A few weeks ago I received a call from Darlene because her husband Ken's 70th birthday was coming up. She really had no idea what we did or what our books looked like, but her daughter had told her we could "make books out of all those letters you have saved." So, Darlene gave us a call.
Ken and Darlene met at college when she was a freshman and he was senior. It was during his studies in graduate school that they wrote to each other multiple times per week, and Darlene saved them all. Three shoeboxes full. Hundreds of letters all organized by date.
Darlene had no idea how we were going to bind them and was concerned because many of the letters were written on small stationery, rather than full size 8.5 x 11 pieces of paper. She also wanted to keep the envelopes with the postmarks stamps. Imagine paying just 5 cents to mail a letter?
She wanted to know what kind of adhesives or tape we would be using, how long it would take, and could we meet her deadline. We explained how we mount smaller letters onto larger pieces of paper if there is nothing on the other side.
For any letters that have writing on the back, we attach an extender strip of paper to the left edge of the paper, then we use that strip to bind the letter into place so that both sides of the letter remain visible.
Every letter began with Dear Darlene.
and they were in love.
It took us many hours of careful hand preparation to open all those letters, smooth them out, and get them mounted or extended as needed.
Darlene chose Navy Blue with Silver foil printing and custom selected the inscription she wanted on the front of the books. His nickname for her is "Bug".
She added spine printing to the books so when they sit on the shelf, they can see what they are and also the date range of the letters inside.
We helped her decide on a title for the spines of her book, a very simple Dear Darlene, which is, of course, how he started all his letters. Typically, we have the spine match whatever is on the front cover, if spine printing is ordered, but we have no problem making custom changes for people like we did for Darlene.
In the end, it took five of our 1.5 inch Chronicle size books to hold all the letters and their envelopes. Here are two.
Darlene presented Ken with his books on Easter, which happened to be his birthday this year. The kids and grandkids were all around to see the books for the first time. Even Darlene hadn't opened them yet. She just took the box we delivered them in and wrapped it up. Their daughter was kind enough to send us some photos and video of the happy moment.
And here are some photos, too!
At first, he's not quite sure what it is.
But then he gets it.
The happy couple, Ken and Darlene, still married today, now have lots of letters to read and reminisce together.
This project was a labor of love for us and we are so grateful they shared photos and video with us. We may have even had a tear or two in our eyes. The very next day Darlene sent us an email to say thank you.
If you have special memories like this, we'd love to help you create an incredible keepsake for you. We can be reached by email, facebook messenger, text or phone and are happy to answer any questions you have!
Robyn Pomonis, Co-Founder/Owner
800-770-9308 talk or text
robyn at 4everbound dot com (I write it that way so I don't get a bunch of spam!)