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.



  1. Awesome instructions Lynette!!! Thankyou for sharing this!

  2. Thank you so very much for sharing your talent with us. The instructions are amazing, just like your projects. Hugs, Gail

  3. Lynette Thanks you for all the work you put into the instructions for this gorgeous Mini Album. I can't wait to make one.

  4. Thanks for the positive feedback! I love that you are going to have some fun with these instructions. Let me know how it goes.

  5. Thank you for the detailed instructions AND pictures!! I have bookmarked this tutorial for future reference.

    1. You are welcome Jann! Enjoy making it.

  6. fantastic and thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Love this mini. I've been searching for a style to make for our new baby granddaughter, born last week. Your instructions are very well done. Thanks so much. Do you have photos of the completed album you made?

    1. You're very welcome Dianne! Hope you have fun making it for your new grandbaby.

  8. Oops! I guess I didn't dig deeply enough into your website. Found the photos. Thanks again.