Saturday, 29 March 2014

Gift bag mini album

So...strolling through one of my favorite stores and lo!  What do I see but this fantastic gift bag, designed to look like a suitcase.  Had to have it!  I knew right away what I wanted to do with it:  Make a mini, of course.  Here's what I came up with.

Stands up on its own.  Measures 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" x 2".  Made a few minor alterations to the bag for the cover.

Used a hidden hinge system and pages are made of Kraft cardstock.

 First page and inside cover feature a pocket and a flap.

 These pages have a flap and a tiered pocket.

 Large flap on the left and two small ones on the right. Cute and useful journaling spots.

 Two more small flaps attached directly to the hinges.  You can put a picture or journaling here, or substitute pockets for the flaps.

I only made a couple of pullouts for this album, but they're big (8' x 8") and double-sidedI added tabs on the sides to make it easy to pull them out.

This page features a flip-down and opposite it a flip-up attachment.

 Tags added to this page create two mini pages with both sides available for use.

 A simple last page, with just a flap, but could add pockets to the inside cover or back page. 
I kept this album simple with lots of photo and journaling space.  There's a ton of room for memorabilia and extras though.  The travel papers are a smattering of stuff I had in my stash from various paper collections.  I think they work well together and give the album that vintage travel feel.
Thanks for peeking in! 

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Gatefold Mini Album Instructions

Mini albums are my current passion.  I love anything to do with books and paper, so being able to MAKE my own books is perfect.  This mini I'm sharing today is loads of fun and easy to create.  The measurements I used will give you an album that's just over 6" by 6". 

Gatefold Mini Album

Medium weight chipboard, 2 sheets of 12x12 cut as follows: 

       2 @ 6-1/4 x 3-1/4
       2 @ 6-1/4 x 1-3/4
       1 @ 6-1/4x6-1/2

Solid Cardstock; cut for pages as follows:
·         Pages
        6 @ 6x7
        6 @ 6x6
      ·         Page inserts
              6 @ 5-3/4" x 6-3/4" wide
      ·         Hinge pieces
               2 @ 5-7/8" x 6"
      ·         Cardstock for inside back flap 5" x 6-3/8"

Patterned paper for decorating your book.  Cutting directions are included in the section "Decorate and finish your book" below.
Scor-Tape or other double-sided tape.  1/4" or 1/2". 
Scoring board
Bone folder
Paper trimmer
Decorative edge punch (optional)
Corner rounder (optional)

Build your album:
1.  Wrapped cover:

Place the two 12" x 12" pieces of paper side by side and adhere to each other along one vertical edge by using double-sided tape, and overlapping the two pieces by 1/2".  Make sure your pattern runs the same direction on both and that you've lined it up well before adhering them to each other.  You will now have one piece of paper 12" high by 23 1/2" wide.   Trim to 9 1/2" high by 23 1/2" wide.  You will trim the ends a little more once your chipboard is stuck down.

Place the papers with the side you want on the outside of your book cover down.  Cover the perimeter and centre portions of all four of the chipboard cover pieces with double-sided tape.   Centre the 6 1/4" x 6 1/2" chipboard back piece over the seam of the two papers with the long side running horizontally.  Leave about 1 1/4" paper extending above the top and bottom edges of the chipboard and adhere, burnishing well.  Place one 1 3/4" x 6 1/4" piece of chipboard tape-side down on the paper to the left of the back piece, ensuring that you have lined up the edges well with the back of the book and leaving about 1/8" gap between the cover piece and each spine piece.  Repeat with the other same-sized piece, lining it up to the right of the spine piece and leaving a 1/8" gap between them.  Do the same with the two 3 1/4" x 6 1/4" pieces, placing one to the left of the left spine piece and the other to the right of the right spine piece.  It's very important to leave that small gap and to align top and bottom edges of all three pieces so that your book closes nicely.  Burnish pieces well to adhere the paper to the chipboard. 


Trim the paper at both ends so that there is a border of paper about 1 1/4" beyond your chipboard pieces.  Mitre the corners by cutting on the diagonal across the corner of the paper to about 1/8" from the tip of the corner.  Using a bone folder, lightly score the space between the chipboard pieces, and around the perimeter of the pieces to allow for clean folding of the paper around the chipboard.  Be careful not to score too deeply or you will tear your paper.  You just want to stretch the paper to make the folds clean. 

Place strips of double sided tape along the paper that extends beyond the margin of the chipboard, as well as along the perimeter of the chipboard cover.


