Mini-Albums Make Meaningful Christmas Gifts

(This article was originally written for and published by E-Zine

Christmas is just around the corner and the shopping malls are full of people scrambling to find just the right gift. But many of us long to make Christmas simpler and more meaningful by giving items made with love instead. You can easily create meaningful gifts for everyone on your list using scrapbook supplies you may already have. I love to make and give mini scrapbook albums. They are quick and easy gifts that can be put together with photos, patterned paper and a few embellishments. Here are some basic directions to create a simple mini-album and ideas on how to personalize it.

First purchase an inexpensive small photo album at a dollar or discount department store (the plastic kind with slip-in pages made for 4 x 6 photos). Take out the front and back covers and use them as patterns to create new covers using colored cardstock or a favorite patterned paper. Make the title using stickers, chipboard, stamped or die-cut letters, and add a few small embellishments. (This is a small album, so you don’t need to overdo it!) Slip the new front and back covers back into their slots. Tie a length of coordinating ribbon around the spine of the album to dress it up.

Now decide what will be inside the album. Your first option is to create and give a “finished” album, full of both photos and decorations. What grandparent wouldn’t love to have a mini-album full of recent photos of all the grandchildren? This would also be great for family members who are far away or you haven’t seen in while. Or how about creating an album for your best friend filled with pictures of the both of you over the years?

Another option would be to make an “unfinished” album that contains decorative pages, but no photos. This would be useful for a busy mom who doesn’t have time to scrapbook the pictures of her own family, or the traveler who has lots of photos from their adventures. I also like to give empty albums decorated with holiday themed papers so photos from this year can be easily slipped inside – an instant Christmas 2008 album! If you choose this option, make and decorate the pages, but leave empty spaces for the recipient to add their own photos and journaling.

Finally, this type of mini-album lends itself to many other ideas. It would also be lovely filled with a collection of inspirational quotes and accompanying pictures. Or how about copying your favorite recipes onto 4 x 6 recipe cards, decorating them and slipping them into the album? Or create a mini calendar for the upcoming year with monthly calendars downloaded from the internet accented by a variety of seasonal photos and embellishments. It can truly be personalized for anyone.

Mini-albums are inexpensive, yet meaningful gifts. And the best part is that because of their size they can be made very quickly – you still have time to make one for everyone on your list for this Christmas!

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