Keepsake Expenses

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I’ve always loved creating photo albums and scrapbooks and that hasn’t changed since our little one arrived. What has changed are the types of projects I gravitate towards. Instead of scrapbooking, I’ve been making a lot of photo books lately. I’ll talk about two of the books, in addition to some cute thank you cards and handprint ornaments.

The first two photo books I made were actually started before our son was even born. I always use Mixbook for my photo books because their picture and paper quality can’t be beat. Plus, their website is so easy to use. I discovered them when I was looking for a fun thank you card idea after my wedding, and loved that Mixbook allowed me to customize the card in so many ways. I used them again for our wedding albums and had fun ordering albums for my mom and mother in law using their many different paper and album types (the lay flat albums were a big hit!).

Anyway, back to the baby books. Since we live about 3000 miles from family, I wanted to find a way, other than Facetime, for our baby to get to know his relatives. So, I decided to make a picture book for him. Every family member (grandma, grandpa, uncles, aunts, cousins) has their own page and on it is their picture and their message to the baby. Some of the pages also have maps that show where the relative lives. It was a lot of fun putting together and our son loves looking at the pictures of the family faces in his My Family book. Mixbook has tons of templates you can start with, but I found it easier to use a blank canvas this time around. Here is the cover of the book and one of the last pages.


The second photo book I made is called Getting Ready for the Baby. This one incorporates sequence words (first, then, next, last) throughout the book as we tell the story of how mommy and daddy got ready for the baby (e.g., First we went to the baby store to buy a stroller. Then we went to the fire station to get it installed.). Of course, there are large pictures on each page showing each step. Again our baby seems to love seeing our faces in the book and we love that he is learning some key vocabulary about his life along the way!

Another item that counts towards Memory expenses are the thank you cards we sent out for the shower gifts. Again, I turned to Mixbook for this as I wanted to personalize the cards. We waited until we had our newborn pictures taken, which was seven days after he was born. Then, I quickly chose my favorite pictures and put them on one of the Mixbook thank you card templates. They actually had one with an elephant on it (the Baby Blue Elephant template), which was our baby shower theme, so it was perfect! I was able to customize it to fit three pictures on the front instead of just one. The whole project was done and ordered within 20 minutes. These, in addition to an email that we sent out to friends and family, took the place of a formal baby announcement. The last thing I’ll talk about, for now, are the handprint and footprint salt ornaments that I made. I had little faith that these would turn out well, and the first batch proved me right, as the imprints were very faint. The second batch were better and I was able to take them to the next level by filling in the prints with glitter and sealing the whole thing with a few coats of varnish. These are great mementos that I’ll look back on in a few years to remember how tiny our little guy once was.

I’m planning to put together an album of our son’s first year (in Mixbook, of course!), so that will be another cost here that I’ll update once it’s been ordered.

Breakdown of Memory expenses:

  • Photo books to read to the baby: $19.36
  • Thank you cards: $40.19
  • Glitter for salt ornaments: $13.50
  • Varnish for salt ornaments: $8.04
  • Paintbrush for salt ornaments: $0.40
  • Newborn pictures: $150



Ways to save money in this category would be to go the regular thank you card route and not order a special card with pictures (although, then you might feel the need to order announcements…). Also, of course, you don’t need to order the custom photo books, make salt ornaments, or pay for newborn pictures– those are all really just nice-to-haves to remember this special time in your lives.

The main thing that I think would increase the total in this category would be the newborn pictures. We were very lucky in that we found a photographer we liked at this price, but many are more expensive.

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