Gently fold the paper up and over the edges of the chipboard and stick it down.  You want the paper tight against the chipboard and smooth where it sticks.  The score lines you made around the perimeter should help with this.  Fold up the bottom and top edges first, then do the ends.  If there is any extra paper at the mitred corners, tuck those in as you go, using the tip of your bone folder.


Fold your book covers into the proper shape at the spaces between the covers and the spine.  Be gentle as you do this so you don't tear the cover paper.  If there is a little cracking, a thin film of liquid glass can be spread over the areas to reinforce corners and edges to prevent tearing.

2.  Hinge system: 

You will make two small sets of hinges for this style of album.  Take one of your 5 7/8" x 6" pieces of cardstock, place it on your scorboard with the 6" long side running along the top edge of the board.  Score at 1 1/4", 1 3/4", 2 1/4", 2 1/2", 3", 3 1/2", 3 3/4", 4 1/4", 4 3/4".  

Flip the paper over and on the back place double-sided tape the length of the first 1/2" space and then every 1/2" space that follows a 1/4" space.


Fold on every score line and using the double sided tape join the 1/2" strips together in a series of accordion folds.  You will have a 1/2" mountain fold followed by a 1/4" flat gusset or gutter, then another 1/2" fold followed by a 1/4" gutter/gusset all the way across your piece of cardstock resulting in 3 hinges.  Repeat with the second 5 7/8" x 6" piece of cardstock. 


You now have two sets of hinges with 3 hinges in each set.  Work the seams of the mountain folds side to side to loosen them and make them pliable for turning your pages. 

Place a strip of double sided tape down the length of both sides of each mountain fold.  Try to stay in the middle, to ensure you don't overlap the crease at the bottom of each.  Trim the top corners of each hinge on a slight angle towards the centre of each fold to make the hinges easy to slip into your pocket pages for binding.

Turn each hinge system over and cover the perimeter and entire back of it with double-sided tape. 

The book will fall apart if you don't stick this part of it really well to the spine, so be generous with the tape! 
Centre one of the hinge systems over the inside surface of each of the two spine pieces, leaving equal margins on top and bottom and centering it side to side.  Once the hinge piece is centered, stick it down and burnish well to make sure it's not going to move.  The flaps will extend out onto the front and back covers and help to hold the covers to the hinge system.

3.  Make the pages:

Score each of the 6" x 7" pieces of cardstock along the 7"side at 1/2" and 6 1/2".  Fold on both score lines towards the middle so you have a 1/2" flap on both ends of the piece with the edges of the flaps in towards the middle of the cardstock piece.  Burnish the crease well with a bone folder.  Place double-sided tape the length of each flap on the outside of the flap.

Adhere one of the 6" x 6" pieces of cardstock to this piece with the flaps inside.  You now have a cardstock tube open on top and bottom.  This will be a page.  Repeat with each of the pieces of flapped cardstock, joining a 6" x 6" piece to it. 


 4.  Add the pages: 

Holding open your page assembly, slide it down over the hinge and stick it in place.  Be sure not to push it down over the fold at the bottom of the hinge, as you want the pages to turn smoothly.


Repeat with each page and each hinge.  You will now have two sets of hinges, one on each spine and with three pages attached to each.  Each page is now ready for its insert.

5.  Make the inserts:

Score each of your six 5 3/4" x 6 3/4" cardstock page insert pieces as follows:  place on the scorboard with the 6 3/4" edge running horizontally at the top.  Score at the 5 1/2" mark.  Crease well along the score line.  You can scallop the edge of this flap with the scallop punch or round the two corners.     

6.  Flap inside back cover:

Cut a piece of cardstock 5" high x 6 1/4" wide.  Score on the 5" side at 4 1/2".  Fold over to make a 1/2" flap to attach to your inside back cover.  Run double-sided tape the length of the outside of the 1/2" flap.  Attach to the inside back cover of the book, centering the flap and placing the top edge in line with the top line of the hinges of your book.  You now have a flap that opens upward.

7.  Flap inside right cover:

Cut a piece of cardstock to 6 1/4" x 3 1/8" wide.  Score at 5 1/2" and fold on score line.  Using double-sided tape attach the 3/4" flap to the inside cover of the book lining it up with the top line of your hinges.  Round the two corners of the flap.  Make sure the sides are straight so the flap opens evenly upwards. 


Note:   If you plan to use eyelets set into your cover for your closure system, now is the time to do that, before you decorate the inside of your book.  The directions for this follow:

To make the tie closure for the front covers:

Pre-mark the placement of the chipboard or cardstock buttons on your front cover.  Using a crop-o-dile punch holes in the center of each button and then the front cover of your book .  Use your fingers to gently bend and work the edges of the buttons to make them a little more flexible.  Set an eyelet through each button and into the holes in the cover, attaching the button to the cover with the eyelet.  Wind hemp or embroidery thread around one button, then loop it up and around the button on the opposite side of the cover.  Wind a couple of times to keep the book shut.  The chipboard buttons will be easier to wind around after you open and close the book a few times.

