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!














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