State-by-State Passport

I am what is known as the opposite of crafty. The polar opposite of crafty. But, as they say in the movie Robots, “see a need, fill a need,” and I saw a need.

When Sofia was a few months old, we got her a passport. We knew we’d be traveling out of the country with her before she turned five, and the prices were about to go up, so we got one (she’s going to be so embarrassed when she’s four-and-a-half and her passport picture is of a baby). It got me thinking, though – what about keeping track of different states where she’s been? As an adult, I occasionally try to think of the different states where I have been, and I usually fail. My memory is not great, and my sense of direction is worse. And so The Only Crafty Thing I’ve Ever Done That Was Worth Talking About was born:

Passport

Don't be fooled! This is not a U.S. Passport.

Passport

This is a fake fake passport, because her real name isn't Jane Doe.

What you will need:

  • Small paper notebooks (this is potentially make-able on your own, if you are more crafty than I am) – I ordered these from Amazon for $11.29; kind of pricey for a DIY, but there are 12 books in there, so I made a set for my daughter, my nephew, and my two nieces.
  • A way to mark individual states (also potentially make-able on your own) – I ordered these stickers from Amazon for $7.50, because I have terrible handwriting.
  • A picture of your kid (it does not have to meet U.S. Passport requirements)
  • A date stamp – I like the self-stampers because they are easy to contain and they just feel so official.

What to do:

  1. Tape a picture of kiddo to the front of the book. That way, nobody can steal the passport and sell it on the black market.
  2. Put some info on the first page. I put “Passport holder” and her full name, and then “Passport issued” and her date of birth.
  3. Mark each page with a different state – really easy to do if you use the stickers. The passport books I got from Amazon only have 22 pages, so it took three books to get a page for every state. There are leftover blank pages at the back of the third book which can be used for places in Canada, or as Sofia gets older, she might want to add some specific destinations (grandma’s house, McDonald’s Whole Foods, etc.)
  4. Decide on house international rules for consistency. Our rules say that your feet have to actually touch the ground in the state for it to count, and we sometimes put in descriptions next to the stamp (Aunt Elenor’s house for Christmas!).
  5. Revel in your awesomeness.
Stamps

Guess which state we lived in.

One thing that I had planned to do, and still might do when she’s a bit older, is have her draw a picture next to the stamp for the state. She’s still too uncoordinated for that to be feasible, but it’s an additional idea. Also, I’m considering adding pictures of her in the states to make it even more of a memory keeper.

This craft is easy to do, easy to make look decent, and is something that can be kept up with forever. Sofia just turned two, and some pages (the states in which we’ve lived) are filling up, while some others have a lone stamp. It’s already one of my prized possessions.

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19 Comments State-by-State Passport

  1. Avatar of LittleMissJLittleMissJ

    My parents got my brother and I passports for the National Parks when we were younger so we could keep track of our travels that way. You can find them here: http://www.eparks.com/store/product/22515/*Passport%C2%AE-To-Your-National-Parks*/  It’s a very similar idea and it was always fun to go to the park office to get a new stamp. It also includes all the national monuments.

    1. Avatar of SusanSusan

      When I was looking around for something like this to buy (I really can’t believe there isn’t a company that makes this) I saw those passports – we hardly go to National Parks, though, since we’re in the east.

  2. Avatar of [E] Sally J. Freedman[E] Sally J. Freedman

    Seriously SO SMART. I think my kids would totally dig this- they already love looking at maps and hearing about the trips we’ve taken- this would be a great way to track it all. BRILLIANT.

    1. Avatar of SusanSusan

      I’m so excited for when she gets older and she can look through it.  I’m actually really surprised at how full it is already, and she’s 2.

  3. Avatar of Crystal ColemanCrystal Coleman

    This is such an awesome project idea! I made little passports for the stuffed animals that my now-husband and I got each other when we were flying between countries to see each other. I’m so doing this when we have little ones, and should totally do one for my nephew, who’s shuttling back and forth from California to Florida a lot at the moment.

    1. Avatar of SusanSusan

      I love it.  Really.  I’m sure if I were more crafty it could look more awesome, but even with my limited skills, it’s still a record of where we’ve been.  And I love that.

      1. Avatar of Crystal ColemanCrystal Coleman

        Oh man! Pinterest love it, too… it’s already been repinned 30 times since I pinned it! Well done, Miss Not-So-Crafty!

        I’m already brainstorming ways to design my own notebook, since I love playing in photoshop. I know what I’ll be using to slack off tomorrow.

        1. Avatar of SusanSusan

          You, my dear, just made my night.  The only person who repinned it from my pin was my sister, and she’s contractually obligated.

  4. Avatar of [M] freckle[M] freckle

    Aww this is cute. And maybe a bit more of a success in huge countries like The States and less in teeny-weenies like the Netherlands with twelve states (which I’ve visited, all of them).

    1. Avatar of SusanSusan

      You Europeans get to have more fun with REAL passports, though.  Although – do they even check passports between countries now?

      1. Avatar of [M] freckle[M] freckle

        Nope! Well, not if it’s part of the European Union. I only have outside-Europe stamps. And I got a new one this year, so it’s way too empty right now.

      2. Avatar of [M] QoB[M] QoB

        It depends on the border and where you cross. E.g.: between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland by road there are no passport checks; but flying from Ireland to England means your passport (which, technically you don’t have to have because of the UK-Ireland Common Travel Area, only photo ID…) is checked by the airline but not at UK immigration, where they only look at your boarding card.  If flying in to other EU countries you just get a cursory check at the immigration desk but there are no border controls on roads.

        It’s a bit of a shock for us Europeans when you go to the USA or Russia or somewhere and they get all finicky about it:)

  5. Avatar of mxandbmxandb

    This is so wonderful!

    I’ve started using Pinterest to track all the different locations I travel to. After two years of monthly trips, I started losing track. Now I search Etsy for fun state or city based art and pin it – a great way to track where I’ve been and spread the word about talented Etsy people!

    But then, I’m an old so scrapbooking my business travels isn’t so timeless. :)

    1. Avatar of SusanSusan

      Thank YOU for your comment!  I am really, really bad at anything crafty, but I love that we already have these books for Sofia to reflect on someday.  Not yet, though.  Because she’s not allowed to touch them.

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