Note:  Make sure your eyelets are long enough to go through both the cover of the book and the chipboard buttons you are using before making the hole in your book. 

8.  Pocket inside back cover:

Cut a piece of cardstock or patterned paper 3" x 6 1/4" wide.  Score on the 3" edge at 2 1/2" and fold under to form a 1/2" flap.  Scallop other long edge if desired.  Run double-sided tape the length of this flap and attach to the inside back cover of your book, keeping the bottom edge of the pocket even with the bottom edge of the hinges.  Run a thin bead of liquid glue along each end of the pocket and adhere to the back cover to form the edges of the pocket.

Decorate and finish your book:


     ·         be aware of which way you want your patterns to run when cutting the decorative   paper.   

·         you may want your mats a little larger or a little smaller according to your taste so measure your pages to see what size appeals to you.  Smaller mats will leave more of the cardstock showing on each side.  

·         You should mat the left inside front cover of your book before installing the waterfall feature.
·         If you want magnetic closures on any of your flaps, you should install them before decorative mats are attached.  The same goes for eyelet closures for the cover.
Decorative papers should be cut out of your patterned paper and cardstock as follows (please note that sizes will vary depending on your taste and the exact measurements of your book features):
If you have made your wrapped cover with patterned paper you do not need to cut other paper for your cover, but if you have wrapped your cover in plain cardstock and wish to add patterned paper, these are the measurements for that: 
Outside Front Cover - 2 @ 3-1/8 x 6-1/8
Outside Back Cover - 6-3/8 x 6-1/8
Outside Spine - 2 @ 1-5/8 x 6-1/8
Inside right front cover (underneath the flap) 3" x 5 3/4".
Left front cover, (under the waterfall feature) 3" x 5 3/4"
Page mats 5 3/4" x 5 3/4" (cut 12)
Insert mats 5 1/4"wide x 5 1/2"high (cut 12)
Flap mats 3/4" or 1" x 5 3/4" (cut 12).  The width will depend on whether or not you scallop the edges of the flaps.
Top portion of the flap inside the right front cover 2 7/8" x 5 1/4" (cut 2, one for outside and one for inside surface).

Waterfall feature inside left front cover:

Cut six pieces of cardstock to 2 1/2" x 3".   Score each at 1/2" on the 3" side to form a flap you fold under, then round the corners on the opposite end of the piece.  Take your first piece and using double-sided tape on the outside of the flap, adhere the flap to the inside of the left front cover 1/2" down from the top of the book, and centered left and right.  Make sure it's straight, because otherwise your waterfall feature will lean to the left or right!  Repeat with the next six pieces, lining up the top edge of the piece's flap with the bottom edge of the previously placed flap.  As you go, each successive piece sits under the one you place before it, and extends 1/2" below due to the flap.  Decorate with mats 2 1/4" x 2 1/4" (cut 12).   Alternating cardstock and patterned paper looks nice when you're decorating this.


To finish your book, add embellishments and cut photo mats and tags as desired to add to pockets and to tuck behind the embellishments.  If using chipboard embellishments to put mats and tags behind, attach only the outside edges away from where you want your tags to be put, so that you can slip them behind the chipboard piece. 

Congratulations!  You just made yourself a gatefold mini album.


For a good video demonstration of the making of a similar album, see My Sister's Scrapper Sweet Day Mini Album tutorial on YouTube.


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Gatefold Mini Albums

I have a couple of Gatefold Mini albums to share with you.  These were fun to make and are a perfect gift for a bridal shower, baby shower or birthday.  Make them ahead of time with whatever paper collection best suits your theme, then take pictures at the event and add them to the album.  Then present the completed book as a gift to the bride, new mom or birthday girl.  Hope these pictures inspire you to get out there and glue something! 
    Front cover

     Waterfall feature on left inside cover and flip-up pocket on right inside cover.

    Embellishments can be used as a place to tuck tags or photo mats.
    Additional pages show just how much you can put in a little album.  Plenty of space.
Back page with a flip-up mat that hides another pocket.  This one has a magnetic closure.

So here's another made with the same template, but with a few different features and different paper.  Gives you a completely different look.

If you feel inspired, I've put directions in another post, complete with pictures.  And if you love the paper I've used, you can find everything you need here.  I hope you have fun with this and find yourself mini-addicted too!  See ya next time...


