Creating, Parenting

DIY Lifebook for your Muslim child

March 21, 2017

DIY Lifebook for your Muslim ChildAbout a year ago, my sister shared a keepsake product for children with me. It was essentially a lifebook for your child that would store letters you wrote them once a year for 18 years. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to try and make my own version of it – a DIY Lifebook for the Muslim child.

For those of us too busy to scrapbook or not so creatively inclined, this is a fairly simple DIY Lifebook to put together. Although simple, the finished product is heartwarming and something that both you and your child will cherish.

The product I saw had pre-printed pages with ages on them and spots for you to glue on photographs. It also included a little envelope for you to add in your letter, for every age.

I wanted something more personal to give my children. I’m not very sentimental so I haven’t hung on to pieces of clothing or toys, but I do (and will continue to) treasure their books. I’m the kind of person that loves receiving a present that a lot of thought has been put into and I wanted to be able to give them something from my husband and I that they would hold dear and find comfort in. Making our own version also gave us the opportunity to incorporate Islamic elements that they will benefit from. Keep reading to see how we did that!

What you’ll need:

The wonderful thing about this DIY is that you need as little as a book, some photos, some adhesive, envelopes and a pen. I found some scrapbooks for as little as £6, I used scrapbooking paper that I had left over from my money wallet and Ramadan and Eid bunting projects, some glue dots and other adhesive that I had around the house, and envelopes that I purchased to fit in the scrapbook for as little as £1. I also purchased some number stickers that I used for every page. In hindsight, I wished I had written out the numbers, perhaps with Sharpies, because I didn’t realise I’d need a lot more stickers than were in the pack and now need to purchase more to keep a uniform look across the books.


Make sure your book has enough space for you to put a photo and envelope across from each other, you need two page faces for each age and will be starting from newborn so you’ll need 19 envelopes and 19 photos in total. I have a 2 year old and a 3 year old, so I had 7 photos printed in total. I’m sharing my 2 year old’s book with you in this post – my son’s book is still a work in progress.

How to put it together:

Once you have everything, start by pasting envelopes towards the bottom of every page – leave the page to the right of it blank. This is where your photo will go. I did not centre the envelopes on the page because I included quotes on every page and needed the space to write. If you don’t want to do this, paste your envelope in the centre of the page. I used glue dots to do this and it was really quick to do.

Then, if you’re using scrapbooking paper or would like a border for your photos, cut your paper to size. I printed 5 x 5 square photos and cut out paper squares measuring 5.5 x 5.5 inches. This will give you a little border. Stick that on the page opposite the envelope. I varied the position of the square in my book so that the number stickers were alternating on different sides of the page. You don’t have to do this. Again, I used the glue dots to do this. I much prefer using these so my hands aren’t messy with stick or liquid glue.

Add in your numbers! Finally, if you’re using number stickers, stick them on, otherwise just write them on or draw them in – whatever you’d like to do.

Making it your own:

Nearly there! Now to make it personal to your Muslim child. You could add:

  • Things they had accomplished at that age (for instance, at two you could recite Surah An Nas, at three you memorised the duaa for sleeping, etc)
  • Funny things they said or did (stories of them at the masjid or on Eid or during Ramadan),
  • Islamic quotes
  • Qur’anic ayat or hadith
  • Quotes from their favourite books

We decided put in quotes from some of their favourite books. The quality of today’s Islamic children’s literature is truly wonderful. Some of our favourites have such beautiful lessons that we want the children to carry with them for the rest of their lives. I did leave some pages blank because I know we will add to collection of books over the years and there may be other quotes I’d like to write in. For now though, here are some of my personal favourites (I will link all these books in a list at the end of this post):

Once you’ve got that done, pop in your photographs and you’re done!

What’s in a name?

It is important to me for the children to know how much thought went into choosing their names. In Islam, we believe that our children have rights over us and one of them is to be given a good name. I truly believe that children live up to their names and the characteristics associated with them, so it is important for parents to consider that when naming a child. I wanted to share with my daughter a passage that I read after her birth that helped us choose her name so I did that on the first page of the book:

DIY lifebook for muslim child

I think there is something very special about receiving a gift from your parents that is a collection of thoughts and memories and ultimately, an expression of love that has grown over several years. The letters will all be different and I personally will be keeping a copy of each letter myself, so I can look back at them to see how our parenting journey has evolved over the years. There is so much blessing in reflection and this can be an exercise in remembering to be grateful to Allah for what you have.

Would you do this for your child? Do you have a similar keepsake? I’d love to see what it looks like! Tag me on Instagram or on Facebook or comment below to share!

