Mother’s Day Gifts Kids Can Make — Recipe Journal

While Clara was napping, Emily and I made this very special recipe journal for Grandma. Emily thought this would be a particularly useful gift, and I had to agree! Added bonus — We recycled some beautiful paper that was FREE!!

Not many people seem to know about this, but if you’re looking for some gorgeous good-quality paper a great source is your local paint store. I went to our local Sherwin-Williams and asked if they had any wallpaper sample books that were discontinued. Many times they are more than happy to pass them along to someone who could use them instead of having them sent to a landfill. I got three HUGE books!!
Emily flipped through the books until she found a few prints that she was sure Grandma would love!
I cut the wallpaper sample pages from the book, and Emily applied lots of glue stick to the front cover of a plain composition notebook ($0.50).
Glue down the paper and press! Repeat with the back cover.
Now, it’s a grown-up’s job to trim the excess paper with an exact-o knife.
Emily then glued some wallpaper border to the front cover. I added some black duct tape to the binding, and trimmed the excess.
Emily loved using the stamps to create the word “recipes” on a leftover paint chip.
Glue the label to the cover, and you’re done!
My head is swirling with countless craft ideas involving these fun wallpaper samples… Oh, the possibilities!!

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  1. mylittlebirdie says

    what a gorgeous idea! it looks lovely!

    i forgot all about using old wallpaper in craft, i used to do so as a child but it had slipped my mind. thank you for reminding me of a wonderful idea and bringing back some long forgotten childhood crafting memories. one of my favourite kind : )

  2. What a pretty book! Great idea.

    I had no idea about the wallpaper samples! Thanks.

  3. β™₯ meninheira β™₯ says

    Valerie hoy estΓ‘s en mi blog πŸ™‚

    gracias de nuevo, un besito :*

  4. Teresa Whitehead says


  5. Dear Valerie,

    I bet Sherwin-Williams will be wishing they had kept those books when the old styles get popular again!


  6. Jennifer @ The Toy Box Years says

    Oh geez….now I have to add Sherwin-Williams to my list of stops this weekend! LOL!

  7. Raising a Happy Child says

    I can just imagine influx in the paint stores – they will wonder why those wallpaper books are suddenly so popular πŸ™‚ What a special recipe journal you two made!

  8. Grandma is one very lucky lady. Glad to hear the paint store was more than willing to give you the wallpaper books. I always wonder if they'd think I'm nuts if I were to go in and ask them things like that.

  9. Katie's Nesting Spot says

    I love wall paper sample books, this is a great use for them! I bet Grandma will love her custom made book. I actually got a fabric sample book, that I am trying to figure out what to do with. I bet you could come up with a zillion fun things.

  10. love the idea of using wallpaper sample books!!! Must look out for those!

  11. I remember hearing that back when I was teaching. Super cute, and I love composition book remakes.

  12. We did something similar but with a three ring binder. My mother-in-law absolutely loved it. πŸ™‚

  13. Moderate Means says

    You just brought back memories of my childhood πŸ™‚ My mom was a paper hanger and would save scraps of paper large enough to cover our school books. Each year, when other kids were wrapping books in grocery bags or buying covers, we had these incredibly durable and really cool wallpaper book covers πŸ™‚


  14. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ mylittlebirdie — Yay! I love having "blast from the past" moments like that! I can't wait to make more wonderful things with these beautiful wallpaper samples… so exciting!

    @ Christy — You're very welcome! πŸ™‚

    @ meninheira — Muchas gracias por el link!! πŸ™‚ A mi me encanta tu blog! πŸ™‚

  15. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Mark — Oh, I didn't think of that! LOL You may be on to something there…. πŸ˜‰

  16. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Jennifer at The Toy Box Years — Hahaha! Fortunately for us, the paint store was just down the street from the hardware store. I've heard people say they can get these sample books from Home Depot too..? I haven't tried there.

  17. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Raising a Happy Child — Oh, I hope so! It would be such a shame to see them go to waste… I've heard they throw away dozens of them every week or so!!

  18. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Ivy — I thought it was a strange request too, but from what I could tell, they get asked about discounted sample books all the time.

    @ Katie's Nesting Spot — Oh, I am sooo jealous of your fabric samples!!! Lucky duck! πŸ˜‰

  19. Just Breathe says

    How sweet, grandma will love it.

  20. A great make πŸ™‚

  21. Invisigirl says

    Nifty idea! I used to have several of those sample books when I was a kid… I wallpapered my dollhouse with them!

  22. I love this! I am a journal addict so it would be great to make one (or two!) for myself then do some as gift… Hmmmm?? By George I think you've got me. I think I'll do one (using supplies that I have) for my mom from the children. Awesome!

  23. Readily A Parent says

    My mom used to do that. We did so many things with wallpaper samples. I was wondering about it just yesterday as I have a doll house I'm refinishing for my daughter's birthday and am thinking wallpaper would be nice.
    I'm trying to remember some of the things we did – greeting cards and picture frames and collages . . .