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Since we are “Making it Merry” today on the blog hop, I want to share how to make a merry little mini-album with you. It’s easy, quick and inexpensive – I am all about that!
The finished album is 6 x 6 with 10 pages (plus the front and back covers) and 6 pockets. It would make a great Christmas gift or a sweet little book to record all the events that happen during this upcoming holiday season. Let’s get started!
1) Gather your materials. You’ll only need 3 12 x 12 sheets of coordinated patterned paper, 2 12 x 12 sheets of solid cardstock in colors that will work with your patterned paper, a 24″ length of narrow ribbon – again, choose one that will match your paper selections. You’ll also need a paper cutter or scissors, adhesive and a hole punch. That’s it! Note: I used papers from Stampin’ Up that are double sided, but you won’t see one side of the paper so single sided is just fine. My patterned papers feature red and green dots of various sizes and I chose to use one piece of solid green and one piece of solid red cardstock (but your cardstock can both be the same color if you prefer). I grabbed a length of red and white dotted ribbon to add to the theme. They are festive choices, but they don’t scream Christmas. And one of the great things about this mini is it’s versatility – you can use it for ANY event or theme. The first time I made this type of album it was to document the first few days after my youngest son Sam was born (you can see that album here) and I have made quite a few more since.
2) Make the album pages. Find and mark the center of your first sheet of patterned paper.
Fold one side in towards the centre mark and crease along the entire length of the paper. Repeat on the other side.
If you like, use a bone folder or similar tool to make your creases nice and sharp.
The seam opening will be in the center of your now 6 inch by 12 inch strip of paper. Now fold the strip of paper in half to make a 6 inch square, with the seam opening on the inside of the fold.
Repeat steps #2 and #3 with your other 2 pieces of patterned paper. Set all three aside.
3) Make the pocket pages. These will fit into the pockets you created by folding the paper and make a fun interactive element for your album. Cut each piece of your solid cardstock into four 6 inch squares. If you have two different colors, take three of the squares from each piece of paper and set one square from each aside. If both your pieces of cardstock are the same color, simply set two aside. Now trim just a sliver off of 2 ends of each the six squares. This is to make them slide more easily into each pocket. (Since the pockets you created by folding the patterned paper measure 6 x 6, you have to make the pages that slide inside them just a hair smaller. In the end, mine measured 5 7/8 x 5 7/8.)
4) Make the decorative seam covers. Take the remaining square from each piece of paper and trim it into four 1.5 inch strips.
Set one from each color aside (or two if you are using all the same color). Each of these six strips will be adhered over the seam opening on six of the pages.
Since these strips will be very visible on the album pages, I decided to emboss each of my paper strips using the Dots and Spots embossing folder and my Cuttlebug – it certainly adds to my dotty theme! You can decorate your strips however you like by inking or chalking the edges, stamping on them – whatever you fancy. And of course you can leave them as is!
5) Create some tabs. These will enable you to pull each of the pages out of the individual pockets. You can use the leftover 1.5 x 6 inch strip of the cardstock you set aside to cut or punch six matching tabs. Or use a circle or square punch a shape which can be folded in half to create a cutom style tab. You could also use strips of ribbon, contrasting or coordinating patterned paper, ready-made office tabs etc. (I used the McGill Tab Punch which I love.)
Adhere a tab to each of the six cardstock squares so that they will be staggered down the sides of your finished album (think junior high binder divider pages!). You can match the tabs to the paper, or switch it up. I placed a red tab on my green cardstock squares, and a green tab on the red squares.
6) Assemble your album. First, neatly stack your three patterned papers on top of each other with the centre fold pointing up like a mountain. Now punch a hole in the same place through all three papers, one on each end of the fold. Hopfully your hole punch goes through all the layers, but if it doesn’t try this: punch through one paper, line it up with the next paper, mark with a pencil then punch. Repeat with the final paper.
7) Bind your album. Make sure the holes line up, then thread the ribbon through from the inside to the outside of the book.
Tie the ribbon in a knot.
If you like this look, simply trim the ends of the ribbon. Or, tie into a pretty bow first then trim the ends.
8 ) Cover your seams. Open the album to the centre page. Take two of the 1.5 x 6 inch strips you cut earlier (use two of the same color, or different colors – it’s up to you!) Put adhesive on the back of each strip and place them over the seam opening. Since you will see both strips on this open page, make sure both strips are even and appear to be one continuous strip that goes under the ribbon binding and across the entire center spread.
Use the four remaining 1.5 x 6 strips to cover the openings on the other four album pages that have seam openings.
9) Add cardstock pocket pages. Just slide each of the tabbed 6 x 6 cardstock pages into a pocket. That’s it – you’re done making your album!
10) Decorate, add photos and journaling. Now comes the fun! Choose photos and or ephemera such as tickets, brochures, gift tags, holiday cards etc. and start placing them in your album. You have lots of room to play with! My plan for this album is to use it as a holiday highlights album to document with photos and stories all the favorite things we do, people we spend time with, yummy stuff we eat, presents we receive and decorations we put up around our home.
I made the title on my computer (I used CK Ali and Century Gothic fonts) and will use some of our Sharing Memories Journaling Spots to fill in the stories on each page. I don’t think I will add a lot of other decorative elements, maybe some word art, or some more of the cute embossed paper buttons I used on the cover (once again coordinating with my dotty theme!)
If you like you could give an album like this along with some decorative supplies as a gift. The recipient could then add their own photos and stories to create a personalized and memorable album.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you try making this fun little album! If you do, I would love to see a pic – post it on your own blog or online photo gallery and send me a link to it in the comments below!
OK…on to the next stop on the hop – Cut the Crazy Out of Christmas! You will be wowed by today’s post as well as all the other great tips for making Christmas a little less stressful! And I highly recommend getting the Cut the Crazy Out of Christmas planner book or taking the class of the same name at Big Picture Scrapbooking the next time it is offered. I took it last year, made my planner and now I am more organized and able to enjoy this most wonderful time of the year! Here’s my well used and well loved planner (you can click on the picture to visit my personal blog and find out more about the planner).
Anyway…enough from me! Click here to continue on your hop! Have fun and make it merry!