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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Susan

I am old and wise. Perhaps more old than wise, but once you're old, you don't give a shit about details anymore.

19 thoughts on “State-by-State Passport”

    1. 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.

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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:)

  2. 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. 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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