Altered Record Album

Today I have an altered project to share with you.  I look at things (especially things in second hand stores) and wonder what they could be turned into.  I came across this great old record album in Value Village. It was in good condition and designed to hold 45's.

Paid a whole $2.99 for it and it even came with a few of the records still in it.  I saw somewhere the idea of painting records and hanging them on the wall for d├ęcor, but my walls are already crammed with stuff so scratched that idea.  Being a book-a-holic I immediately thought it would make a great altered book so I purchased a few more records to fill up the empty sleeves.  I painted both sides of the records with fluid acrylic paints, leaving some of the black vinyl of the record showing through, and with distinct brush marks showing.  It gives them a worn and imperfect look that I like.  A couple coats of paint was plenty.  I painted the label portion too.  I then fussy cut out images of birds from a second-hand child's bird book I had found on a previous visit to VV and glued them to the records (both sides) with Mod Podge. 

Since there were twelve records, I used stamps and Staz-on ink to stamp the name of a month on each of them.  I also added stamped images of feathers.  With paint markers I hand wrote a quote about nature or birds on each side of the records.  A few coats of Mod Podge over the whole lot and the records were done.  I chose to use minimal embellishment on the sleeves themselves, as they were a beautifully aged brown paper.  I just used distress ink and stamped on images of grass and ferns.


A record in each sleeve, and there you have it:  a calendar/book of sorts.  This was a fun and easy project, though it did take a while for all that fussy cutting.  I love birds and vintage images so this gave me a chance to put it all together into an unusual creation. 


I hope this gets you thinking about things in a different way.  The great thing about altered projects is there are no rules and the sky is the limit.  You can make just about anything out of just about anything.   


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Makin' a Mini

Lately I've been making a lot of mini albums, which happily combine all my creative interests and have lots of room for improvising.  Suits me to a "t".  I've been asked to share how I make some of these.  Directions can be tricky when you're trying to teach someone how to make something and can't just show them.  At this point my video-ing skills and experience rate a zero out of ten, so I'm going to post the old-fashioned way.  Pictures and written instructions.  I'm hoping to tweak this blog as I go, and maybe someday I'll have the time, energy and know-how to create videos too. 

Makin' A Mini  (thanks to

Just made this little album.  It's a wallet-style mini album, perfect to use as a gift or brag book and it really looks like a wallet.  It even has a hidden magnetic closure.  I've used the Ariana Paper Collection from Close To My Heart for this one, and I love the look.

I decided this is to be a brag book about my mom, who's worth bragging about. So I collected some of my fave photos of her and I think they look gorgeous with the Ariana paper.

    Here's the album as you open it:

Nice little pocket with some mini tags in the top of the wallet.  Journal on the back of them, or just use them for decorative accents.

The bottom part has a fold-up portion to hold a couple of extra pictures without adding too much bulk to the album.

The centre portion folds in on itself compactly and holds a bunch more photos.

A little belly band feature in the middle compartment to slip some cardstock-mounted photos behind.

It opens out to hold 13 (count 'em!) pictures and still has room for journaling.  All that in a little 4" x 7" wallet you can carry in your purse.  Impressed yet?  I think you'd better make one.  Here's how:

Wallet-Style Brag Book

You can find everything I used to make this little beauty here
       Cardstock· two sheets 12" x 12"
Note:  If you use white core cardstock, you will need to ink your edges and seams to cover the core.   I ink distress everything anyway so this is a non-issue for me.  If you like the non-distressed look, then use a cardstock without the white core, or use white/colonial white cardstock.  Also, if you score all your lines on front and back of the cardstock it stretches the paper and you will have less cracking and less white core showing through.
   Patterned papers of your choice.  I use scraps of coordinating paper along with about 1 1/2 or 2 sheets (12" x 12") of patterned paper to cut up for the larger areas.
   Liquid adhesive for pockets.  Liquid Glass works great and dries quickly without warping.  Tape runners and double-sided tape should not be used for pockets as your photos and tags will get stuck in the residue inside the pockets.
   Tape runner or double-sided tape to adhere papers to the cardstock.
   Magnets or hook and loop closures (optional).  If using magnets, use the thinnest ones you can find and adhere them to the inside of the top and the outside of the bottom of the wallet before covering with decorative paper.  If using hook and loop you can add those after the wallet is completed.  For bulkier wallets, hook and loop closures work best.
Build Your Wallet:
Cardstock sheet # 1:  Score at 2 1/2" and at 9 1/2".  Turn 90 degrees so these score lines now run horizontally and score at 3 3/4", 4", 8" and 8 1/4".  Fold on all score lines and crease well with bone folder.  Your paper should look like this:   I have marked each portion with a letter or number for ease of instruction.

