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How to SMASH a book

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by Annette Ramsland (subscribe)
A freelance writer living with my family in glorious Newcastle. I love up-cycling, re-cycling and if I'm desperate, bi-cycling.
Published September 28th 2013
Turn your junk and memorabilia into a unique piece of art
Does the idea of scrapbooking make your face twitch but you're handy with a glue stick or pen? Do you prefer more of a freeform approach to your creative ventures? Do you have a load of memorabilia lying around that you would love to 'deal with' but don't want to throw it out or lose it? Enter the SMASH book.

How to SMASH a book
SMASH a page according to your photos, thoughts, ideas... anything


SMASH books seem to have been started by the K&Company in the US and through that company you can buy specially designed SMASH books, stickers, pens and many other things. However, for those of us in Australia who don't have access to that stuff, we can Do It Ourselves. SMASH books are practical and wonderful for compiling ideas, doodles, memories, photos, quotes, celebrations, meanderings and anything you want really. I am a journaller from way back, I love to write and keep a log of what I'm thinking, how things are going and I find it's a wonderful way to grow as a human being. So the SMASH book was perfect for someone like me to compile things in an organised manner.

I started SMASHing last year when my family and I travelled to America. I am usually quite bad at retaining memories and keeping track of photos and logging events. However, the SMASH book was a brilliant way of documenting my personal experience of the USA.

How to SMASH a book
It doesn't have to be beautiful, it just has to be SMASHed


When I went overseas, I took an empty book, some glue, some stickers and some permanent markers. I kept everything I could from receipts, pamphlets, bus timetables, city maps, games scorecards, but now I would have kept more, like food wrappers, coasters, Starbucks cup sleeves (we drank enough of it) and anything else I could have legally retained and carried back to Australia. I tried to write a little something in my SMASH book every time I got a chance and these things have helped me remember so much about our trip. All the little things that you might quickly forget, I wrote in my SMASH book.

SMASH books can be as ugly as you like... it can be more about the information in them or it can be about the colours, or the theme, or whatever you like.

So what do you need to start? You think you might need an empty book? Sure, but my friend used an old Golden Book to SMASH. What a great idea! Hers is about her family and as she demonstrates, you can even borrow from clothes to fill your SMASH book - a favourite pair of jeans? A patch from a t-shirt that no longer fits? The possibilities are endless.

How to SMASH a book
You can use whatever you like for SMASH books - it doesn't matter!


I have even gone to Vinnies and got old Reader's Digest Condensed novel books. If you like, you can paint pages or just stick stuff right over the top. You might need to rip out a lot of pages if you do this so you can have space to put stuff in... or SMASH it. But the Golden Book is a perfect size for smashing.

Got a favourite poem, movie star, judo hold, recipe or PE teacher? Why not celebrate it on a SMASH book page? Even if you have collected the take out menus from your favourite restaurants... you can SMASH them into your book. Ten years later, you might look back and laugh.

How to SMASH a book
Your supplies can be as upmarket or dodgy as you like


The beauty of SMASH books is that they are designed so you use stuff you already have lying around. That can include clippings, old magazines, stickers, tape, glue, pens etc. But you can also have fun by downloading some stuff from the internet that suits your theme. For example, if you Google 'Free Printables' you will find an amazing array of pages that you can print for free and use in your SMASH book. These include vintage images, banners, fonts, typography and lots more.

How to SMASH a book
SMASH page using free printables of jars and vintage labels


If you are looking for more inspiration, just Google SMASH books, look on Youtube or Pinterest for pages and pages of ideas and start this contagious hobby yourself. You'll be hooked in no time.
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Why? Its a great thing to do with all your junk
When: Anytime
Where: Anywhere
Cost: Free as you like
Your Comment
I did a similar thing when I spent a year travelling around the world in 1986, it was a combination of a diary & a "smash book" I just regret that I didn't get to finish it off.... but one day.... I still have the bits & pieces in a box!! I could just see myself in a nursing home reliving my trip of a lifetime through my books!!
by rosan (score: 0|7) 1415 days ago
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