DIY Mother’s Day Gift: Past-Present-Future Story Book Tutorial

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DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings

Mother’s Day has always been one of the most joyous holidays to celebrate in my family! My brothers and I are beyond lucky to have a Mother who has been unconditionally there for us through every stage of our lives, and every year we love having a day to make it all about her! At different stages in our story of life one or more of us hasn’t always been nearby to celebrate with her, but we always pause for a moment on that day to contact her so she knows we are thinking of her. As I’ve grown older I’ve enjoyed learning about the person she was before she became a Mother. Being a Mother to 4 children is only a small part of who she is as a person, and this Mother’s Day I wanted to create something that reflects the story of her life through my eyes in a memorable way!

DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings

For this Mother’s Day DIY I will show you how I created a personalized Story Book showcasing the past, present and future relationship I have with my mother, and include some of the things I have always wanted to tell her💕  You could make your own Story Book for your Grandmother, Aunt, a best friend who is like a Sister, or even the woman you met last month, after moving to your new duty station, who has become like a second mother to your own children… Whoever your Mother figure is, it’s important to not only thank her for everything she’s been to you, but let her know she will always be important to you, and you can’t wait to continue in life together!

5 Generations of Mothers in My Family (i'm the baby!)

I remember shopping with my Mother for cards, tissue paper, gift wrap and gift bags as a child, and no matter the occasion, American Greetings always had the right thing to say, in the most beautiful way possible to fulfill the message we wanted to give to friends and family. My mother worked at AAFES years before she was married, so when I’m looking for a card, I know my Mother would tell me to shop there first! As an adult, although my address has changed many times as I’ve moved with my Husband in the Army, I know I can visit AAFES anywhere in the world and walk down the American Greetings aisle with the assurance that I’ll find what I need. Right now, AAFES Exchange stores are offering a Buy 3 Cards, Get $2 off promo through May 14th to help you get all the cards you need this Mother’s Day! Look for a sign in the card aisle, or an ad inside the in-store circular for details and a coupon! I’d also recommend going online and getting some inspiration for your Mother’s Day Story Book creation with American Greetings on their site at Expressions of Happiness!

DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings

This trip down the American Greetings aisle I looked for cards with beautiful elements that I could deconstruct and use to create a story that reflected what my Mother has meant to me for the last 29 years. While shopping for materials to create this DIY Story Book it took only seconds to find the perfect cards because American Greetings always seems to read my mind, and had exactly what I was looking for! I chose 4 darling cards with unique 3D elements to tell the story of my relationship with my mother. I also picked up some white tissue paper, blue ribbon and a white tissue paper flower to wrap my finished Story Book in. I always think of the sweet, fresh scent of baby powder when I see white tissue paper because it reminds me of the fluffy white powder puff my mother used every night after giving us baths when we were little!

Find American Greetings in your local Military AAFES Exchange!

Read the instructions and watch the video tutorial below to learn how to make the Story Book!

You Will Need:

  • 3-4 cards
  • Tissue paper
  • Ribbon and/or bow(s)
  • Double side tape
  • Single hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Pen or pencil
  • Photos (optional)

DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings


  • Choose one card to act as “Cover” and “Back” of your book. We will be sandwiching all other pages inside this card.
  • If you choose a card with a 3D pop-out (like the pink rose one shown below) place that card in the center so it has the maximum amount of space to completely open up.
  • Deconstruct card envelopes to use as additional “pages” if desired.
  • Cut out and remove your favorite elements from the remaining cards.
  • Affix your photos and paper elements to as many pages as you want your book to have.
  • Line up left sides of all pages and punch two matching holes, at the top and bottom, of each page.
  • String ribbon through holes and tie securely to hold all pages together.
  • For each page that tells a part of your story write down your thoughts and memories as they pertain to your mother figure. Notes can be something you wished you could have told her when you were young (and just didn’t know how!), a funny story you want to share, a thank-you for everything she’s done, and of course everything you love about your relationship with her in your past, present and future!
  • Optional: Use an element from one of the cards to keep the book closed, or wrap ribbon around the book and tie with a bow that can be easily opened.
  • Wrap your Story Book in tissue paper and decorate with remaining ribbon for gifting.

DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings

My Mum told me this is one of her favorite photos of me!

My mother told me this is one of her favorite photos of me as a child, so I had to include a copy in our Story Book!

DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings

The wonderful thing about shopping for the perfect card at AAFES is that American Greetings unites so many different people, for every joyous celebration, together in one spot! You never know who you’re going to see while you’re browsing the card and gift wrap aisle, but you know you’re all looking for the same thing – A way to communicate your emotions and feelings for someone you care about.

DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings

DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings

DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings

Love this idea? Pin it and share the joy of celebrating all mothers, everywhere!

DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings

Who will you gift your DIY Mother’s Day Story Book to? I’d love to hear the history behind how you plan on choosing your cards to make this Story Book!



  1. May 6, 2017 / 05:01

    what a beautiful way to honor your Mom – love the story and gift!!

  2. May 7, 2017 / 05:04

    So so sweet, I love that you put several cards together, what a special treat for your mom!

  3. May 8, 2017 / 14:18

    Such a fabulous idea and LOVE all of the photos! Great job!

  4. May 8, 2017 / 18:19

    This is such a cute craft!

  5. adriana
    May 8, 2017 / 19:38

    This is such an amazing idea! I love it, so sweet and something all moms would love!

  6. jennyblaisdell
    May 9, 2017 / 02:09

    This is so special! Talented as always, Rachel.

  7. Katie
    May 9, 2017 / 02:48

    I can’t get over how creative and crafty you are! This is such a beautiful story book. I need to make something like this for my mom.

  8. May 9, 2017 / 03:45

    I love the idea of this story book as a gift! It is so cute!

  9. May 9, 2017 / 14:13

    Rachel this is so beautiful! such a great and personal idea!

  10. May 9, 2017 / 18:54

    This is such a cute idea! I love how it’s a diy and how personal it is!

  11. May 9, 2017 / 23:10

    Such a cool idea! I love how personal and easy it is, I might have to do this for my mom soon!

  12. May 10, 2017 / 03:56

    Omg this is such a sweet and fun idea! My mom would love this so much!

  13. May 10, 2017 / 06:30

    Omg this is too cute! Every mom would love this as a gift!

  14. lovelysilvia
    May 10, 2017 / 09:04

    This has the be the sweetest and cutest gift for mom! I would love to make something like this!