollars.
Depending on how many pages you have in your album, you may want to plan out what you are going to do on a piece of paper, like creating a map/plan for your book. If you album has more pages than you are going to make, then you can add pages in the future.
A tip — when you have two open pages (side by side), keep each page consistant with color or background themes, even event you are journalling. Most scrapbooks have “titles” on pages (the event) but if you do two at once as just described, you would only need one title that would include both pages.
Select words that describe your sibling/friend or a picture, write them on your word processor, use interesting fonts, and cut them into strips (make sure you size them correctly) then collage them onto your “page”.
Free hand titles then cut would add personality.
In your album one side page can be a photo, and the other side a page with journalling.
Small journal enteries can be put on lined paper then collaged onto the page.
You could create pages and ask other family members to write a quick memory or best wishes on those pages to include in the book. Let them write on one side then include their picture on the other. OR do a two page spread, picture on one side, journalling on the other.
Include pages like why you love him/her, what he/she means to you, what you hope for him, maybe a few thoughtful quotes or poems that sum up their life.
Other page ideas — happy memories, favorite song or TV shows, cartoon characters, proud accomplishments, time you got into trouble together, birthdays, vacations, school, funniest joke, things you laughed about and still laugh about, will always laugh about.
Pictures you can copy online of things he/she once had (Those were the Days) or wants (Dream Big).
Another idea is to find out what was popular the year he/she was born, what were the headlines (that could be the first page with a baby picture), followed by the next page, text only, “The world stood still.” Next page: “Life changed forever!” or something along those lines.
Include some photos of you and your sibling/friend at various ages, or other family members/friends to fill up a little album.
Idea 2 — using a recycled childrens board book — you can find these at thrift shops for pennies, create a altered book. (link below). If you do this, you would have to decide what book to get to cover your page ideas as this is a bit more limiting to dealing with what is available to use.
Glue pages over with scrapbook or origami paper to customize or paint with acrylic paints. Write on the index cards or #5 shipping tags, include a photo on one side, and put in pockets of recycled envelopes.
Good luck and hopefully your relative/friend will love your little creation of celebration.
Best wishes to you all.