Reunion Keepsakes

Giving from the Heart series

Summertime is often reunion time.  From family reunions to school class reunions, lots of traveling to see old familiar faces happens during the summer.  These events are always special, and it’s nice to both make a record of the reunion to look back on and to keep in touch with those you saw there.  But how exactly do you do that?  As part of #familyhistoryfriday Giving from the Heart series, we’ll look today at some fun and special ideas for reunion keepsakes.

A Reunion Magazine

This is such a fun and creative idea!  I love that this Magazine is both impressive and meaningful while still staying affordable.

This 8.5×11 magazine is only about $10 (here) and has thicker pages than the average magazine you see at the dentist’s office.  The premium 100-lb. paper gives it a heftier feel and better quality than regular magazines.  It comes with 16 fully-editable pages.  The magazine is expandable to 32 pages, too, as long as 4 pages are added at a time (due to the way it is printed and cut).  It has a simple staple binding, just like regular magazines do.  I think this price tag makes it an affordable option for everyone who attended the reunion.

This reunion magazine example was actually created before the reunion and included a schedule of events and map of the location where the reunion was being held.  I love it for that!  I also love it for a keepsake after the event with pictures and memories from the reunion.

Put a call out for favorite pictures from the reunion you attended this summer and create away!  Steps to get started making this magazine style reunion keepsake can be found right here(Note that when you’re at the website this product is actually called 8.5×11 Booklet.  But it is just like a magazine–just with thicker pages–so that’s what I call it.)

A Softbound Book for Reunion Memories with Photos

Another impressive and still affordable idea for reunion memories and photos is the 8×8 Softbound Book.  A little smaller than the Magazine, this Softbound Book has a top-of-the-line PUR binding.  Many DIY softbound books on the market have a glue binding which cracks easily over time, making the pages fall out.  PUR binding actually involves a chemical reaction to create the bind.  PUR binding is clear, unlike the yellowish glue used in many DIY online books today.  Create your 8×8 softbound reunion keepsake (here) and you’ll get that high quality PUR binding.

You can see that this example of an 8×8 softbound book was used for a business retreat reunion, but because the template is editable, you can make it yours.  You can keep the basic layout and add your own pictures and text.  And when I say “editable,” I mean editable!  You can change the colors, remove the logos you see, change the font, put more or fewer pictures on a page, etc.  You can add flowers or stars or buttons or any of the thousands of digital art pieces (free) in the software, so you’ll get exactly the right look for your reunion.

If you’d like to see this whole book page by page, you can find it here.  First click “template gallery” then “browse the gallery.”  Then type 112915 into the search field and you’ll find it.  

I love these 8×8 softbound books.  They’re so perfect for capturing memories with photos and preserving a special event.  Although a hardbound book feels a little more sturdy, these softbound ones cost a little less.  (8×8 hardbound are $27 while 8×8 softbound are $18.)  The softbound books come with 21 pages, or you can expand to 50.  If 50 pages isn’t enough, go for the hardbound book which expands to 99.  The paper in this softbound book (and the hardbound, too) is a nice 100-lb. weight, same as the Magazine.

Put a call out for favorite pictures from the reunion you attended this summer and create away!  Steps to get started making this 8×8 reunion keepsake book can be found right here.  Use this template if you like it, or search for others.  You can always DIY your book from a blank project.  As I mentioned before, there are thousands of pieces of digital art right in the program that are free to use.

We didn’t know we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.”  -anonymous

Keeping in Touch with a Directory

When you see cousins, classmates, or aunts and uncles whom you haven’t seen for years, you’ll probably think, “Why don’t we keep in touch more often?”  Stopping everybody at the reunion to get their contact information isn’t very feasible, but making a directory of reunion-goers is!

You could certainly use the Magazine I mentioned before (or the Softbound Book, for that matter) as a directory for the family or class, but my favorite is a 6×9 Booklet.  It’s a lot like the Magazine– staple binding, 16 pages expandable in sets of 4, 100-lb. weight paper– but it’s just a little smaller.  That makes the price a little smaller, too, at $6.50.

These little Booklets as reunion directories are fantastic!  Collect photos, names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and social media handles.  I think these are especially useful for families whose youngest generations don’t know each other.  If you’re retired, for example, you probably know your cousins but not their children or grandchildren.  Putting names to faces this way is a great way to connect generations!

Ideally, start gathering information to create a directory before the reunion.  That way you can give these completed booklets out at the reunion!  Specific steps to get started making reunion directories can be found right here.  As always, let me know if you need any help or pointers.

Giving from the Heart

The best gifts are from the heart, and reunions are special moments that attendees will want to remember.  Your priceless gift of the heart can come in two ways.  First, your gift to the group will be your work in creating these sweet keepsakes, making them available for purchase.  Second, you could actually gift everyone a copy.  Either way, everyone is sure to love and appreciate your gift from the heart.

Scroll back up to find the keepsake that will work best for your reunion, and start this work of heart today!

It isn’t the size of the gift that matters, it’s the size of the heart that gives it.”  -Eileen Elias Freeman

Jennifer Wise

consultant at Heritage Makers
I'm Jennifer, and I'm passionate about connections.I enjoy helping people discover the very real benefits of preserving stories, photos, and memories because of the impact they have on children, families, and individuals. I blog weekly at www.lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com sharing tips, ideas, solutions, and inspiration, and I'm over at www.heritagemakers.com/jenniferwise, too. Learn more about me at the "About" tab.

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