I picked up some 4x6 photo albums at WalMart a while back for $1. That's the regular price so this little project is sure to NOT break the bank which will keep my cute hubby happy and still allow me to keep my missionary happy with packages.
You'll want to change the album covers that it comes with. Just open up the front and back covers and slip the old one out and use it for a template for your new covers. I was doing this for Matt's birthday and I wanted to make it coordinate with the rest of his package (see here and here and here and here) so I used the free printable that I had already downloaded from Kiki at I Heart Naptime for my new cover. Simply open a new document and cut and paste it in from your file. Re-size to make it fit the dimensions of your photo album.
I wanted to add some kind of title for the front cover so using Photoshop I designed a missionary name badge. Took gobs and gobs of time to figure out what fonts to use that were somewhat close. It looked incredible and I was so excited...until...I accidentally stumbled upon a site from the church that said we're not supposed to do/create anything that mimics the church logo. Darn. It looked awesome...so...back to Photoshop...delete, delete, delete...using the same style of font I just inserted his name, his mission and his birth date because, after-all it's for his birthday. Hope I've changed this up enough that it doesn't look too official but still looks 'missionary-ish.' (see top photo) Gosh. Following the rules is tough sometimes. Did I mention that it looked amazing? (murmur, murmur, murmur...)
When the family was at our New Year's Game Day I snapped photos of each family holding some birthday props. This would be way cute with some dress up hats or boas or some mustaches on sticks. CUTE!! Man! I just may have to do this again...
(My brother looks thrilled, doesn't he? I'm sure he's thinking..."Sheesh! Another project?!"
I think he's learned that it's easier to just humor me.)
Then using some chalkboards that I had made when Mason was out (see here for that fun idea), each person wrote a personal message to Matt with their birthday wishes.
(my cute niece who will leave for Bolivia in March 2014)
Place them all inside your photo album and ta-da!!! Done. Your missionary will love it! AND another perk? This will fit nicely inside a small Flat Rate box from the USPS with just enough room for a few treats. Easy peasy and way inexpensive. Have fun!