Islamic books quoted in our Lifebooks: 

Yasmine’s Belly Button – Asmaa Hussein

Bismillah Soup – Asmaa Hussein

The Apple Tree – Mariam Al-Kalby

Circle of Sandcastles – Mariam Al-Kalby

Allah Knows All About Me – Yasmin Mussa

Angels and Rainbows – Elizabeth Lymer

Ramadan Moon – Naima B. Robert, Shirin Adl

Muslim Lullabies – Elizabeth Lymer

The Perfect Gift – J. Samia Mair

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  • Reply DIY Lifebook for your Muslim child - Feediu.Com March 21, 2017 at 10:45 am

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  • Reply Shoumuos March 22, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Love this! mashallah, I have 2 scrapbooks that are yet to be used, this made me want to start work!
    loved the customisation as well x

    • Reply Iman March 29, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      I’m so glad you like it Alhamdullilah! x

  • Reply Misbah Akhtar March 22, 2017 at 8:43 am

    What a beautiful idea!

    I did something similar for my kids. It’s a book of wisdom where I impart advice from the lessons so I have learned to them so that when they face hard times they know they aren’t alone.

    • Reply Iman March 29, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      That is so beautiful – I’m sure they’ll appreciate it SO much when they’re older!

  • Reply Sara Saleh March 22, 2017 at 9:38 am

    This is a brilliant idea mashallah! I am expecting baby #3 so I will deffo start this project for all three now 🙂

    • Reply Iman March 29, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Exciting mashaAllah Sara! I’d love to see when you get round to it inshaAllah!

  • Reply Sahar March 22, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    I have never really thought of this. I get letters from my sisters on every bday and I have cherished them like a treasure unmatched. They are very young and to randomly read the little innocent writings makes me so emotional. This is a beautiful idea that I just shared with my friends in between writing this comment.

    • Reply Iman March 29, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing Sahar! I didn’t even consider doing it for a sibling – that’s such a great idea!

  • Reply Aicha March 23, 2017 at 3:25 am

    This is a very cool idea I think I’ll give it a try thanks for sharing. You have such a lovely blog I like reading your post.

    • Reply Iman March 29, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      JazakAllahu Khairan Aicha you are so kind!

  • Reply Asheera March 23, 2017 at 5:30 am

    Woow thats a brilliant idea….memories re truely precious

    • Reply Iman March 29, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      Thanks Asheera!

  • Reply Amina Edota March 24, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Masha Allah… soooooo heartwarming.

    I really like this idea, especially how you’ve gone to great lengths to personalise it and infuse it with Islamic elements. Yes, it is definitely better than a 101 gifts a child can ever receive from his/her parents. What a beautiful idea. I’m too blown away. I tried scrap booking once, but it didn’t last, this is much easier.

    • Reply Iman March 29, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      Ah Amina you’re too kind! Thank you for taking to time to write that wonderful comment!

  • Reply Afreen March 25, 2017 at 4:38 am

    It is a new and good idea..Nice work.

    • Reply Iman March 29, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      Thanks Afreen!

  • Reply Nasra March 26, 2017 at 10:58 am

    This is such a good idea. I don’t have a child but when I have kids I will love to try this.
    But for now, I can tweak the idea a little bit, and make a family version for all my siblings or a friendship version.

    • Reply Iman March 29, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      I love that idea Nasra! One of the other commenters mentioned that her siblings do this for her and it’s lovely!

  • Reply Aleeza Shoaib April 17, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    such a beautiful idea! Thank you for sharing

  • Reply Liyanah April 20, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    I know this is quite a late response, but Mashallah what a beautiful idea. I’m slightly jealous! Memories are what stay with us forever and this is so precious! Inshallah they can too do this for their kiddies! xox

    • Reply Iman May 4, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      Aww – yes! I really hope they do inshaAllah. A grandparents’ version would be so cool too!

  • Reply Aaliyah April 25, 2017 at 9:06 am

    I love this idea I’m thinking to do it for my little ones. Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply Iman May 4, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      You’re welcome Aaliyah – I’m sure the twins would love it!

  • Reply Ameena June 29, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Masha Allah! I love this idea! I’ve heard different versions /ideas for a child’s keepsake… I always want to start it. Then I think my son is already 6 and my daughter is 4 and my baby boy is one… So if I start it then I will have to add things from the past…!! Oh well…. Better late than never! 😀

    • Reply Iman July 17, 2017 at 12:21 pm

      Yes! I had to backtrack 4 years for my son (including the newborn letter) and 2 for my daughter. It’s the easiest thing to write though, the words just come out of you so so easily and it’s such a beautiful way to leave something memorable for them!

  • Reply Aleeza July 14, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    I will totally do this inshaaAllah. I was keeping a diary for my older son. I used to scribble in every now and then. But it was becoming too much to write it in every day. A letter a year sounds reasonable 😀. Not a fan of record books either. This is something which the children can value inshaaAllah

    • Reply Iman July 17, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      I’m so glad you like it Aleeza! I hope your children treasure it inshaAllah! x

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