Ahhh, mini albums! I love them and can’t get enough of them! I recently made an Envelope Mini Album for my children using Sarah Batdorf’s July Scrap Girls Club and Pocket Life Special. We liked it so much, I decided to make another mini album and show you how I did it! The hardest part about this project was picking what theme to use. I had so many ideas, I just couldn’t decide!
Some of the themes I thought about were School since my oldest daughter is starting middle school soon, Flowers because that’s one of my favorite subjects to photograph and Patriotic because we are a military family and current live so close to Washington D.C. But in the end, I decided to create a Summer Themed mini album because I could incorporate most of my ideas into one album! It’s a great way to relive our summer activities as summer comes to a close!
Digital scrapbooking products used:
Value Pack: Suddenly Summer
ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Suddenly Summer
Brush Set: Pocket Life Basics
ScrapSimple Tools – Styles: Painting Textures 8501
Dynamic Brush Set: Basic Stitching 4901 Biggie
ScrapSimple Tools – Styles: Stitching 6401 Mini
ScrapSimple Tools – Styles: Glitter Edge 6301 Biggie
Squirt Collection Biggie
ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Paper Rolls and Wraps Biggie
Brush Set: Pocket Life Months Biggie
Brush Set: Page Accents Cards 2201
ScrapSimple Tools – Styles: Basic Shadows 6501
Craft supplies needed:
Sturdy Envelopes-I’m using A7 (5.25 in X 7.25 in), but you can use any size you’d like, any color you’d like and just adjust the sizes to match your envelopes-For first set, you’ll need 2 envelopes
Blank Greeting Cards to coordinate with your envelopes-For first set you’ll need 2 cards
Double sided tape
scissors or cutter
embellishments of your choice
Card Stock- I use Georgia-Pacific Card Stock with a weight of 110 (purchased at Walmart)
Let’s get started! Once my theme was decided, I needed to chose what digital scrapbooking supplies to use. Value Packs to the rescue!! Some contain a collection, papers and another coordinating item. I chose Elisha Barnett’s Value Pack: Suddenly Summer as the base of my album. Starting with two white envelopes, I placed them on my table, flap side up. We are going to tape the flaps together. I used red two way tape to show where to attach your envelopes together.
Next, I closed the envelopes and sliced off a sliver of the open ends using my paper cutter. This creates two pockets we’ll use later on.
Finally, we’ll attach our digital scrapbooking papers. The papers will be cut slightly smaller than the envelopes so a small border shows. I’m using 5.25 in x 7.25 in envelopes, so my mats will be 5.0 in X 7.125 in (or 7 1/8th inches). Because we cut that little sliver of an edge off, our measurements aren’t going to be proportional. I will need 4 mats to start with in coordinating patterns and colors (Keep the scraps!!). I then used the red tape to show where to place your tape for the first mat. We want to keep a pocket under the mat, so it’s important not to add tape there and shorten our pocket! But we do want to add some tape at the edge so things don’t fall right through.
As you can see, my mat isn’t centered perfectly. That’s ok! Part of the charm of mini-albums is that they are handmade and not perfect. Repeat the process above for the back envelope.
Next, let’s get those flaps done! Using 2 of our mats, tape them together, right sides out, with the flaps sandwiched in between them. Once you are done, you won’t be able to see the flaps at all. This adds an extra page without having to use another envelope!
The one thing that makes these albums so much fun is the interaction! So, the more pockets, flaps and cards you use, the more interesting your album will be. What we need now are some pockets! These can be made super quick using Syndee Nuckles’ ScrapSimple Craft Templates: Mini Album. She has included several different shaped pages, pockets and tabs for you to choose from. For my first pocket, I used her 6×6 pocket page 2 template. I created a new document in Photoshop, size 5.25 in wide x 7.50 in high, 300 dpi (the height really doesn’t matter since this will be a pocket). This is a little bit larger than you’d expect, but I’ll explain why after we print and cut them out! Then I dragged the template onto the document and adjusted the size so it fit the way I wanted it to. Be sure to keep the width and height proportional (in Photoshop, hold the shift key when dragging the corners to adjust the size).
After the template is placed just right, I can drag in my digital paper and clip it to the template on the layer below (control+alt+g). Then I save my file as both a layered file (psd) and jpeg. By saving as a layered file, I can go back and quickly use that resized template again without having to adjust the size. All I’ll need to do is delete the paper layer and add a new one! We’ll use the jpeg file for printing it out. Keep creating pockets one quarter inch bigger on each side of your pocket (except the top) until you have as many as you’d like for our project. For now, I’ll just use two pockets, on the front and back pages. I may decide to add more later.
When I print my pockets out, I add as many to one sheet as possible to save paper. Just open a letter sized document in Photoshop and drag in the pocket jpeg files and print! The next step is to cut your pockets out and then we’ll score them.
