Sunday, February 14, 2010

Quick, Inexpensive Mini Album

Last week, I posted some Valentines I'd made using mostly items from the dollar bins at Target. Well, I'm kind of continuing that theme in my post for today, which is of course Valentine's Day.

I happen to have a friend whose birthday is on Valentine's Day, and I wanted to do a little something for her this year. She is one of those people who tends to get a little bit "blue" in the winter, waiting for the snow and the cold to go away. So I thought maybe a mini-album with a few photos of her family might be just the thing to keep her spirits warm.

I used one of the chipboard mini-albums that you can find all the time at Michael's these days for one measly dollar -- the book I chose is shaped like big tags. Since I didn't have die cut paper to go along with the book, I figured the tag shape would be relatively easy to trace and cut out. I started with a package of 12x12 Valentine-themed scrapbook papers and a package of matching chipboard embellishments from, once again, the Target dollar spot. There were, I think, twelve sheets of paper in that package -- for ONE DOLLAR! And, the patterns were actually pretty cute and useable. I simply traced the tag shape on the back of various papers, and then traced a bunch of additional half tag shapes, so that I could feature two papers on each layout of the album.

When I make quickie gift albums like this, I like to follow a simple format. Here, I combined two patterned papers on each layout, then put a family related quote on the left side, and a picture or two (cropped, of course) on the right. I added some simple rub ons to some of the little chipboard tags that were in the embellishment package (some were printed, but others were blank), and stuck everything down with glue dots. Here is an example of one of the layouts inside the mini album:

And another inner layout:

If you aren't familiar with how to cover chipboard with patterned paper, it's easy. I applied my hand-cut papers to each chipboard "page," and then sanded the edges to take off any excess and to make the paper kind of blend right into the page base. After sanding, I brushed all the paper bits off and then inked all of the edges with a dark brown chalk ink pad. For the "border" or shorter papers, make sure to ink the cut edge that will be on the inner part of the page before you stick the piece down. Oh, I had originally planned to use one of my cute edge punches on the edges of the "border" papers, but I tried it and it just looked too busy with the already-busy paper, so I simply cut the "border" papers straight instead. It still gave a nice contrast.

For the cover, I simply printed out a title block, inked everything, added a small photo, one of the chipboard hearts, and part of a circle rub on, and I was done. I liked the way this heart looked hanging off of the cover page:

I finished off the album by tying some cute ribbons onto the album's binder ring.

And that's it! A cute gift album that took me maybe a couple of hours from start to finish, and cost $3 plus a trip into my scrap ribbon bag and my rub on drawer. Besides the fact that I know my friend will love this little keepsake, I'm pretty proud of myself for using one of those chipboard albums from Michael's! I've got ones in every single shape and just don't use them as often as I'd like. But, as you can see, they really do make fun, inexpensive gift albums.


  1. Love this mini. I love the colours. I just made a baby boy mini with the same chipboard. The baby is now an adult having his own baby. So there was no journaling, just pictures. Its on my blog.

  2. WOW!! That is a beautiful mini! Wow! Wow! Wow!