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A photo-finish friendship: want to give your BFF something personalized this holiday season? Create a friendship book!

A photo-finish friendship: want to give your BFF something personalized this holiday season? Create a friendship book! – GL friends

Cathy Helbig

It’s meaningful in a way a store-bought gift can never be. Your bud will know you put your heart and soul (and, hello, oodles of time!) into making it special. And, hey, she can’t exchange it!

THE FOUNDATION OF A GOOD FRIENDSHIP BOOK

First, you’ll need an empty photo album or scrapbook. You might be able to score one at the dollar store. Otherwise, hit your local craft or stationery store. But before blowing your allowance, do some creative scavenger-hunting at home. Rummage through the attic or basement for wrapping paper, wallpaper scraps, unused photo albums or old magazines. If your mom sews, maybe she has ribbon, lace, fabric, buttons or beads. Break out your art supplies box for colored pencils, markers, stickers and glitter.

WHAT’S THE DEALIA WITH MEMORABILIA?

“Memorabilia” is a fancy name for those little souvenirs of life. Paste some into your friendship book to commemorate all those rockin’ good times you and your bud have shared. Some memorabilia you could include are notes you’ve passed in class, postcards she’s sent you from family vacations, programs from school plays you were both in, school newspaper clippings, CD covers, party invites, ticket stubs (from concerts, movies, plays, sporting events or theme parks you’ve gone to together) and, of course, photos–anything that represents the fun you two have had.

SOME THINGS IN LIFE ARE ACID-FREE

Products that contain acid can cause photographs to deteriorate over time. Acid-free paper, glue and markers can be found in the scrapbooking section of the craft store. Don’t let anything that’s not acid-free, such as ticket stubs, touch your photos. So you can do this scrapbooking thing with abandon, we suggest using color copies of photos. Bonus? You won’t have to part with any of your precious snapshots. And no need to cringe when taking a pair of scissors to copied photos. Hit your local copy center’s do-it-yourself color copier–or your library might have one.

DESIGN TIME

* Get creative when placing items on pages. Arrange in a circle, in corners or in a diagonal. Do a little FPO (that’s “for placement only”) before gluing.

* Overlap items to make collages. Use different sizes and colors for a mix-it-up vibe. Or, go with a color theme.

* Create a quilted effect by cutting squares of paper and gluing them in checkerboard fashion.

* Jazz up pages with words, such as “beautiful,” “chic” and “style,” clipped from fashion magazines.

* Frame it! Cut photos into shapes, such as hearts or circles, and place them on backgrounds of slightly larger but similar shapes of paper or foil. Or frame photos with ribbon or braided yarn.

* Fabrics make great backgrounds. Glue the back pocket of a pair of jeans on the page for a cool spot to tuck ticket stubs or a personal note to your pal.

WRITE ON!

* Create a fist of you and your friend’s five most embarrassing experiences, the best three hairstyles she’s had, or your top 10 pig-out snacks.

* Write the lyrics to the song you both love to belt out on the school bus. Or add famous quotes that reflect the way you feel about your friend.

* Get other friends to sign a signature page. Ask them to write down what they like about your friend.

* Leave a few empty pages near the end of the book for your friend to fill in. Leave them blank, or create titles to inspire your friend: “What We’ll Be Like When We’re Famous.”

YOU’VE GOT IT COVERED

Want your friend to flip when she unwraps her gift? A stylin’ cover makes a great first impression. Select some pretty paper scraps, and overlap them on the book’s cover. Give your book a sweet title, such as “Best Friends Forever” or “We Rule the School!” Cut the letters from magazines or print them from a computer. Be sure to glue on a picture of you and your friend. Use stickers, sparkles and beads to add glamour (pronounced “glam-ah”)!

COPYRIGHT 2003 Monarch Avalon, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group