Remember how you added a 1/4 inch to each side of your pocket except the top edge? That’s so we can have a flap for attaching to the album. If we don’t include that flap, we lose some valuable space in the pocket we are creating! So, score your pocket on three sides (of the four sides) at 1/4 inch, then taper the corners so they aren’t as bulky when attached.
Now add adhesive to the flaps and attach to your pages!
Now that we have some pockets, we need things to fill them! The first things that come to mind are photos and journaling spots! Pocket Life Products are perfect for this and many of the products coordinate with collections already in the boutique. There are Pocket Life Brush Sets that help you customize your own cards, too. The Suddenly Summer products I’m working with doesn’t have Pocket Life Cards, so I decided to make my own! I made three sizes, 6×4 inch, 3×4 inch and 2×3 inch. I made vertical and horizontal cards. Just think of them as mini layouts! I used brushes, word art, papers and styles to make my Pocket Life Cards. Leaving a generous amount of space for photos and journaling on some cards, but not others, will keep the album interesting!
Once I created my cards, I placed all the jpeg versions onto a letter sized document and printed them out. Try using watercolor paper, or another textured paper for added interest if you’d like!
Once printed, cut them out and add a few of them to your pockets!
Let’s go back to those mats we attached to the flaps in the middle of the envelopes for a minute. You could certainly add pockets to those pages if you would like to. Or, you could make hinges and attach Pocket Life cards! Remember those scraps I told you to save when you were trimming your paper for the mats? These are the perfect width to make hinges, especially if you are using a patterned paper! Just score two vertical lines in the middle of the scrap, 1/8 inch apart on the same paper you are attaching the hinge to.
Attach one side of the hinge to your Pocket Life Card (or photo or whatever you decide to attach) and the other side to your page. Leave the space between the score line free from adhesive so your hinge has some room for bulk under the card if you decide to add it.
Now, let’s talk about those slices we cut out of the envelopes in the beginning! A lot of envelope sets come packaged with cards. If you are using the envelopes for mini albums and not to mail the cards, you will have extra cards left over. I have a simple trick to use up some of those cards! In the photo below, I used a blue card to show you how to tuck your card into the pocket.
Of course you’ll have to add mats to your card! Since the card is slightly smaller than the envelope, your mats will be 4.75 in x 6.75 inch. You can use these cards for photos or journaling. Be careful that you don’t add too much bulk because it will be sliding into the pocket.
Feel free to stop right there with your album. Just add the front and back mats and embellish any way you’d like. Add photos and journaling or keep it blank and give as a gift. Or, you can add several sets of pages and create a larger album. If you decide to add more pages, don’t attach the front and back mats until you have attached all the sets of pages together. To do this, we’ll create another hinge, the same color as your envelopes. You will need a scrap of paper, 7 inches long by 2 1/4 inches wide. Score at 1 and 1 1/4 inches. Attach one side to the back of your envelope set and the other side to the front of the next envelope set.
Then you can add your mats. I prefer to finish all the sections I’m going to create before adding the hinges. Once all your hinges are attached, add the mats except for the very front and very back.
Here is a peek at two sections with the hinge and mats in place.
Next, we’ll reinforce those hinges with a Tyvek hinge. Tyvek is a great material that is stronger than paper, lightweight so it doesn’t add bulk and is rip and tear-resistant. It adds just a little bit more support to your binding. You can buy the Tyvek envelopes in any office supply store. The size of the hinge is going to vary a bit depending on how thick your album is. For my album, which has 3 sections, I’m going to cut a strip of Tyvek 7 inches long by 2 1/4 inches, allowing 3/4 inches for the front, back and spine. I used my tape gun and attached the Tyvek to my album. It’s not the prettiest cut, but it will be hidden so it doesn’t matter to much!
Now for the binding! If you like the Tyvek look, you can keep it as the binding and decorate it. You could stamp on it, add decorative tape or even ink to it! That was my plan, until I was browsing in a craft store and discovered some yellow duct tape that would be prefect! Duct tape comes in so many colors and patterns now! Who knew, lol? To create my final binding, I needed 2 strips of duct tape, 7 3/4 inches long. Cut the two pieces of duct tape and
tape them together with as small as overlap as you can. Then fold down the end pieces (short sides) 1/8 inch so our final piece is 7 1/2 inches long.
Then cut one more strip of duct tape 7 1/2 inches long and tape it to our first two pieces, stick sides together. We don’t want our binding to stick to our hinges.
Two last steps and your album is ready to fill with all those memories! Would you like to add a closure to your album? For this theme, I’ve chosen to use a tie ribbon closure, but you can use whatever you’d like. I chose a yellow ribbon to match my binding. I cut 2 twelve inch pieces and attached a few inches to the front and the back of the album with tape.
And now the final step! Add your front cover and back cover and you are done! Congratulations, you made it!!
We’d love to see your albums when you are finished! Post them in the Scrap Girls Hybrid Gallery!
Tutorial written by Carla Shute