Remove and discard rectangles A, B, C and D by cutting along the 4 " and 8" lines and the 2 1/2" and 9 1/2" lines. 

Your paper should look like this:

All pieces should fold in the same direction, towards you.  This will be the inside of your wallet.
Round the bottom corners of #3 and the top corners of #1.  Using a 1" circle punch, cut a semi-circle out of the centre of the edge of #4 and #5.  These two pieces will become pockets and the semi-circles allow for easier access to the pockets with your tags.  Ink all edges and seams on both sides of the cardstock.
Cardstock sheet #2:  Cut two pieces, each 4" x 12".  These two pieces will become your "arms" that attach to the main cardstock base at #4 and #5.  Score each piece at 6" and crease well.  Ink edges and folds on both sides. 
Using liquid adhesive, place a thin bead of glue along margins of sides and bottom of BACK of pieces #4 and #5.  Adhere the end of one cardstock arm to the back of piece #4, and the end of the other arm to the back of piece #5.  Note:  When attached, the arms and pieces #4 and #5 should fold towards you and into the central portion of the wallet.  Round and ink the two corners on the free ends of each arm.
Decorating your wallet: 
Note:  Cut your pieces but don't adhere them until you're sure you have them where you like them.  Flip the wallet over so the back/outside is facing you with arms fully extended, then choose and cut pieces of patterned paper for it as follows:
·  One piece 3 1/2" x 6 3/4" for top fold of wallet (piece #1) This piece folds over to form the front outside of the wallet so it should be the pattern with the most personality.  (biggest pattern, most colorful or just the one you like the best)
      ·   One piece complimentary patterned paper to 3 3/4" x     
        6 3/4" for back of wallet(#2)
      · One piece 3 1/2" x 6 3/4" for back of bottom foldout
        (piece #3).  A "quieter" complementary pattern works
        well here since this will fold up to form the bottom of the
        front of your wallet.
      · Two pieces 5 3/4" x 3 3/4" and two contrasting pieces
        the same size for the back areas of the two arms. 
        Round the two outside corners of the pieces you've
        chosen for the end pieces.
Ink edges of all the pieces before adhering.  Once you're happy with the arrangement of your papers stick 'em down!
Now the inside: 
Flip your wallet over so the inside is facing up and the arms are fully extended, and cut patterned paper pieces as follows:
·  One piece 3 1/2" x 6 3/4" to cover piece #1 .
·  One piece 3 3/4" x 6 3/4" to cover piece #2. 
·  One piece 7" x 6 3/4" and score at 3 1/2".  Round all four
    corners.   Fold on score line and crease well.  Note:  This
    piece is attached to the inside of #3 and forms a double
    page that opens upwards, so choose your pattern
    alignment accordingly.
·   With wallet completely folded out and arms extended, cut 2
   pieces patterned paper for end pieces of arms, each 3 3/4"
   x 5 1/2".
·  Cut two more pieces out of contrasting cardstock
    or patterned paper at 3 3/4" x 4 1/2".  These two pieces
    are slightly shorter because they just need to fit inside your
    pockets to line them and fit better if they don't go right to
    the end of the inside of the pockets.  When adhering don't
    use tape runner for the portion inside the pockets, just
    stick the exposed part of the paper down.  It will stay put.
·  Cut two pieces patterned paper at 3 3/4" x 1 3/4" to cover
    the small pockets (#4 and #5). 
Note:   Ink edges of all pieces before adhering.   Once you like your arrangement, adhere pieces in place.   

Photo mats:  Cut two photo mats 3 1/4" x 5 1/4" from patterned paper or cardstock to slide into your two center pockets.  Ink edges if desired.   

Belly Band:  Cut a 1 1/4" x 6 3/4" strip of paper and using liquid glue adhere just the ends over the middle of piece #2.  Ink edges.  You can slip photos or tags behind the band.

Pocket:  Cut 1 1/2" x 6 3/4" piece patterned paper or cardstock.  You can edge the paper with a scallop punch or leave it plain.  Ink the edges if desired.  Using a thin bead of liquid glue, adhere only the ends and bottom edge of the paper to the bottom of piece #1.  This forms a pocket for tags or photos.

Add flat embellishments, tags, journaling and photos as desired.  Keep in mind that if it gets too bulky your wallet won't stay closed and the seams will tear more easily.

Voila!  You now have a gorgeous brag book ready to gift or to flash around.

Thanks for dropping in.  I'll have something else to share with you next week.  Hint:  It involves acrylic paint, ink, paper and a little something unexpected.

Now get on out there and glue something!